Selecting Electrical Panel Locations for Your Home: Where Should They Be?

Whether you are building a new home or replacing an old breaker, get in touch for expert services. Our certified electrician has years of experience in handling all kinds of electrical needs.

You need to plan the location of your residential electrical panel very carefully due to the strict regulations. For all residential, commercial, and industrial occupancies, the National Electrical Code or NEC sets the basis of electrical safety. According to residential electrical panel codes, the local authorities develop other building codes relating to wiring and safety. These codes help in identifying the best places to install electrical panels along with addressing the restrictions and requirements. McCarrick Electric is an electrical contractor that provides certified and experienced electricians for the installation of electrical panels. 

Whether you are building a new home or replacing an old breaker panel, as a homeowner you should know about the general requirements and considerations while selecting a location for a residential electrical panel. 

Picture of a house with a grey Siemen residential electrical panel installed in the basement

Factors to Consider for the Residential Electrical Panel Location:

If you don’t have a basic understanding of electrical panels, it is difficult to answer where you should place your electrical panel. While you don’t need to fully understand all NEC provisions, some knowledge can save you a lot down the road. You will be saving money while increasing efficiency. Here are the most common factors you should consider while choosing electrical panel locations:


The best location for an electrical panel is one that is safe for everyone and easily accessible. Installing a breaker box in cramped spaces makes it difficult to gain access for you and your electrician. In case of an emergency, you don’t want to make your way through cramped spaces. This doesn’t mean you install the electrical panel in the bathroom, since it becomes a safety hazard. If there is any water leakage or plumbing in the area where you plan to install a residential electrical panel, you will have to ensure that the box is waterproofed. 


Ultimately the right location of electrical panels is determined by the utility company. However, an electrician or homeowner can request a certain location. The requested spot should be the closest point of attachment to your utility lines. The placement of a residential electrical panel meter socket requires specific clearance and height. The required clearance is 12″ from either side of the meter, whereas the height should not be higher than 6’7″ or lower than 4′. 


Planning can save you time and cost. Before installation, it is recommended to carefully design the system and discuss all possibilities with your trusted electrician. You can attain maximum efficiency by choosing a spacious location. You wouldn’t want your electrician to waste time in reaching the residential electrical panel to fix problems. 

An image showing options for a circuit breaker panel location; circuit breaker placed in an apartment basement. 

Electrical Panel Location Restrictions to Consider

Your electrician will go over the restrictions with you while providing you electrical services. The NEC 110.26 states that the electrical panel and equipment must be placed in a location with ample clearance around them. There should be a 3 feet clearance in front of the electrical panels. Waterproofing is also essential in the case of plumbing. 

The panel door must be able to open up to at least 90 degrees. Placing a residential electrical panel in tight spaces is not allowed. To make the approach easy, no furniture should be placed near the panel either. The working space provisions also depend on the installation conditions and voltage rating of the equipment. The minimum required clearance for nominal voltage 0-150V to the ground is 36”. Electrical panels cannot be placed anywhere near the material that ignites easily for instance clothes closets. 

The Best Electrical Panel Locations

When deciding where to position your electrical panel, you would want it to be accessible. Some people prefer the box fitted out of sight, especially in a home. The best location for the electrical panel is a large space that meets the working space guidelines from the NEC. It should also be out of sight with easy access. We have selected a few options for you to decide. Common areas that meet the requirements include:


Electrical panels can be placed under staircases, although this is a less popular choice. If you have sufficient space under the staircases, you can choose this area. You need to ensure that there is easy access to electrical panels when placed under staircases. 


Garages are a perfect place for residential electrical panel installation. For homes with attached garages, the area around the door that connects to the garage is the best choice. Garages provide enough space to easily comply with workspace requirements. 


Many people prefer to place their electrical panels in the basement. It’s more out of sight than the garage and can easily comply with requirements. You need to ensure that there is enough emergency lighting in case of a power outage to find the box. 

Image of residential electrical panel installation with automatic fuses, electrician installing circuit breakers.

Hiring an Experienced Electrician for Electrical Installation

You can choose other electrical panel locations in the main areas of your home. If they are installed in the main areas, you can paint the box of the panel to match your interior. However, it is suggested not to cover your electrical panels as it can be difficult to find them. The main considerations should include easy accessibility, illumination, and working space. 

McCarrick Electric has years of experience in handling your electrical needs and we provide quick as well as reliable services for all your electrical problems. In an emergency, our team will promptly reach you and resolve the issue. If you need residential electrical panel installation, get in touch with our electrician today. We provide electrical services in the following areas:

  • Commerce City
  • Aurora
  • Denver
  • Henderson
  • Brighton
  • Thornton
  • Westminster
  • Highlands Ranch
  • Littleton
  • Parker

Get in touch today.

720-601-1991 Contact Us