The panel had to be moved and replaced for multiple reasons. This particular panel was a Federal Pacific Stab-Lok panel. Federal Pacific lost their Underwriters Laboratory (UL) listing some years back (see our website for more information on Federal Pacific Stab-Lok Panels) and are no longer considered safe or insurable by most Insurance Companies.
The home, which was built in 1977, had at some point in it's past had a bathroom added in the basement where the panel was located. The panel was hidden behind a hinged shelf. It is a safety issue if an electrical panel is not easy to locate or access in an emergency situation.
The National Electrical Code states in article 240.24(e) states:
" In dwelling units and guest rooms or guest suites of hotels and motels, overcurrent devices, other than supplementary overcurrent protection, shall not be located in bathrooms". In common language, an electrical panel cannot be located in a bathroom. This code has been in effect since 1993.
The Federal Pacific Stab-Lok panel was gutted, left in place and used as a junction box so we could extend the branch circuits to the panel location in an adjacent unfinished utility room. A new Square D Homeline panel was installed.
This is not an uncommon occurrence. We have actually replaced panels located inside shower stalls!