Ideally, your electrical panel is the brain of your manufactured home’s electrical system.
As the electricity source in your home, the electrical panel is also an electromagnetic field (EMF) hotspot.
With many health hazards associated with EMF, you need to prudently select where to install your electrical panel.
With That Said, Is It Safe To Have An Electrical Panel In A Bedroom?
While having an electrical panel in your bedroom is not prohibited, you will be safe only if you maintain the required clearance from the breaker box. However, due to health hazards linked with the electrical panel, installing it in your bedroom should come last.
No matter where you decide to install your circuit breaker box, you must maintain the recommended minimum distance from flammable objects and ensure nothing obstructs its access. Before installing, keep in mind that the electrical panel should be accessible to everyone in your home.
Since this is a requirement by National Electrical Code, it could be interpreted to mean that you should not install an electrical panel in a bedroom that will be locked.
What Is An Electrical Panel?
At its core, an electrical panel is a metal box with a door that divides the electrical power feed into subsidiary circuits in your manufactured home. The electrical panel usually provides a circuit breaker for each circuit in an electrical enclosure.
Electrical panels primarily incorporate
- the main switch
- circuit breakers
- and residual current devices (RCD)
….to help you distribute electrical power safely throughout your manufactured home.
Your circuit breaker box might contain other measuring equipment and protective devices.
Depending on your needs, you can toggle the switches on and off. Individual breakers in your circuit breaker box are labeled to identify the corresponding area of your home they control.
However, an electrical circuit will automatically shut off (trip) when there is too much current flowing through them. Tripping prevents damage and electrical fires that may result from overheating.
Besides ensuring safe current transfer between circuits, your electrical panel protects you against potentially lethal accidents like short circuits.
They also break electrical power into subcircuits.
For those who might not know, an electrical circuit is usually grey and is mostly embedded in a wall in an out-of-the-way part of your home.
Where Should You Place Your Electrical Panel?
Due to strict regulations on the placement of electrical panels, you need to carefully plan where to place yours. Fortunately, the electrical codes are put in place to protect every homeowner.
According to electrical codes, you should place your main electric panel in a spacious room where it is reachable, well-lit, and has clear working space. Because of the adverse electromagnetic field impacts, circuit breaker boxes should not be installed in rooms where people in your home inhabit.
The most recommended and safest place to embed your main electrical panel is on an exterior wall outside your manufactured house.
For secondary breakers, you can place them in any room provided water does not reach them, so never place an electric panel in a bathroom or laundry room.
The main circuit breaker should be close to the service entrance as possible.
However, it should not be placed on the opposite side of the home from the meter. This guideline is primarily meant to help homeowners determine an ultimate location for their electrical panels.
The notes will also help you proactively choose where to install the meter, meter base, outside disconnect, and the mast extending up through your roof.
If you opt to install your main circuit breaker panel in your bedroom, the best thing would be keeping your bed as far as possible from the electric panel.
For safety, ensure the box is easily accessible, and there is enough space for an electrician to work on the panel.
Four Circuit Breaker Placement Considerations
To embed your electrical panel while ensuring optimal safety, here are some concerns:
1. Height of the breaker box
A typical circuit breaker box should have a minimum height of 4 feet. The maximum height allowed is 6 feet.
You should provide immediate clearance from as follow:
- 36 inches deep in front of the box, measured from the front of the box.
- 30 inches wide, measured from the center of the box and from the floor to your home’s ceiling
Besides this clearance, you need to ensure that there are at least 78 inches between your ceiling and the floor.
The best and safest place to attach your electrical panel outside your manufactured home.
The most ideal location is near the main entrance.
However, you can place your breaker box anywhere, provided that there is a reasonable clearance, it is reachable, and it is far from flammable materials.
Your main electrical panel should be accessible to anyone in your home without necessarily moving or lifting anything. The box door should open to at least a 90-degree angle without being obstructed.
If you want to conceal the box while making it accessible, you can find a place in your home that meets the working space standards, is hidden and accessible.
They all make a perfect place because they have sufficient space and are easy to access, compared to bedrooms.
Is It Dangerous To Sleep Near An Electrical Panel?
With many people settling for smaller space that would not break a bank but worth to be called a manufactured home,
It is very easy to have an electrical panel in the bedroom. Of course, there are many benefits you will get from buying a small home.
If you have attached your main breaker box in your bedroom or the room next to your bedroom, you may want to know whether it is harmful to sleep near that EMF hotspot.
Your electric panel emanates low-level non-ionizing radiation that may not alter your health in an instant. However, studies show that prolonged exposure to low levels of radiation can cause severe health issues.
With that said, the EMF from your electrical panel will not significantly harm you at the start, but it is a silent killer that will slowly creep up and hurt your health.
Long-term exposure to EMF radiation can be extremely harmful.
Since melatonin controls sleeping patterns, you will, over time, experience sleeping disorders.
This is because the human body translates the EMF radiation as light waves; therefore, producing less melatonin.
Besides denying you a good night’s sleep, if you’re constantly exposed to a large source of EMF radiations, you are likely to suffer the following:
- Severe headaches
- Mood swings
- Heart Arrhythmia
- Sleep Disorders
- Loss of memory and lack of concentration
- Digestive issues
- Fertility issues
Although the radiations from an electrical panel are non-ionizing, studies on whether it possibly contributes to the development of cancer cells are being conducted.
If you own pets, keep in mind that EMF is associated with the development of lymphoma.
Three Ways To Lower EMF Radiations
Protecting yourself against EMF is the best way to combat its effects, and this is done by installing your electrical panel at the farthest possible from your bedroom.
Fortunately, if that is impossible, there are few things you can do to reduce or eliminate EMFs to make your bedroom cozy and restful.
1. Use EMF Protection Paint
If your electrical panel is within your bedroom proximity, you may consider painting the walls between the box and your bedroom with paint capable of blocking EMF radiation.
There are various paints with EMF shielding capabilities. However, they require grounding to be more effective.
2. Use A Faraday Canopy
While canopies are famous for providing warmth, privacy, and protection from mosquitoes, they can significantly shield EMF radiations from creeping into your bed.
3. Use Mylar Emergency Blanket
The mylar’s ability to block EMF radiation is so amazing.
Thankfully, mylar emergency blankets are inexpensive yet functional. It is one of the best ways to reduce EMFs because you can use it everywhere.
If the electrical panel is embedded in your bedroom, safety is only guaranteed if you maintain the required distances.
Circuit breaker panels should never be placed in bathrooms, laundry rooms, or any other room where water can reach the unit. The main breaker box should be installed at a reasonable distance from flammable materials.
The further you are from your electrical panel, the less likely you will be affected by the EMF radiations.
Although you are not restricted where to attach the main electrical panel, installing it in your bedroom should come last.
However, because we are not perfect, make sure to employ various ways to reduce EMFs without overlooking the required clearance.