Results 1 to 37 of 37
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    44

    Default White paint in electric panel ?

    Hi everyone,

    I have never seen white paint inside an electric panel. Could that be any other stuff to protect the wires or breakers...it looks like paint to me because all the appartment was recently painted white...

    Lets assume their was not cover on the panel and they painted the inside, why are the breakers still black (if its the case) ??

    Similar Threads:
    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    NHIE Practice Exam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    230

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Good question as to why the breakers are still black. Would like the answer to that one also. As for the paint - well now they need to replace the box, or at least, they should. No foreign objects are allowed inside the box and you cannot use abrasives to clean the inside of the box. Did you also note the improper termination of the ground wires?

    Bill Siegel
    Florida Home Inspection Team Inc.

  3. #3
    Robert Meier's Avatar
    Robert Meier Guest

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    It's baffling how part of the CB's are still black.

    What's the problem with the EGC's?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Tag View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I have never seen white paint inside an electric panel. Could that be any other stuff to protect the wires or breakers...it looks like paint to me because all the appartment was recently painted white...

    Lets assume their was not cover on the panel and they painted the inside, why are the breakers still black (if its the case) ??
    They spray painted the walls of the house and did not cover the panel. Why the breaker handles are not painted is a mystery but does not really matter. My guess is that they were painted at one time and have been cleaned by someone who thought that would make it all better.

    In the eyes of the panel manufacturer and the electrical codes that panel and breakers are damaged and now need to be replaced.

    The paint can prevent a good connection between the breakers and their point of connection in the panel. Also the paint can prevent a breaker from tripping.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    It's baffling how part of the CB's are still black.

    What's the problem with the EGC's?
    The grounds are twisted together and are under one screw on the side grounding bars. Look at the top of the panel, you will see them twisted then look down at the picture with the grounding bar and you will see them under one screw.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    The grounds are twisted together and are under one screw on the side grounding bars. Look at the top of the panel, you will see them twisted then look down at the picture with the grounding bar and you will see them under one screw.
    Multiple grounding conductors under one screw is not necessarily non-compliant. The concern would be whether or not the correct grounding lugs and/or bars(busses) were used. The paint is an entirely different matter.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Write it up for replacement.
    I'll let a little overspray slide but that's too much paint. Let'em sue the painting contractor.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Richter View Post
    Multiple grounding conductors under one screw is not necessarily non-compliant. The concern would be whether or not the correct grounding lugs and/or bars(busses) were used. The paint is an entirely different matter.
    Hi Brad, can you cite a source that says it is OK to have multiple grounding conductors under on lug or screw? I have never been able to find a source that says it is OK.

    Unless the panel is designed for it, of course.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  9. #9
    Robert Meier's Avatar
    Robert Meier Guest

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Many EGC bars are listed for 2 or 3 conductors.




  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Those breakers were white when they left the factory. Pic 3 and 4 you can see where they masked the breakers, different shade of white.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
    Posts
    1,394

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Those breakers were white when they left the factory. Pic 3 and 4 you can see where they masked the breakers, different shade of white.
    Agree, looks like factory colored breakers. But the box has still been painted and since the cover is clean.........just weird. Sometimes it is tempting to write, "Not sure if this is wrong or not, but definitely goofy".

    I just inspected a house for my brother in law. I wish I had thought to say that, because I saw several homeowner modifications that fit that description and I could have gotten away with a little inspection humor with him.

    And.......doesn't that look like more than six breakers to turn off service.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Chico,Ca
    Posts
    423

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    [quote=Lon Henderson;192966]Agree, looks like factory colored breakers. But the box has still been painted and since the cover is clean.........just weird. Sometimes it is tempting to write, "Not sure if this is wrong or not, but definitely goofy".

    I just inspected a house for my brother in law. I wish I had thought to say that, because I saw several homeowner modifications that fit that description and I could have gotten away with a little inspection humor with him.

    And.......doesn't that look like more than six breakers to turn off service.[/quote]


    There may be a disco eleswhere, & does anyone have commentary or code sections from the CEC? The NEC is irrelevent in this case.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    On The Mason-Dixon Line
    Posts
    577

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Hi Brad, can you cite a source that says it is OK to have multiple grounding conductors under on lug or screw? I have never been able to find a source that says it is OK.

    Unless the panel is designed for it, of course.

    You will find that information on the panel label,usually located on the inside of the panel door.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    In Canada, there can only be ONE main disconnect. There is no 6 breaker rule in the CEC.

    That breaker panel is in an apartment in Montreal, which is the same as a condo. The main breaker is down in the meter cabinet, so there is no problem there..
    The neutral should not be bonded, but I can't tell with all that paint.

    I believe the installation was fine until those goofs came in to apply the fresh paint. I don't have the rule for whether paint is allowed on the wire connections. In Quebec, they write their own rules en francais, anyway.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    You will find that information on the panel label
    Which can be darn hard to read when its been painted over.


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Which can be darn hard to read when its been painted over.
    The label may be on the inner surface of the cover, which was not painted. But it is a bit late for that now.

    The hots and neutrals are no longer identified by colour, so I believe the paint is a violation for that reason at least.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,898

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    The paint can prevent a good connection between the breakers and their point of connection in the panel. Also the paint can prevent a breaker from tripping.
    A breaker lock will still allow a breaker to trip so I doubt a coat of paint would stop a trip.

    The connections were also made before the paint was applied so there should be no need to worry about the buss connections or the conductor terminations at the breakers.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    The breaker handles were coated with vaseline prior painting.


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
    Posts
    1,394

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Roberts View Post
    The breaker handles were coated with vaseline prior painting.
    Ooooey!


  20. #20
    Robert Rolleston's Avatar
    Robert Rolleston Guest

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    It looks like there is a small ground bar on both sides of the panel as long as all the grounds are connected it looks good to me. Paint won't interfere with how the panel works.


  21. #21
    Rod Corwin's Avatar
    Rod Corwin Guest

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?


  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    One of the interesting thing about "paint" is that it may contain a number of "suspended" solids, some of which may be conductive in nature, and quite a few which may be "insulative" in nature, which when cured form a layer.Wall finishes (paints, primers, etc.) actually burn.Additionally "paints" dry or cure with evaporation of their carrying medium. Chemical reactions to nylon coatings, plastics, etc. can damage, even if the damage doesn't seem readily apparent to the naked eye.Paint in a panel, on MCCBs, BUSSes, terminals, etc. sprayed so copiously is detrimental to the safety, ratings, function of the screw terminals, etc. it is foreign, untested, unlisted, material, that negates the UL or CSA listing/approval of the equipment, voids any warrantees expressed or implied and is a violation of the CEC and for those south, the NEC.Consider something as simple as high carbon content suspended solids in "high hiding/blocking primers/paints (along with say lots of "white" solids as well - zinc oxide for example) not only possiblity of conductivity (high carbon content) but disimilar metals contact and oxidiaton creating high resistance connections - heat. Further a panel is designed and limited based on ability to function and put-off heat and maintain integrity of the panel itself, and the installed equipment, withstand and contain events without spontaneous ignition, etc.Add to that the insulative (heat traping) and moisture/vapor transfer resistance of a "paint layer".Painting over labeling at side of CB also adulterates CB.Foreign material (finishing material, i.e. paint) doesn't belong in the panel, period. Painting CBs is not permitted, the film upon the CB has not been tested regards deteriorating agents, insulation load (over heating) air sealing, functionality of breaker as a switch, chemical, particulate matter, interreaction with the breaker's LUBRICATION media, conductivity of surfaces, etc. nor the remaining film's flamability, flame index, smoke index, etc. Paint coatings on the buss bars and terminals, terminal screws not allowed. Compromise foreign matter within connection, terminal screws, lugs, makes accurate determination of proper torque questionable, and low-resistance connections questionable.Add to the mix an obsolete panel in the first place and you've got legitimate safety issues that the ESA would likely condem.


  23. #23
    Robert Rolleston's Avatar
    Robert Rolleston Guest

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    I have never seen paint hurt an electrical conductor but I may be wrong. I really don't understand why painters can't be more careful. Just putting some cardboard in there could have prevented this. Myself if someone requested I do something with it. I would remark all the wires replace the panel interior and breakers with a modern brand put the new cover on call it done. Mostly because nobody is going to want to pay for the cost to demo the building install a new panel and fish all new home runs or deal with junction box covers all around the panel with splices.


  24. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Rolleston View Post
    It looks like there is a small ground bar on both sides of the panel as long as all the grounds are connected it looks good to me. Paint won't interfere with how the panel works.
    The inspector, Christian, wants to know how to proceed.
    Here is my advice on this one, JMO:
    Identify the problem - Fresh, most likely latex, paint on the conductors, the panel and neutral and grounding connections.
    Inform the client of the implications - There could be issues, as mentioned above.

    The ultimate decision as to whether there is a defect here or not will rest upon the local authority, an inspector for the provincial Electrical Safety Branch of government. Ask him/her.
    An electrical contractor can apply for a permit to repair and get the info that way, or the seller, the buyer and their agents can try to find an answer directly from the authority. Or the inspector can offer to find out, and if he does, he can let us know how it went.

    This painter needs to be brought into the equation, because it is bad practice for him to run around town painting panel interiors.

    Twisted EGC's is a non-issue on an installation that received approval 20 years ago. It is a multi-residential in Montreal, and you bet the permits are all there, signed and stamped. Count the breakers and then count the number of grounding connectors provided by the manufacturer. They don't add up. If somebody wants to pursue that as a defect, they should do it on their own dime, not the client's. JMO.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Healdsburg, CA
    Posts
    1,741

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Bottom Line - NEC 2008 Section 110.12 (B)
    Integrity of Electrical Equipment and Connections:
    Internal parts of electrical equipment, including busbars, wiring terminals, insulators, and other surface, shall not be damaged or contaminated by foreign materials such as paint, plaster, cleaners, abrasives, or corrosive residues. There shall be no damaged parts that may adversely affect safe operation or mechanical strength of the equipment such as parts that are broken; bent; cut; or deteriorated by corrosion, chemical action, or overheating.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,246

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Rolleston View Post
    I have never seen paint hurt an electrical conductor but I may be wrong. I really don't understand why painters can't be more careful. Just putting some cardboard in there could have prevented this. Myself if someone requested I do something with it. I would remark all the wires replace the panel interior and breakers with a modern brand put the new cover on call it done.
    Not a good solution, but one that some people mistakenly take and think is okay.

    Mostly because nobody is going to want to pay for the cost to demo the building install a new panel and fish all new home runs or deal with junction box covers all around the panel with splices.
    That's why the seller just gives the buyer some money for the repair, and the home inspector reminds the buyer that the money should not go as down payment on a new Bimmer or buy a large plasma TV, because when they become the seller in a few years ... the problem will still be there, and they, as the seller, will need to pass that money (and more, because things cost more later) on to their buyer.

    Most buyers don't pay attention and they buy the large plasma TV or make a down payment on that new Bimmer ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Chico,Ca
    Posts
    423

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    Bottom Line - NEC 2008 Section 110.12 (B)
    Integrity of Electrical Equipment and Connections:
    Internal parts of electrical equipment, including busbars, wiring terminals, insulators, and other surface, shall not be damaged or contaminated by foreign materials such as paint, plaster, cleaners, abrasives, or corrosive residues. There shall be no damaged parts that may adversely affect safe operation or mechanical strength of the equipment such as parts that are broken; bent; cut; or deteriorated by corrosion, chemical action, or overheating.

    The OP is in Canada so the NEC is not valid.


  28. #28
    Robert Rolleston's Avatar
    Robert Rolleston Guest

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    That's why the seller just gives the buyer some money for the repair, and the home inspector reminds the buyer that the money should not go as down payment on a new Bimmer or buy a large plasma TV, because when they become the seller in a few years ... the problem will still be there, and they, as the seller, will need to pass that money (and more, because things cost more later) on to their buyer.

    Most buyers don't pay attention and they buy the large plasma TV or make a down payment on that new Bimmer ...
    What does code say about the pain in the panel?

    I would take the cash and use it in another way too. That's at least 5k worth of work that is unnecessary.


  29. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,246

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Rolleston View Post
    What does code say about the pain in the panel?
    The code says that it is not allowed. Period.

    I would take the cash and use it in another way too. That's at least 5k worth of work that is unnecessary.
    "unnecessary" ... until a fire or something happens, then you will be facing me, or W. C. Jerry, Scott P., or maybe even Watson on the stand when you are asked to define "unnecessary" by the surviving spouse's attorney.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    421

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    I was cringing by some of the posts here, but thankfully others have responded about code and deleterious (sp?) effects.
    I had to reject a new apt complex do to priming gone mad. Boy did the primer hit the fan over that one but I stood my ground.
    I don't think any of the enclosures were replaced, just completely cleaned and the entire interior replaced as far as I could tell.
    I have also rejected painted interiors of switch boxes and wires. A little overspray is usual.

    Note that some old panels did not have buss termination requirements, but they were fuse panels of old. The termination requirements will almost always be in the enclosure where one cannot see the forest for the wires.


  31. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollie Meyers View Post
    The OP is in Canada so the NEC is not valid.
    NO, but the manufacturers requirements/guidelines/specifications for the panel are valid in Canada. I would be surprised if the corresponding codes in Canada do not mimic the NEC when it comes to this.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
    Posts
    1,394

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    I have also rejected painted interiors of switch boxes and wires. A little overspray is usual.


    At the risk of taking this thread in a different direction (but it is done constantly), your use of the word "rejected" raised my eyebrows. How would you word your report concerning this panel box?


  33. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
    Posts
    1,394

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Quote Originally Posted by bob smit View Post
    I have also rejected painted interiors of switch boxes and wires. A little overspray is usual.
    I'll try this again. I somehow messed up the quotebox above. But wondering how you would word your report concerning this panel box.


  34. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,246

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Quote Originally Posted by bob smit View Post
    I have also rejected painted interiors of switch boxes and wires. A little overspray is usual.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    I'll try this again. I somehow messed up the quotebox above. But wondering how you would word your report concerning this panel box.
    Bob, like me, is the AHJ.

    As such we can "reject" stuff like that, and we do, and it is corrected.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
    Posts
    1,394

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    That makes sense.


  36. #36
    Robert Rolleston's Avatar
    Robert Rolleston Guest

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Almost looks like they replaced the breakers already because the the handles would be covered and almost impossible to clean.


  37. #37
    Dennis Webber's Avatar
    Dennis Webber Guest

    Default Re: White paint in electric panel ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Tag View Post
    I have never seen white paint inside an electric panel. Could that be any other stuff to protect the wires or breakers...it looks like paint to me because all the appartment was recently painted white...
    I feel the same as Markus does on this. I seen a panel with a little over spray yesterday. As there was no over spray of the electrical parts (just cabinet interior) I let it go.

    This panel obviously has too much.

    However there is another area no one is mentioning. As the painting crew removed the cover to get a good paint finish around the panel, did they also remove every electrical outlet and switch cover in the building? Bet they over sprayed every recept and switch in the place.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •