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Spray Painted Panel


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This panel was spray painted before the breakers were installed. 110.12 ©

Can contaminated areas be cleaned? Would you recommend panel replacement? My main concern is the circuit breaker contact blades.

Opinions?

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I've had a few of those and recommended replacement of the panel, leaving the enclosure in place. If the panel isn't available anymore, replace both panel and enclosure.

Someone should pay for this mistake and it shouldn't be your client.

I don't want liability for suggesting cleaning it then someone comes and scratches up the protective coating on the contacts.

Marc

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From a practical standpoint the contacts were cleaned when the breakers where installed, that's really not enough paint to impede an electrical connection at that tight fitting contact.

From a home inspection perspective the panel has been contaminated and needs to be replaced. You have plenty to stand on for the call.

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From a practical standpoint the contacts were cleaned when the breakers where installed, that's really not enough paint to impede an electrical connection at that tight fitting contact.

From a home inspection perspective the panel has been contaminated and needs to be replaced. You have plenty to stand on for the call.

Looking at that middle picture, there's plenty enough paint on the contact areas to cause trouble. All you need is a little resistance to start generating heat then the process begins with everything eventually goes south, ending up in your lap.

Marc

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I'm with Marc on this one. I draw the line when paint gets on the bus bars. I'd much prefer to put this in an electrician's lap for a final decision. All you need is for someone to come along and follow panel specs to the letter and you're going down for the count.

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Hi MIke,

The right call for you - the one that keeps you out of hot water and is absolutely correct - is to call for replacement. The code talks abouit "foreign contaminants" or something like that not being allowed in the panel. Look at it from a practical standpoint - even if he could to it without damaging components in the panel, how many hours is it going to take an electrician to disassemble all of that, clean it and put it back together? By the time an electrician does all of that, his fee exceeds what it would cost to install a new panel.

That one isn't bad. I've seen 'em so bad that I couldn't tell what color any of the wiring was.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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From a practical standpoint the contacts were cleaned when the breakers where installed, that's really not enough paint to impede an electrical connection at that tight fitting contact.

From a home inspection perspective the panel has been contaminated and needs to be replaced. You have plenty to stand on for the call.

Looking at that middle picture, there's plenty enough paint on the contact areas to cause trouble. All you need is a little resistance to start generating heat then the process begins with everything eventually goes south, ending up in your lap.

Marc

It's broken and should be fixed. If I was buying the house I'd expect someone else to be picking up the tab for it. As an inspector I'd call it out with half that paint on it.

If no one decided to follow my advice for this particular panel, I don't think I'd loose any sleep over it.

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As is always the case, what the client does with our reports and our recommendations is up to them. When it comes to electrical issues, I don't play games and I don't take chances. I tell my clients up front I am sensitive to electrical issues. So I would tell them it does not meet current code, that it is considered a safety issue and that it needs to be replaced by a licensed electrician.

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As is always the case, what the client does with our reports and our recommendations is up to them. When it comes to electrical issues, I don't play games and I don't take chances. I tell my clients up front I am sensitive to electrical issues. So I would tell them it does not meet current code, that it is considered a safety issue and that it needs to be replaced by a licensed electrician.

So, you're a code inspector too?

Marc

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No,

He doesn't have to be. If he can read the code he can see that it says foreign contaminants aren't allowed in the panel. He can cite that and recommend replacement by an electrician. If the seller balks and wants to get it cleaned, it's up to the customer whether or not to accept that. As I said above, cost to clean it will probably be more than replacing it with a new one and the cleaned panel probably wouldn't be as good as a new one once someone spent hours with an abrasive pad trying to clean it.

If the inspector calls for replacement, the inspector will have done his job as best he can.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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No,

He doesn't have to be. If he can read the code he can see that it says foreign contaminants aren't allowed in the panel. He can cite that and recommend replacement by an electrician. If the seller balks and wants to get it cleaned, it's up to the customer whether or not to accept that. As I said above, cost to clean it will probably be more than replacing it with a new one and the cleaned panel probably wouldn't be as good as a new one once someone spent hours with an abrasive pad trying to clean it.

If the inspector calls for replacement, the inspector will have done his job as best he can.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Sure. I cite code too but I don't tell my clients something isn't code compliant because I'm not a registered code inspector.

The pest control guys and code inspectors alike both have turf they defend with laws that the legislature granted them.

Marc

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The pest control guys and code inspectors alike both have turf they defend with laws that the legislature granted them.

Marc

So, you're a lawyer too?

A reader. Reading the code doesn't make you a code inspector. Nor does reading the Statutes make you a lawyer. I draw the line at dispensing opinions to someone who is paying me to talk.

Don't confuse me with Les. No disrespect to anyone here but we all enjoy freely giving out our own opinion. And there's no exchange of money here.

Marc

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Sure. I cite code too but I don't tell my clients something isn't code compliant because I'm not a registered code inspector.

Simple enough; go get yourself 'certified' then get licensed by your state to be a 'code inspector'.

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Sure. I cite code too but I don't tell my clients something isn't code compliant because I'm not a registered code inspector.

Simple enough; go get yourself 'certified' then get licensed by your state to be a 'code inspector'.

Why would I? The cost isn't worth it. I'm right where I want to be.

Marc

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