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Green Copper in Panel Box


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Can any of you guys tell me what's going on here? All exposed copper is bright green (ground wires, exposed branch wire ends, exposed SE wires, even the bus bar). The panel is on an interior garage wall ... there is a roofing leak nearby that is allowing moisture into the wall. House has been empty for at least 6 months.

Can the nearby moisture be causing this? Is it something that requires immediate attention, or is it OK until the connections at breakers get compromised?

Thanks in advance.

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Something has been outgassing a very corrosive compound. What it is exactly, I can't say. Any pool cleaning materials, or fertilizer smells still lingering in the area? Is there a chance that someone cooked meth there?

Someone more knowledgeable than me will likely know. But in an interior panel it would seem that it would have to be an airborne chemical.

Oh yeah...it's not OK. It needs work. Along with other issues, you have to assume that the interior of the breakers are just as fouled. If so, they won't work reliably.

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My guess is ammonia in some form. Kibble's guess is probably the best one.

When you place copper in ammonia fumes, it creates an accelerated patina.

My statement earlier was: Something has been outgassing a very corrosive compound. What it is exactly, I can't say. Any pool cleaning materials, or fertilizer smells still lingering in the area? Is there a chance that someone cooked meth there?

I'm feeling like Rodney Dangerfield about now...[;)]

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree, ammonia or chlorine cehmicals. I see a lot of scaling that appears this way with other metals, but it is normally reaching with the salty air around the Texas coast area.

Robert,

http://www.atexinspects.com

Can any of you guys tell me what's going on here? All exposed copper is bright green (ground wires, exposed branch wire ends, exposed SE wires, even the bus bar). The panel is on an interior garage wall ... there is a roofing leak nearby that is allowing moisture into the wall. House has been empty for at least 6 months.

Can the nearby moisture be causing this? Is it something that requires immediate attention, or is it OK until the connections at breakers get compromised?

Thanks in advance.

Click to Enlarge
tn_200921220029_Dsc03792.jpg

43.15 KB

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Can any of you guys tell me what's going on here? All exposed copper is bright green (ground wires, exposed branch wire ends, exposed SE wires, even the bus bar). The panel is on an interior garage wall ... there is a roofing leak nearby that is allowing moisture into the wall. House has been empty for at least 6 months.

Can the nearby moisture be causing this? Is it something that requires immediate attention, or is it OK until the connections at breakers get compromised?

Thanks in advance.

Click to Enlarge
tn_200921220029_Dsc03792.jpg

43.15 KB

I saw something very similar to this last week while doing an inspection on a part commercial/part rental structure. There were 7 or 8 FPE panels scattered about, and the one in the basement had a whitish-greenish coating on all of the exposed copper in that panel. I assumed it was from some sort of chemical in the basement (possibly an old workshop) or something. Since it was an FPE panel, I recommended replacing it anyway.

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