A little overwhelming

I’m not going to lie gentlemen and ladies, I took off my first electrical panel (currently doing my mock inspections), this was a little intimidating. I found myself looking double taps, damaged breakers and conductors, labels and inspected the screws that I took out. Also I did notice the bare conductors on the grounding bus (seen in two pictures) are they a problem? And the Rolex at the top of the box looked old and damaged. First part of the mock inspection I actually questioned myself on.

For your report you might consider a total panel picture (dead front removed) with circles or arrows indicating defect areas and then include close up photos if you want. It is hard to see the whole picture with just close ups.


I would definitely recommend updating the older wire. The insulation has degraded and most likely degraded all thorough the house.

I don’t see any double taps in your photos. If this is a service then the bare EGC’s can be landed on the neutral bus. The NM cable (Romex) has thermoplastic conductors which should last 100 years so they are probably fine.


Well, I don’t see a rolex, but I also don’t see anything wrong with the pictures you posted, except for a couple missing bushings at the panel openings.
But there is definitely alot to learn when it comes to electrical.
This forum has been an incredible resource for me as well, so don’t be afraid to ask questions, but it does appear you have much more studying to do.
Good luck!


I would recommend you read further about double taps. Some breakers are designed for this and it’s important you can recognize the difference. It’s a common mistake.

I would like to see the “damaged” breaker.

Keep digging and Good luck!


Do you know what you just said?

You want someone to gut the whole interior of the house and attic to remove and replace the Romex?

This is the wire they used 60 yrs ago.
You don’t even need to remove Knob and Tube wiring (if still intact and not modified) which precedes this wire.

Like to hear your justification for that call.
Every house in this neighborhood is probably in the same condition.


As Bob mentioned, a full panel picture would be helpful not just the close ups.

I agree with Robert and Daniel in that from this set of pictures there isn’t a lot to be concerned about besides the lack of insulating bushings at some of the fittings. There could be other problems lurking in what is not pictured though.

Hang in there partner, I’m doing mock inspections myself now too and while the electrical part doesn’t overwhelm me because I life experience in that industry, there are other areas I am learning a lot more about so I understand how you feel. The CPI’s in this forum are great, they will help you a lot as they already have me.

Unfortunately, the first panel you elected to open is old and has been upgraded. It has wire you will never see again at Home Depot, so you have no reference to the product.

Possibly the whole panel was changed, thus the condition of the old fabric/paper insulated wires (prior to 1960’s).

Did you look at the wall outlets in the house. Two prong or three? Did you test the three prong grounding if there? Outlet boxes were commonly metal during that time. The ground was often terminated at the box, not the plug outlet (or just wrapped around the cable). You will also note the ground conductor is much smaller then, than now.

There are missing cable entry connectors which can cause damage to conductors. There is a taped Neutral conductor that was damaged because of this (not serious because the conductor and panel are grounded).

These are the type of things you need to consider, not fabric NMC w/o visual defect.


Good eye. :sunglasses:

3 prong outlets for sure…

:joy:sorry Romex

1 Like

The Rolex?

It would certainly be prudent to know if you are looking at a service or a distribution panel. This can tell whether grounds are allowed on the neutral bar or need to be on a separate ground bar. It will also be a clue as to whether the bond screw or strap needs to be in place.

Bushing are different than cable connectors. Bushing go over the threads of connectors, but are not always needed. Cable connectors are needed.

Take lots of pictures of the panels you inspect. Not just of the problems you see, but of the entire panel. Make sure to get a good one of the full panel in one single picture. Take some from different angles and using different flashlight placements when necessary. I probably leave every inspection with at least 20 pictures of the panel. In addition to the issues I see onsite, I study those pictures back at the office to look for things I maybe missed.


The only thing wrong I see from this pictures is the missing bushings. If this is not a sub panel the white wire is fine. Don’t see any breakers, those breaker ends are fine.

1 Like

Every time I type Romex, Rolex appears for some reason

Just a suggestion use the correct terminology, the proper term is NM cable.



That’s a cop out. It doesn’t take any skill or knowledge to make unnecessary recommendations. Homebuyers want, and deserve, a proper assessment by someone who actually knows what they are talking about.