Found a black substance on several breakers. What is going on here?
Do you have any photo’s with the cover off?
Is there something under the substance that would need to be covered? I saw other breakers without the black substance on them and there’s nothing there except the plastic. Is this a common practice? Hoping that someone can explain to me what it is and why it’s there.
No, didn’t take the cover off. Any idea what the substance is and why it’s there?
My first thought is that it was due to heat which may be evident if you had a photo without the cover.
As @rmeier2 stated, it’s hard to determine without seeing the whole “picture.” It could be a number of things, heat, liquid tape sloppy application etc.
Based on what you describe, and I can only speculate (and never go in my report) is that the breakers you saw this on, have been replaced. The fit wasn’t as tight or were tighter than the original. The liquid tape past was applied and not cleaned up. Thus the ooze, smudges etc.
I would note the observations in the report as “undetermined substance on some breakers” and pass it for further evaluation. Never be afraid to ask what the evaluation was for your own learning experience.
By heat, do you mean that maybe the breaker plastic melted? Someone else mentioned it could be liquid tape. Is there a reason why someone would put liquid tape in that spot on a breaker?
Show the pictures of inside the panel David. That may answer your questions.
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Do you know the panel/breaker manufacturer?
Maybe they filled the cabinet with coal tar bitumen to prevent the consequences of moisture intrusion…
LOL! Just joking…
That’s one that screams to remove the deadfront cover to see what’s on the inside. That ooze does not look like it was applied to seal the knockout opening.
From the photo it looks like it is melted. I would write it up for further evaluation. Somebody needs to take the dead front off and look inside.
not much to tell from those pictures,…like others have said the answers were most likely visible behind the cover…
Just speculation until the dead front is pulled off. (Unless you want to do the "lick’ test)
the lick test can be quite exciting on service panels…
Speculation is fine. That’s what I’m looking for. What are the most likely reasons for there being that black tar in that particular spot on the circuit breakers? Would an electrician ever put that substance on there on purpose, or does it have to be either melted plastic, or some dude’s chewing tobacco?
On purpose? I doubt it because what purpose would it serve? Did this substance appear on every circuit breaker? Was it only on the lower portion of the breaker on both sides of the panel?
Could it be anti-oxidant paste?