Dead Front

I’m watching the required video in the “How to Perform Residential Electrical Inspections Course”. It shows us what to look for with the dead front off of the panel but in the “Standards of Practice” it says that inspectors are not required to remove dead fronts. I’m confused. Do we need to remove dead fronts to do an inspection or is there another way to see the things that we need to see without removing it?

You should get hands on training on removing the covers first. Every other SOP that Iv’e seen requires inspecting the internal components of the panel (IF SAFE TO DO SO). That would be up to the inspector.

I understand the safety aspect, but have to wonder how many are actually finding a hot cover and boxes during the inspection process. Warning seem to be all over warning the inspector to watch out for this hazard. The box should be grounded so I don’t see how a hot conductor is not tripping the breaker. In over 30 years I have yet to run across a hot cover.

Me neither so I would guess that the probability is extremely low. As far as removing the cover I understand that HI’s have their SOP’s to follow but if I were paying for an inspection I would expect that the cover would be removed and the interior of the panel would be inspected.

I’ve never ran into a hot cover either, but I have had a few screws flash before when removing them. I would say there is more danger with handling a heavy cover when pulling it away. It may just fall back into the panelboard if not handled right.


Kind of wonder when I see all the warning about potential exposures for chemicals and the need for proper PPE for the inspector when people are in the same environment living or working there without the need for PPE. I am not talking about an exposure in a crawlspace or attic.

I copied and pasted this from the “Home Inspection Standards of Practice
Last revised October 2017”.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

A. insert any tool, probe or device into the main panelboard, sub-panels, distribution panelboards, or electrical fixtures.
B. operate electrical systems that are shut down.
C. remove panelboard cabinet covers or dead fronts.

When it comes to the wiring and components inside of a service panel…to put it simple…no there’s not. Use the SOP as a very basic Minimum standard. You will not survive in this business if you do not do All of the things that state an inspector is not “required” to do.

I can’t resist… this should confuse the hell out of a few newbies…