Do you remove the dead front

OK so I’m not officially an inspector just yet but I’m working through some training now and I’m noticing what appears to be a conflict in information. the SOP courses mention that you don’t need to/shouldn’t pull off the dead front of the electrical box but it seems like many of the issues I’d need to report on would be only accessible by looking under it. Thinking of things like double taps specifically but also aluminum wiring would be much more noticeable when you can see where they terminate.
When I bought my house, I know the inspector removed the dead front and reported on issues within.

99.9% of the time.
You’re not from Ohio are you? :grinning:


I’m not. why do you ask?

The only time I didn’t is when it was literally drywall over the screws. Defective installation. Otherwise, always.

Where are you located? It depends on the SOP… many states require it unless it’s unsafe. Use your forum profile to fill in your locale so others could help better in the future.

I open the panel on every inspection unless I would cause damage to the drywall, the panel in not accessible, or the panel is unsafe to open (panel cover was energized, hasn’t happened yet).

Remove the dead front, inspect and take a picture of the opened panel for the report. Carry a utility knife and blades for the painted over edges of panels found in condominiums.


What Bob ^^^^^^^^^^ said.

Agreed with Bob. Remove the cover . FYI I find the cleanest way to get the cover is to loosen the screws just turn or two, then insert a utility knife at an angle at one off the corners and slice towards the opposite corner but stop before you reach it this allows the blade to cut the overpaint and prevents an accidental gough across the face of the dead front. Do this at all corners. Nice and clean

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Thanks for all the replies everyone.

I don’t remove the deafront on a Zinsco or any model of a FPE panels, especially the Stab-Lok. I have had breakers slip out of place and slide down the buss bar on a Zinsco and I have also had breakers completely fall out of FPE panels. It is a real pain in the A** to shut down the power to the house and re install them and hope they stay put until you get the panel cover replaced. I have not had an issue yet with Sylvania / Challenger panels yet, but I’m sure it is just a matter of time. I already know that I’m going to recommend a full electrical inspection by a licensed professional when I see these brands and the SOP’s will back you up, even if they don’t specifically say not to remove it. They will have something in there that addresses electrical hazards. These panels have known issues and are a hazard.

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