electrical inspection gloves

Hi, Would some of you please let me know what gloves, insulated, that you use for electrical panel inspections. I get weird information on the internet and cannot seem to match what the electrician in the video was using.




   I have never used gloves for an electrical inspection. Many, many moons ago, I was scared like you are to open the dead front. Under the InterNACHI SOP'S, you don't have to open the panel if you don't feel safe. However it's hard to know what's going on unless you open up the panel. Stay calm and breathe. Practice opening the panel at your place after watching InterNACHI's electrical course with Paul Abernathy. Learn how to remove the dead front and use your training from InterNACHI and you'll be just fine. If you're uncomfortable about removing the panel, you can call me and I can walk you through it. You don't need gloves because you won't be touching any live parts. Stay safe and take care.

Hi Dan.
I use these.
One time when putting the screws back one of the main cables moved & it was pierced.
Flash-bang! Luckily the main disconnect did trip.
Glad I had them on, could have killed me.
The arc flash shot above my head, never saw it happened so fast, but my assistant saw the flash.

Hey Dan,

Background: I manage around 30 electricians.

First off, get one of these: https://www.amazon.com/Fluke-Voltage-Detector-1000V-AC/dp/B00ATGPRRQ

You first check to make sure there is no voltage on the cover. This should get you off in the right direction to remove the cover.

Most of my guys wear basic leather gloves purchased at the local supply house. Graybar, Grainger, Rexel etc… Someone around you has gloves you can buy.

Last, and this is just me, I use insulated screwdrivers to remove covers. Most of my electrical work is in industrial and new commercial that the guys know the conditions of the panels. They are likely the only ones who have ever touched them. As a home inspector I find damn drywall screws holding covers in place and they can nick a wire on their way out (It has yet to happen to me but I have seen some ****). These should make you feel slightly better. I also NEVER point at defects, rather I use this screwdriver to point for images and to show the customer.

Hope this helps.

Make sure you have those gloves tested annually. If you talk to one of your local IBEW shops they can let you know when they do their glove and equipment testing and likely can add yours into the mix. Even a small hole can make them useless. Glad that ARC didn’t make the lesson hard.

Thanks Michael.
Yeah, there was a super loud “bang” so to speak.
I keep them in a sealed plastic bag, inspect them each time & replace them annually.

I don’t use gloves. I do use a tester like Michael S. Gleeson posted to make sure there is no current at the panel and cover screws. And, like Michael S. Gleeson suggested, I do use a screw driver designed for working on electrical equipment.

And then I just NEVER touch anything inside the panel. Observe, take pictures, report, but never touch. If a wire is blocking my view, so be it.

The only thing that can get dicey is putting the cover back on older panels (I inspect many house from the 1940s that often have never been updated). For those, I have a pair of these: http://www.inspectoroutlet.com/powerful-ergonomic-handle-magnet.aspx.

I dont use gloves either Ian. I have them in my bag but I truly hate trying to work in them. Above and beyond touching I just want to stress that guys have been seriously hurt just pointing. Residential panels are not that big of a deal, but it has long been beat into me that you don’t point at electrical panels.

PS: Mike is fine. I should be around here enough to become “recognizable” in the crowd.

Thanks Mike.

I never point. I take a picture and draw an arrow with my mobile software (HIP) if feel the need to point at an item inside the panel. Much safer that way!

You guys are going to laugh at me.

Although I don’t do it often, once in a while I feel the need to poke around inside a panel to see something obscured, or point something out to a client.

I always immediately put my screwdriver away after removing the dead front, because I am afraid that I’ll forget that I’m holding something conductive.

So, when I put away the screwdriver, I pull out an old wooden spoon and use the handle end to poke around. That spoon in my hand is odd, of course, but serves as a constant reminder that I’m messing with electricity.

Pick up a pkg of wood plant markers from your local garden center. They are like heavy duty tongue depressors, have v-cut ends for pointing, come in various lengths, are cheap, and if you lose one, no biggie.

I use mechanical glove(s) when opening the panel after I test the dead front cover with a ticker.

I should however use my safety goggles and this is a reminder, thanks.

The arc flash your assistance saw may have been bigger than what he actually saw. I received some arc flash training a while back, where a high speed camera was used to catch a arc flash. It showed the flash to be much bigger (as in travelled a greater distance) than what was visible to the naked eyes or to a regular camera.

Good idea using wooden pointers. This thread have given me an idea: could use my pen laser pointer that sits in my desk drawer not used for many, many years.

I like this idea.

There are often muti-packs at the 99 cent store.

The Spoon :slight_smile:

Thank you.
How many times have all of us instinctively “slapped” a buyer’s hand away?
I know I have a few times. They look surprised & say something like - oh, I know I wasn’t gonna point any further. :roll:

Don’t wear a wedding ring (or anything metal) if you poking around where you don’t have to go.

Gloves are more for arc flash protection than reducing conductivity in low voltage inspection (<600VAC). Arc Flash will mess you up a lot more than 120VAC.

Don’t forget your bare arms in the summer. Keep behind the panel cover.

Everyone is talking about gloves and I totally agree they should be worn. But do you wear eye protection??? I do. Check out some of the articles about guys blinded from an arc flash.

I have this in my trunk but have never used it at an inspection. Only when opening up commercial panels for IR.