Glass deadfront?

I received the following question from a homeowner:

regarding the need for dead front panels on their breaker boxes. My electrician is telling me that they are older boxes and that no one carries those panels anymore and he cannot find anyone that makes them. However, he spoke with the glass company in town and they can make glass ones and since glass is an insulator would that be acceptable?

I’ve never considered such a thing? Any thoughts on this would be helpful.

Glass??? Why does it need to be an insulator? Seems like any sheet metal shop shop should be able to fabricate the dead front. I realize that this would probably nullify the UL listing for the panel though. May be time for a new panel.

If glass was an acceptable cover it would very useful as the panel could be observed without removing the cover, a job that I always am very cautious with…

But the question is: is it acceptable?

You’re not serious are you? I’m sorry, but that is the most ridiculous idea I have heard in the last 15 minutes. What electrician would ever recommend something like that?

That was my reaction too! But before I laugh in the face of a licensed electrician, I thought I’d get some other feedback!

I have seen glass doors (lexan, more likely) on old slate-backed panels in museums (Ellis Island, for example) where they are showing off the innards.

No, at the least have a sheet metal shop design a cover that matches specifications for an equivalent panel cover. Glass (you did say glass and not plastic or lexan plastic) has not been evaluated as a blast shield…equivalent sheet metal maybe…glass…not.

Yes, that gives new meaning to personal protective gear.:shock:

Yeah, why doesn’t this electrician drum up some bussiness and do the panel change out instead of looking all over for replacements…what a joke!