Labels on breakers

Could any Electrical Guru please quote a code reference pertaining to putting paper labels on circuit breakers please.

I have someone (a electrician) arguing with me that this is widely accepted in the electrical world.

Am I wrong?


Dale, I am not an electrian but hope this is of some help.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

While they are not real nice looking, they do mark what breaker goes to what circuit, which is a whole lot better then some places…


Actually yes.
There is absolutely nothing that prohibits this.

Thanks Pete.

The guy did not want to put a dead front cover on (which I also addressed) and label it so he labeled the breakers instead.

But a little paint on the circuit breakers is a no-no and paper labels are ok?..odd rules, but thanks for the information.

The code only says that circuits will be identified in a ‘directory.’

Lest you want to say that a lable on the breaker is not the same as using a directory, I brought up this very issue with the code committee in the 2008 cycle. The panel’s response? Pretty much “are you nuts? Of course placing lables ON the breaker meets the circuit identification requirement.”

So … the lales on the breakers are fine … the oracle has spoken!

(feel free to e-mail me direct is you really need me to quote chapter and verse).

Thanks John.

Thanks Marcel.

Thanks Rollie.

Thanks Bill.

The lack of a dead front is a problem, labels on breakers shown, tacky but OK.

It is pretty common for breaker to be labeled like this but my main conseration with that type of combo meter/breaker box set up what some of us call it " all in one " type some of them dont have very good protection on bussbars as you can see on the photo

i useally print the label tabs on printer and paste it on the breaker box and some of the breaker box espcally in commercal area we will used the colour label so in case someone do the switching in the breaker not my favour part at all unless you have SWD rated breaker there.

Merci, Marc


You should be learning about all this great stuff in the NEC class at SCC going on this semester. Class starts at 5:30pm every Monday for the next 13 weeks.

Mmmmm, talk about a good way to wake up after a long day at work…electrical code.

I’m going to learn how to Golf better in Thailand and Bali in the next 13 weeks.

If I need to know anything about breaker labels I’ll call ya ole’ buddy…:smiley: :smiley:

That’s great Dale, rub it in. :frowning:

Hmmmmm … breakers must be installed in accordance with the device listing/labeling (NEC 110.3.B). I wonder if they are listed for that?

Not that I think it’s a big deal, or that an HI should get into a pissing match with an electrician … just playing devils advocate here. And an HI will usually defer to the electrician as the “expert” and leave it at that.


Hey Guys ( sorry dale…I would have jumped in sooner but something about a broken femur and in the hospital for few days slowed me down…lol )

I really do not have a problem with the labels as long as they can be read when the front cover is on.

A good case of atleast it IS labeled…how many do you find that are not…I am sure they are talking about combustible material within the enclosure…I would not be overly concerned about it…bad thing is since the breakers give off heat…chances are the labels will peel off faster leaving a unidentified breaker down the road possibly.

OK, but listed for what? Adding a label? I doubt you’ll find anything in writing for that in either case.