main panel cover

I just did a reinspection on a 4 plex that needed gfci updates at required areas.

Also the main panel covers were not the correct size and left gaps around the breakers where the main lugs and breaker terminals were exposed. Anywhere from a 1/4 to a 1/2 inch.

The licensed electrician installed the gfcis to correct that issue.

To correct the panel issue, he used metal tape (foil hvac tape) to cover the gaps. Instead of replacing the panel and / or cover since the 1970 or 80 panel covers were not available (or easily available ) He claims that this is an acceptable method.

Or should it be repaired/fabricated with equivalent rigid sheet metal or plastic just like a breaker knock out insert?
Or replaced with a proper cover or a new panel.

Any thoughts?

This is also posted in the electrical forum.

Email Jeff Pope direct.

HVAC tape does not sould like the right fix, though.

Not an acceptable repair IMO, the tape could easily be probed, deteriorate etc. It needs a new cover end of story…

Tell him to write it up and attach it to your report(unprofessional repairs). End of story, his problem, not yours. I would also tell the client, I would find it unacceptable, but he is the license holder.

I believe that you will find that the NEC says openings in the panel should be covered and has a (not with tape) clarifier

I would never argue with a license holder, it is not worth the effort. By attaching the documentation you are placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of the license holder, it leaves you in a much better position. It is better than arguing with them. Here is the trick, they will not document it when they know they are wrong. It leaves you waiting for the documentation most of the time and then the client is upset with them, not you. This is especially true with four points.

Just ask them to document what they did to fix the problem(s). List the repairs(ie., tape, bubble gum and unprofessional) take some pictures and move forward. You will only loose credibility by arguing, quoting code can get you in bigger trouble, even when you are right.

Anytime manufacturer specs are altered it becomes an issue if not corrected properly.

Thanks for the feedback. Greatly appreciated.

Now that is a good answer.

In the past 2 weeks I’ve had 3 old Wadsworths missing the inner deads.
They can’t be bought at any price. Have to be made.

GFCI’s are a defect ?

Tom, are you asking if the lack of GFCI protection is a defect with regards to the 4 point?


I think he is…and so would I.

I probably wasn’t real clear on my original post.

The GFCI were updated after the home inspection. Originally they were standard outlets at the sinks. 1968 building.

The question was on the panel cover correction that the electrician made after the inspection. They were mismatched to the panel box leaving gaps where you could easily touch the main lugs and breaker terminals. The electrician used metal tape to cover the gaps. GIT R DONE:shock:

I got a lot of good clarifications on this forum and the electrical forum (from our very helpful membership). I also called my county electrical code inspector, another electrician, and an electrical supply house salesman for their opinions.

I think I’m all set on info at this point;-). Thanks for the help.
I’m going to do the 3 point and put it back to the electrician to explain his repair as others on this forum suggested. (List as unprofessional repairs and move on as John S. suggested).

For GFCIs on a home inspection I currently state they should be anywhere there is the possibility for water, including the usual places, ext, garage, laundry, kit, and baths.

For GFCIs on a four point I answer if there is any(yes or No) and then list the areas. ie., baths, kit, garage ect.

For a four point I am just telling the insurance company where they are and on the home inspection I am advising my client where they are now and where they should be for current standards.

I agree its a safety device that should be present and I always recommend them, in the Citizens 4 point form, which I use, there is no direct mention of them. Why not? Maybe, and this is just my thoughts, is that depending on the circumstances involving the home, such as date it was permitted and built or whether or not there have been updates to the electrical system which would now necessitate the devices existence, could be a factor in why that particular question never made the form? Again this is strictly a guess on my part. I know I have done many, many with this particular form and have never made mention of them and no one has ever questioned it.


The repair is improper. If they cannot find a proper cover, the panel has to be replaced because the assembly is no longer UL rated.

As others have said, have the guy put it in writing that the repair is code compliant. Don’t hold your breath waiting for it though!

Because there is no requirement, at least here that I am aware of in the NEC, that a home that was built prior to the code has to be upgraded.

And, on a 4-point…upgrade is a very big word! :wink:

Yes, that’s correct. And regarding the word “upgrade” you are again correct. The simple use or lack thereof of that word can be the deciding factor on whether someone is insured or not. Sad part is no one has ever come up with a clear cut definition for “upgrade” as it pertains to this form.


Yea, but there sure are a lot of forms floating around! :wink: :wink: