I’ve had a couple of electrical panels painted shut…how do you handle that?
I carry a blade or utility knife pretty much everywhere I go. The painted shut I’ve not run into(assuming you mean the access door), however, I have had the dead front painted to the wall. I run a utility knife down edges, trying not to dig into the drywall.
If it’s too roached, you can often find replacement dead fronts and you can recommend it. I have only ever had to replace commercial dead fronts because of the musical chair electrical bingo that happens in factories. When you’ve removed too many knockouts and there’s a bunch of empty breaker slots, it’s just easier to replace the front.
Take box cutter and carefully score the paint around the perimeter of the dead front and each screw. Be sure to take a picture of the cover before and after and clean up any loose paint shavings. Never had to ask an owner or had any complaints. Just a PIA part of the job.
I just didn’t feel comfortable doing it from a liability stand point. What if I don’t cut all the paint and a piece sheet rock/paper tears off? I told the seller to do it and I charged $100 reinspection. I can only imagine the seller coming home and seeing the panel and chipped up screws and him saying …WTF.
There’s lots of things on any job that don’t exactly make me comfortable and plenty of liability if you screw up. If you want to stay in business you have to just suck it up and do it or suffer the bad press.
I have had a few where sheetrock mud was just overwhelmingly thick. But paint? Never really an issue. The edge of the panel is a perfect straight edge which makes an invisible cut very easy. Take a deep breath, move slowly and deliberately, and all will be well.
I’m with you on this or similar conditions. In those cases, I inspect the panel with the cover in place and disclaim the interior.
I’ve had covers that are unsafe to remove. Those I disclaim and refer to an electrician.
It’s your business and your call. Liability for damage is a legitimate concern. It can become an issue if the seller is looking for a way to get back at you for a home with lots of reported issues.
If it is more than just a thin paint coat, I have sent a text to the listing agent asking for permission to cut out the dead front. Text is great because you have a written record.
Make sure you have a fresh blade in your utility knife and put down a towel on the floor below the panel to make clean up easier. Take pics before and after.
While there is a lot of sheath left on the bottom cable it appears to meet the requirement for 6 inches of free conductor outside the sheath.
Carefully cut the paint with a sharp knife and inspect the panel
I open all panels regardless.
I just had one that had so many coats of paint on the screws they looked like rivets, I was gonna have chisel the paint off. It was gonna be mess. I think the seller will rip sh!t if i start chiseling paint off his panel. Again they are upset enough have a stranger rip though their house.
Not sure about the bad press…most of the agents have understood. The seller can cut it open and I came back charged $100 reinspection. Its not that I’m “afraid” I think my rule of thumb will be if its one coat no problem…multiple coats and I have chisel the screws I will pass.
Charging extra and making two trips to do the job you were there to do in the first place will get you a bad review im my part of town. Most of these people have a limited time frame to complete this inspection. Won’t be helpful if you stretch it out.
I personally would have done it.Your electrical panel is. A big part and an important part of an inspection.
I agree with Roy that all accessible panels should be inspected. Many years ago, like 18 give or take a year, I used to call the LA and ask permission to remove a cover that was painted over, not anymore, for years now, I pull out my leathermans tool, score the paint around the cover, scrape off the screws, and open it up.
Yeah, those suck. Not sure what people are thinking sometimes.
Probably only if the deal falls through, lol. Otherwise, they will be happy you did it and they didn’t have to (as long as you do a half-ways decent job of it anyway).