Oil? in panel box

Aside from the corrosion present in the picture there was an oil like substance that appeared to be splashed on the wires and was dripping. Any idea what that would be from? There was no visible entry point for the substance

It looks like rust from here and that the water may be coming from the SEC entrance to the panel board.

Do you have a shot of the whole panel board?

Someone could have put some sort of oil in there as to try to stop the rusting…Just a guess.
Not to mention an improperly breaker loaded panel.

Why do you say the breakers are installed improperly ?

Was this panel wired in conduit ?

Isn’t the breakers panel unbalanced all on one side?

Actually the circuits alternate AØ-BØ, AØ-BØ, etc. so you could use only one side if you wanted to.

Every other breaker is on the opposite leg from the one above or below it. Panels do not use a left right orientation of the bus stabs.

Did you check the top of the meter outside for a good seal? I’ve found the “weatherproof” connectors often not to be, and often require duct seal to keep rain running down the main cable from entering the meter box. From there water can drip from the top to bottom conductors and be drawn all the way into the panel by capillary action. I’ve observed that once it gets in, water tends to find a way.

Thinking the same thing too. No reason for oil like substance to be there unless it was added…possible in an attempt to stop the rusting.

Might be transformer oil (possible PCB’s). Leaking from a bad light ballast, transformer etc.

if it’s OIL like substance it could also possibly be Plasticizer as well. Really depends on the prolonged loads, ambient temps and condition of use. The theory of Plasticizer is a complicated one to understand.

Doubt that is actually the problem…but figured it was worth mentioning.

How is it leaking all the way back to the panel? Normally it drips into the ballast cover and stops there.

When was the last time you saw a ballast with PCB’s?