Paint inside the switch boxes and receptacles

I did a new construction inspection 2 days ago, and there was paint all over the interior of each box.
Does anyone know if this is a have any violation and have information I could borrow?

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I’ve never seen new construction that didn’t have paint in the boxes. No violation as far as I’, concerned. Surprised it’s not full of drywall mud as well.

If you can’t distinguish white from black from red, then it’s a problem. Perhaps you could scratch the paint and tell the color of the conductors, though. As long as you can figure out the colors of the wires, then it should be OK.

just the way it is Pete…

I always wonder about that question ,but I guess it is not ok to have over spray in main panel because the breaker sparks may ignite flammable material , which paint, is.
In the junction box it is assumed the wire caps are in place with twisted wires ,so there is no chance of sparking.

If that is the case I still worry if the outlet is not on AFCI because with no paint inside the box I personally think the chances of a spark igniting something flammable are much far less.
Nothing is perfect, and it is common sense that outlets have shorts with no harm, other than a tripped breaker and a smoke mark, most of the time ,thank goodness.

NEC 110.12© is about the closest you will get.

**[FONT=Times-Bold]size=2 Integrity of Electrical Equipment and Connections.
**[/size][/FONT][FONT=Times-Roman][size=2]Internal parts of electrical equipment, including busbars,
wiring terminals, insulators, and other surfaces, shall not be
damaged or contaminated by foreign materials such as
paint, plaster, cleaners, abrasives, or corrosive residues.
There shall be no damaged parts that may adversely affect
safe operation or mechanical strength of the equipment
such as parts that are broken; bent; cut; or deteriorated by
corrosion, chemical action, or overheating.

FWIW the paint can be removed by scraping with a fingernail.

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I am with Bob on this one, The paint could ignite or make the box burn faster because it is flammable. When we install new main service panels, The black plywood that is installed behind the panel is sprayed with a special non-ignitable paint. We buy these sheets of plywood at an electrical supplyhouse. For almost 15 years, I would go to home depot and buy a sheet of 3/4 plywood for 13 bucks and cut it up into 4-2x4 sections and spray it with my own paint until this code came out. And the reason why I just can’t buy non flammable paint is that their is a sticker on the plywood that I buy from the supplyhouse saying that it complies with code. And the elect inspectors in N.J. would make me send them the UL rating on the can of paint to make sure it complies.Too much of a hassle. Sorry to get off subject. Rick

Hey at least they didn’t fill the boxes with drywall mud :slight_smile:

yeah…I would not loose any sleep over the condition you have shown as it pertains to the switch boxes as you have shown here. Now a panelboard and panel enclosure…we got issues…a little spay in a switch box I would not worry about it as long as the conductors are clearly identified.

Most interior paint is latex, is water based and therefore isn’t “flammable”. Far less “flammable” than the wire nuts or plastic sheathing on the conductors themselves.

Gotta give you that one.

so breaker overspray is OK too ?
Might become the new fad as insulation.

Overspray on the bus bars is a different issue, which can affect the conductivity of the metal at the breaker to bus connection, creating resistance and excess heat.

So the issue is not the paint being flammable as much as the over spray can interfere with ability of the components to conduct and cause electrons to squeeze through a smaller space creating the same effect as a 14 gauge wire trying to handle the job of a a 30 amp circuit possibly.

Would that be what you mean?

These fix this problem entirely

What do you mean by “Violation”? There shouldn’t be paint inside the box. When I did residential electrical work, I always put tape over box openings if I didn’t know the drywallers or painters. They can’t be trusted.

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Blow and go paint contractors.

I always just cram newspaper in them.

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new construction
Write it up!
Jim Port just provided you with the reasons why.
Thanks Jim. Happy to see you here.

The builder provided you with the reasons why. They, the painters, should be taken to task for this.

First let’s note the hazard that doesn’t exist: fire. Latex paints are water-based and have flash points in excess of 200° F (93º C). So the concerns of fire, explosion and vapors travelling to an ignition source in your shop are minimal. But realize some of the additives in latex paint will burn if a flame is put to them, especially when the paint is being sprayed as a mist. So don’t throw caution completely to the wind.

All OK up there is cold country Robbie?
Jim Port “just provided” the response almost ten years ago.
Feb 16, '10 9:41 AM