Painted over outlets and switches.

Is there anything in the NEC that prevents the switches and outlets from being painted over?

Thanks in advance


Here you go.

I would say that there is sufficient references to support a write up.

Russell,just curious but what is the issue you are worried about over this ?

Of all the outlets I have seen painted, none were done with care. Usually just a paint brush and gobs of paint, much of which has filled in the slots who knows how far. I can just see someone trying to clean the paint out with a nail or something else.

If I see them painted, I just recommend replacement since outlets are so inexpensive.

I recommend replacement only if like you said,the slot was compromised.
Around here I hired tons of painters for rental units and they always loved panting over them for cost cutting.

Just lower quality work and will leave more hand prints .The real issue is removing them once they have a few coats on the old ones,just like the panels.

It’s wrong and improper. Paint can continually get pushed into the receptable openings a create a fire hazard. The receptacles should be replaced, a little less concern with the switches as they only control flow, not provide it. Too inexpensive not to replace IMO.

Ross can you explain the process involved that they become a fire hazard?

I know you can find words from sites about it but on a real level you can gob most paint in and have no real problems other than a tough time pushing in the darn plug.
Sure I write it up but do not do anymore than suggest it be replaced.I leave the scary wordage out of it.
The idea is that paint can be flammable right?
OK but for any type of spark to occur what is the process and when or what conditions would it occur under.
Someone provide proof from a investigation that a fire ever occurred over this .

If paint keeps getting jammed into the slots and you keep using it the blades will get Loose, Loose connections heat up . Thus a fire hazard .JMO Other being a stupid idea . A good painter should be able to miss it.

Paint on receptacles as a cause for replacement if the receptacle is still functioning and usable…

You guys are kidding, right?

You have to wonder sometimes Joe. :roll:

If it tests OK and the paint is not blocking the holes I could care less.

That is why i said in the slots BTW

Most receptacles that I run across were jammed with paint and/or sprayed over… I will use the 3 bulb tester to push through and verify correct ground and polarity, but I do recommend replacement when they’ve done this.

The other “neat” thing I’ve been running into on these flipped homes is the “lack of quality” for receptacle and fixture replacement. The 3 bulb tester will say most of it’s fine… the suretest will show me that they’ve used neutrals for grounds on a 3 wire system… the connections are terrible at best and so on.

So sure… a neat and clean paint job on receptacles and switches, fine. How many times does that happen? My experience is that I need a chisel (insulated of course) to break the paint seal prior to testing.

Depends on the severity, I would make mention of it to protect yourself if something ever happened to the buyer because of it.