I use panelboard cover, switchgear or switchboard cover etc. I may have said “dead front” on occasion. I think they are pretty interchangeable in general terms without causing much confusion for the end user.
(I don’t think I have ever had the need to differentiate between the interior “trim” and cover in those two piece panel covers)
In Jeffery’s two photo’s the first one would still permit someone to reach in and potentially be shocked. We would call that center piece the trim. The panel cover would go over it as in the second photo. Could just be a regional thing but no one I’ve ever worked with calls anything the dead front. If you want to be really technical the panelboard is the interior part with the bus and the breakers. The enclosure is actually a cabinet. The cover can attach to either the cabinet, the panelboard, or both.
I am going to differ somewhat with Robert, i consider the first photo from Jeff as a deadfront since it blocks straight on access to live parts. The part installed and shown in photo 2 shows the panel cover in place.
I consider a residential panel to only have a cover.
I have always considered those shown, exactly as how Jim describes them.
That is why I chose those photos. I was curious how others describe them.
I see Robert’s POV, but now seeing Jims in writing, I feel good about what I’ve been writing.
Thanks to both of you for your expert opinions.
Good article. The industry calls it neither a cover nor dead front, but simply a “front” for the purpose of providing a “dead front”.
The ‘fronts’ or ‘trims’ are available in both surface-mounted and flush-mounted design. Fronts for smaller lighting and distribution panelboards are often one piece and include a ‘door-in-door’ design with a flush latch and lock assembly. Larger panelboards may use a three-piece design. Both the door-in-door and three-piece design provide a ‘dead-front’ to prevent exposure to live components.
Often I’m lazy and I don’t remove the inner cover when testing the panel to see if it’s energized so I know from experience that you can still access the live parts. We typically use hinged outer covers so you only need to remove a few screws from one side and you can hinge it open without removing the entire cover. This allows you to stick your hands in there around the inner cover to take the voltage measurement or get a nice shock in the process if you’re not careful.