Paper tags inside the panel !!?

I opened a 100 amp distribution panel to find paper tags attached to conductors with string. I’ve never seen this before, but I don’t like the idea. I’m telling the client to have them removed, but am I supported by any documentation?

Naugle 035a.jpg

You’re definately supported by common sense. I’ll leave the NEC referencing the regulars…


That is very common with panels of that era. I think for the small amount of paper present there is no problem with it.
I think a lot of the more “commercial” guys did that back in the day.
Hey, at least the circuits are identified.

Also, that panel is extremely clean. The wiring could be straightened up a bit, but the panel itself is spotelss.

**Edit- Looking back at the pic I think the panel is newer than I originally thought. Must have been an old timer who did it. No one uses those tags any more.

second edit- typo

Double tapped Neutrals.

The big question is does it pose an electrical or safety problem. Personally, I wouldn’t call it out. Normally, what I see is that electricans use scrap pieces of the romex exterioral shealthing to label the individuall cable runs.

You could say that, but I’d disagree.

These paper tags are certainly not “listed components.” At the very least, should be reported as such, whether you feel they pose a hazard or not.

Jeff, we are typically on the same page but I gotta part with you here.

There is no restriction as to how much sheathing we leave on NM cable inside the panel. Only a minimum length.
There is quite a bit of paper in NM cable and I have seen some guys leave 6"+ sheathing so they can write on it.
That is no less of an issue than we have here.

You guys would really put this in a report?

I understand where you’re coming from Pete, but this is one of those situations (again) where the electrical “expert” has the latitude to call this “acceptable,” where (IMHO) the HI does not.

The paper inside NM is part of a listed component, these tags are not.

I agree I would not even consider calling this .
How many cables have we put on tags and plasic markers .
Most control panels have lots of prints left in them.
Roy Cooke

I wouldn’t.


No, I wouldn’t.
Sorry Jeff we just don’t see eye to eye on this one.:frowning:

Thanks for your “spirited” input. I understand (I think) the black and white of this. I’ve suggested that they have the paper tags removed as the breakers are labeled on the inside of the panel cover door.

I’ve been in Vegas and haven’t been visiting the board much :smile:

That’s okay.

This condition would not warrant a “needed” correction necessarily, but I wouldn’t consider it a “non-issue.”

At the very least, I would have reported the presence of the tags. After that, I’m not sure where I would have gone with it.

I agree with Jeff that it should be noted, the client should be aware that these paper tags are installed. In my opinion this can be a fire hazard and why would you want that phone call…

Note it and your covered…

I think if the tags had any form of metal on them, I would defenitely call it. If not, I don’t see a problem.

The NEC requires identification of conductors and circuits. One of the permitted methods is tagging. The method shown in this photo was very popular and is still used/permitted.

As HIs you should not write a report on a code permitted issue. That is one of the reasons that the world outside of HIs gets mad at HIs and then your industry reputation is sullied.
Remember that it takes quite a bit of energy to sustain a flame, and the paper itself while burning would not present enough energy to sustain a fire in the panel if the paper caught fire. The real problem at that point would be something entirely different and at that point it would probably be a fireman’s report ;).

Almost all of the new construction I’ve inspected has such tags inside the panel, especially when the panel is 200A or more. I’ve never found the tags on panels less than 200A. Probably has something to do with the number of circuits and the confusion that can result from all those circuits and wires.

Last year I did a large house that had five 200A panels in it, one main and four subpanels (just had to throw that in there :)). All of them had the wires tagged.

I would not include anything about the tagging in my reports.

I did one this spring where the circuit breakers had aluminum tags hanging on a string on them. I advised the buyer to remove them as dangling metal on the outside of any panel would not be the safest idea in the world. He agreed and then I opened the panel. **Every single wire had the same aluminum tags on them, including the 220 ones. ** It was one of the days I had forgot my camera.