Removing the deadfront

I have a question about removing the dead front to the service panel. I had tried to look through old forums but didn’t really find anything,

My question is that it says in the SOP as follows
The inspector shall inspect:
F. service-entrance conductors;
G. the main service disconnect;
H. panelboards and over-current protection devices (circuit breakers and fuses);

Then it says the following
IV. The inspector is not required to:
C. remove panelboard cabinet covers or dead fronts.

I guess I’m a bit confused that it says we are to inspect the main disconnect and breakers and fuses but then it says we are not required to remove the deadfront. I think most H.I’s do open it but just looking for feedback on this on what is required and what is not.

I am located in Ontario, Canada so I am trying to see what the standards are here.


I can’t speak specifically to Ontario as I am in the US but it is saying that you shall (read MUST) inspect those items. One could argue (and I am sure he will) that you can inspect all of those items without removing the cover. Would I consider that a good inspection, no, but it could be done.

The next statement says that you are NOT REQUIRED (read, we can’t force you). Basically if the panel is safe to open you should do so. If conditions exist that make you believe the panel is unsafe to access then you have a way out.

I am going to go make some popcorn for when this thread turns into the other 10 threads in this section relating to opening panels. Good thing your not in Ohio.


what Mike said…


Thanks Mike and James, that makes sense.

I guess still being new I need to find a way to start practicing on opening up the front panel in a safe way. Not sure, maybe I will need to call another HI who is willing to let me practice. I wish there was a House of Horrors closer to me :smile:


Always use the dead front as a shield. Wear safety glasses.
Do the NACHI electrical courses.
They have all the info you will ever need.
Here are good ones.

I took the first course but you make a good point, I will take the advanced course as well and go from there,.
Thanks for the other tips as well Roy.

I just finished the advanced course and it’s awesome. Explains so much more, with visual explanations, than the residential one. Highly recommend.

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You need to look at your local government requirements, if there are any. Here in Maryland the state SOP says: (5) Interior components of service panels and subpanels; So I have to do that unless it is unsafe or inaccessible and if so I need to document the reason.

Unless there’s an apparent safety concern or no proper/safe access,
I make it a regular part of my inspection & remove all panel covers.
Just IGNORE non-member parks with his inane BS. :cowboy_hat_face:

Ok awesome, I will get started on it. Thanks

Ontario currently does not have regulations but they have been talking about it for some time now.

Removing panel covers is way too scary and against the law.

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I did more than 3,000 inspections in Ontario over ten years. I always removed the panel cover
( I hate the term DEAD Front BTW) unless there was an obvious safety concern or the panel cover was obstructed by framing, storage etc.
So what is an obvious safety concern?" Burn marks, for example.


In the state of Virginia, we are required by the licensing SOP to inspect the “Interior components of service panels and sub panels, including feeders.”

You forgot your emoji, Joshua. :lying_face:

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I can’t image my client getting his $ worth if the cover wasn’t open.


worth repeating…

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I agree with Larry. There is too much hidden by the panel cover to not remove it and try to inspect the service with it still in place.

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ok what am I doing wrong ? I tried to hilight Grampa Kage’s response and reply worth repeating and it dissapeared…".worth repeating" is a bit lame when nothing shows up to repeat…

The only thing I can say to those who do not remove the panel cover is:
The things I have seen in panels is mind blowing and it is the customer that is really missing out on much needed info.

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