Scorch marks at AFC I breakers

Lately I have noticed a lot of scorching on the inside of the electrical panel cover at AFC I breaker locations. Given how often I see it, I’m curious if it is worth writing up as I have been doing. Is this just something that happens because they run hotter?

No, it’s not common. What do you mean by see this a lot? I have rarely seen that, especially at AFCI Breakers.

1 Like

It looks like ghosting, not scorching.


Are those really scorch marks? Looks more like some type of dirt or soot from the photo.

1 Like

I see it routinely as well. It seems that some AFCI & GFCI breakers emit a small flash and a little puff of smoke when tested. That is why I only test them with the dead front cover on.

1 Like

Interesting. Can you name any particular brands? I’ve never noticed that.

No, I haven’t noticed it was any one brand more frequently.

Can you explain that please?

Look up ghosting on walls or ceilings.

Air currents carry particulates, dust or soot and it sticks to certain surfaces or areas. Temperature and condensation factor in as well.

I’m running through in my head how a remove a panel cover and I don’t really ever look at the back. I just take it off and lean it against the wall below the panel. Hmm… guess I’ll have to start looking at the back.


And that particular brand is Square D, considered to be one of the best. Thanks for posting that.