Small amount of rust in panel (no holes)

How many of ya’ll call this out, put it as informational or just don’t add it to the report? I am doing mock inspections and curious how I should handle this. There are no visible holes in the panel nor does the rust look brittle to the touch.

Any rust on breaker terminals or buss bars? Looks like the SEC comes in at the bottom corner. Could be water entering from the exterior through the conduit or damage to exterior SEC insulation allowing water inside the jacket.

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no the interior looks fine.This is in a storage room under a carport. This is a coastal area with elevated buildings.

thanks for that observation! That helps me come to some sort of conclusion. Unfortunately I could not see the SEC from the outside as the meter is directly behind this panel

The bus bar fingers, among other terminations, don’t look too good from here, pretty corroded.

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Ya, there is a bit of corrosion, not too much. This is a mock inspection. It has already been inspected recently and the seller let me do a “post inspection” for practice. He didnt even open the panels (the panel screws were basically welded on from the corrosion)

I’m not sure why you keep saying “not too much”, I would call that panel out! you don’t need a lot of corrosion to cause all sorts of issues. You can see the corrosion going inside the breakers where it could be the biggest issue, the breakers may not trip properly or at all. I would let an electrician “okay” it.


That panel is in poor condition and needs to be reviewed by an electrician - there is water coming in and corrosion on all components from the pictures you provided. Keep in mind that the electrical panel is the most important safety device in the house and if the components inside the panel become corroded or rusted they may not function as intended when needed and that is a hazard.


This panel is outside the home in a carport, if I am reading it correctly. Should it not be a weatherproof box?
I would do as the others and suggest repair of replacement.



The main electric service panels exhibits rust and corrosion. This could lead to further deterioration and become a contact and safety hazard. Have a qualified electrical contractor further evaluate and make all necessary repairs.

quick and simple? I am in North Carolina so implication is needed


Looks like a good comment from here.


Sorry, it is in a storage room under the carport (the house is on pilings). Thanks for your feedback. I am trying to learn the difference between being picky and being thorough. Electrical has always been something I take serious, so I don’t think you can be thorough enough is what I am getting from these posts. This is a home that has a 200cl meter outside that goes to 2 different 200 main breaker service panels

Thanks. I have only opened 20 of these and have never seen rust like this. I can now see why this is a safety issue thanks to everyone’s input.

Although many inspectors don’t include it, it should always be. It helps the client determine what to do about the observation and how to prioritize it. If you just tell the client the panel is corroded, fix it. It means absolutely nothing other than to fix it. The client does not know the urgency of it. Can it wait? does it have to be done now? can we live with it?


that panel does not look ‘fine’ from Ohio.


Looks like the last 2 panels I inspected, both had water in them when I took the cover off, O yes I recommended a qualified electrician as should you Nikki in your mock report

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Hey Nikki,
Early on, I felt reluctance to call out minor stuff, I was super afraid to kill a deal. Over time I became more aware of the importance of calling out things that were on the bubble. I’d rather be wrong about something in a panel and have an electrician prove me wrong than have a panel fail after I said it was fine.
Truth is, most buyers are not going have an electrician, a roofer, a plumber and anyone else we recommend come out. I don’t “kill” deals - the property does.


Looks like a defect and a recommendation of further evaluation from a licensed electrician all the way from NC.

Thanks so much for your response

Thanks so much for your response. I’m in Northeast NC. Trying to find the happy medium of what is picky and what is a must. Some things that look really bad to me are sometimes very common. I have a lot of studying and things to see still