Wire corrosion

Found this and it seems very strange given all the circumstances.
2002 model home in a development. In the electrical panel every single branch wire ,neutral, ground, main conductors are black. Only thing that is not black is one new branch installed and obvious it’s not original. Pulled outlets and switches in every room and all are clean. Fixtures are clean.
No corrosion inside air handler. The outlets in garage are clean and no discoloration on top of water heater. Drywall in attic says Palatka, Fl
Exterior has been repainted. So narrowing it down to maybe the irrigation has high sulfur and gotten into the panel? It is on an exterior garage wall.
Garage door faces North so if maybe open during watering ? Just looking for input. Buyers are real leary.



Wayne, how did the house smell?

2002 was b4 the **** hit.

Irrigation can’t do that.

I would call the best and most experienced local electric contractor for help on this.

I had the same thing in a 2004 house, panel only in garage but no drywall in garage, shut the main down and scraped the wire and it flaked off so its not corrosion, just tarnishing, but I attributed to the reclaimed water or something owner was storing in garage. Sparky will need to pull all wiring, sand it down to get to copper and reinstall. Irrigation can do that Pete, as can sewer gas on vacant homes. I’ve got the pics and inspections to prove it.

The house did have a smell of light cigarette smoke. Could not say that there was a def smell of rotten eggs or anything. There were cabinets for storage in the garage all around the panel. Looked for any sign of chemical storage. Very well could have been but no obvious sign. I do have the electrical contractor’s number who installed the panel from his decal on the front.

Did you check other portions of the home?

Just a thought… http://epi.publichealth.nc.gov/oii/pdf/methlab.pdf

Thanks everyone for all the input. Thanks to Marvin for the phone call and more insight.

If it’s an underground service, it sounds like sulfur gases from ground water entering through the riser below the meter and then flowing into the panel through the conduit. The top of the riser is supposed to be sealed to prevent this, but that rarely happens.

I’ve seen this many times.

Thanks Mark,

Makes perfect sense

@wayne: is it a u/g service?

Yes it is, sorry forgot to mention that

Is the property in a gated community? I have found similar corrosion possibly linked to charging the golf cart too close to the main panel.

Damned sulfuric acid fumes will do it every time!

Not a golf course community

In Minnesota, all the farmers drive quads everywhere. All the townies drive golf carts. Has nothing to do with how far away the course is. Just sayin’.

Note: yes, “all” is an exaggeration. Closer to the truth would be… “all that do”.

Pretty sure we have covered all possible scenarios and golf carts/communities. Guess I would know since I live in one but thanks for playing.

An update for all interested and contributed to this post. Heard back from the Realtor saying they did send out a sample of drywall per request of the buyer and it came back negative. After talking to the owner in depth about the issue he stated that no chemicals or batteries ,golf carts etc were ever stored. The only thing he could think of was a few years ago lightning hit that side of the home. So at this point we have narrowed it down to Sulfer water in the irrigation or the lightning.

Thanks Wayne for the reply… Roy

Just curious… was that lightning strike in the Disclosure? Or did the seller claim “Oh, I forgot about it”. How the heck do you forget something like that!?!

He just all of the sudden recalls it when really pressed for answers on the panel. The owners are elderly so we have to give them some slack. The sale is going forward and we have all worked together to find answers beyond speculation. Funny thing is after the inspection the garage and panel was the last item. The home just had some minor maint issues and then there was the panel that would be the deciding factor.