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#30335 - 10/16/03 04:53 PM Panel color
sparked Offline

Registered: 09/23/03
Posts: 101
Loc: Raleigh
Why is it that all service panels and disconnects I see (except for Cutler hammer, I think) are gray? I was thinking that it maybe makes it heat resistant or something ???? This one has always puzzled me. Anyone know the backgound on the colors?

9Edited because I put some test stuff at the bottom of this message)

[This message has been edited by sparked (edited 10-16-2003).]

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#30336 - 10/16/03 07:03 PM Re: Panel color
classicsat Offline

Registered: 11/23/02
Posts: 449
I've seen them yellow-beige, tan-beaige, off-white. Oh yes, they were rather contemporary Canadian FPE panels.

#30337 - 10/16/03 07:33 PM Re: Panel color
Electric Eagle Offline

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
I don't know the history, but it would be nice if we had a choice of colors. Or, how about a panel cover that looked like a cabinet door.

#30338 - 10/17/03 09:14 AM Re: Panel color
ElectricAL Offline

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 615
Loc: Minneapolis, MN USA

That puts me in mind of Square D's Trilliant line that was rolled out in '90 or '91. It had a cover with hidden hinges
for sleek styling
and a selection of colored inserts for the cover, black, white & almond.

The product line evidently sank like a stone. A search of today's SqD web site on Trilliant brought up exactly one document, 16 pages, with an oblique reference on only one line.
Al Hildenbrand

#30339 - 10/17/03 12:10 PM Re: Panel color
Mike Wescoatt Offline

Registered: 06/17/01
Posts: 164
Loc: Cedar City, Utah
At this point I think Grey is preferred to the white that the painters made a couple of my panels... Door, case, breakers, wires... They didn't mask it off to well. The replacement of the 2 panels may cost more than what they were paid to repaint the rooms. They are required to pay to fix their mistake.
Mike Wescoatt

#30340 - 10/17/03 01:30 PM Re: Panel color
HotLine1 Offline


Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 6829
Loc: Brick, NJ USA
For what it's worth, the big box stores are advertizing "Appliance white" panels. I didn't pay a lot of attention, but they come with a few branch CB's as a package.

Besides the "old" CH "beige", I only remember good old gray. (Except for the galv back boxes)

I have to mention to my clients that switchgear is going to be available in decorator colors soon, and "are they interested"??

Heck, the wife of one real estate co. owner may read this, and I'll be in trouble!!


#30341 - 10/17/03 01:46 PM Re: Panel color
SvenNYC Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 1685
Loc: New York City
Considering that many people paint right over the fuse & breaker boxes in their apartments, the manufacturers probably see no sense in "wasting money" putting out multiple colour lines.

The breaker box (about 30 or 40 years old) in my mom's 1949 apartment building is encrusted with coats of paint so that the catch is jammed and the door doesn't swing down fully.

The door to the old fuse box in my 1940s building is also encrusted with paint. The electricians turned it into a junction box (with the stupid door still swinging wide open so you can see the wires) when they wired in the new breaker box with additional 20 amp service.

The General Electric-brand breaker box in my flat is still its factory grey but I've been in other apartments where the residents -- including my friend across the hallway -- have just painted RIGHT OVER the silly thing (obscuring the labels and everything)!!!

In my friend's defense, though, she moved in and the place was already painted, so I can't accuse her of painting the panel door. But when she decides to repaint I guess there's no choice but to paint over the existing paint....

[This message has been edited by SvenNYC (edited 10-17-2003).]

#30342 - 10/17/03 02:36 PM Re: Panel color
sparked Offline

Registered: 09/23/03
Posts: 101
Loc: Raleigh
20 amp service

I hope you meant 200 amp service

So they someimes come in decorator colors? That's new to me. I didnt word the first post well. What I'd like to know is why pnels and service equipment are that exacxt shade of gray?

ElectricAl, this could be why the line died out:

#30343 - 10/17/03 03:38 PM Re: Panel color
Trumpy Offline


Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8552
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Or, how about a panel cover that looked like a cabinet door.

Panels are getting hard enough now, to find in houses, without disguising them as other things.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#30344 - 10/19/03 09:11 PM Re: Panel color
Big Jim Offline

Registered: 07/18/03
Posts: 377
Loc: Denver, CO USA
Gray is a pretty universal primer color. Since paint doesn't qualify as corrosion protection, they just want to cover everything with a surface that will likely be painted anyway. A $3 can of spray paint and a little masking tape will give you about any shade you want. Service entrance equipment can be made to almost disappear if painted the same color as the house. I've always been suprised by people who do a nice job on the load center in the pantry and leave all that ugly gray stuff on the outside wall.

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