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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
Is 110.12(C) violated when equipment is spray painted with graffiti?

What if the label or nameplate is painted?

110.12(C) Integrity of Electrical Equipment and Connections. Internal parts of electrical equipment, including busbars, wiring terminals, insulators, and other surfaces, shall not be damaged or contaminated by foreign materials such as paint, plaster, cleaners, abrasives, or corrosive residues. There shall be no damaged parts that may adversely affect safe operation or mechanical strength of the equipment such as parts that are broken; bent; cut; or deteriorated by corrosion, chemical action, or overheating.

Do you work in areas where vandalism is a problem?

I can remember once when the service was completely torn off of a a building just after it was completed so that the equipment could be sold!

An inspector I once knew from Hoboken, NJ said he always asked the electrical contractor to be on the job the day they finished, so he could have the utility company hook it up!

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
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Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,056
The next time I get a new house job or a large addition where paint will be sprayed, I am going to stuff paper towels in the recessed cans to keep overspray out.
I tried to clean it off and it was very tedious without solvent.
Does anyone take the time to clean off this paint?

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 558
Pieces of insulation work pretty good to keep the paint out Redsy. We always stuff some in each can.


Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,056
Thanks, ga.!

Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
I don't think vandals abide by the rules of the NEC, therefore graffiti on equipment is not a violation.

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,749
[Linked Image]

Found in Minneapolis, MN

[Linked Image]

No sure, I think this was taken in someone's home in Los Angeles?

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
This reminds me of riding Amtrak into Chicago from the east. When I came in on that line in 1995 almost every trackside box along the Gary-Hammond-Whiting-Chicago corridor seemed to be covered with spray paint.

You see the same coming into London from Heathrow airport by train. [Linked Image]

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 173
If vandalism were <i>that</i> much of a problem I'D MOVE!

IMO it's the painters problem and responsibility to mask off anything that shouldn't get painted. In most cases they do.
If they are painting a boiler room do they just spray right over the boiler, circulators, etc.? No. Should we have to stuff insulation in every can and box instead of the painter doing his job? You would never catch me cleaning paint off the inside of a hi-hat. I'd call the painter and let him do it.

Speedy Petey

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." -Albert Einstein
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,081

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
I had to laugh when I saw this topic.

I had been emailing with Joe Tedesco and mentioned I installed a 3R panel outside on a Friday and it had graffiti on it by Monday morning. [Linked Image]

Joe sent me an email back with a link to here. [Linked Image]

For my particular case no NEC violations, the panel has absolutely no markings on the outside.

Luckily you need a key to open the door and see the nameplates.

The GC has since cleaned the graffiti and I imagine the panel will be painted to match the building finish. (at least till the next tagging) [Linked Image]


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
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