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What's Wrong with this Picture: Precarious Positioning

Electrical Box Under Pipe

Electrical Box with Inspection Stickers

Electrical Box Under Pipe

Electrical Box with Inspection Stickers

ANSWER: Drain line too close to electrical panel

At first glance, this looks like an ordinary electrical panel. Upon closer inspection, this ordinary electrical panel becomes a major life-safety hazard. The white PVC piping above the electrical panel is actually a drain line, and the dead end of the drain line is a clean-out. If the clean-out leaks at all, guess where it will drip… Right onto the electrical panel. If this happens, the best case scenario would be replacement of the electrical panel. Some experts also recommend replacement of associated wiring, as a “wicking” effect could occur, which happens when water soaks its way up the sheathing of a wire, which can create dangerous rust or deterioration. To eliminate the potential safety hazard, the panel should be re-located by a qualified licensed electrician.

Moving on to the second picture, this potentially dangerous situation has apparently been approved in a municipal inspection, as evidenced by the stickers on the main panel cover. This is a great example of how a home inspection is helpful, even when code or other municipal inspections have taken place.