Painted receptacles

By
Home Inspector with Charles Buell Inspections Inc.

     On yesterday's inspection I was reminded of a common electrical issue---painted receptacles.  Receptacles should NOT be painted.  When they are painted the surface of the receptacle from prong-to-prong can become "conductive" and internal components can be adversely affected by the paint.  And, depending on the components in the paint, the paint can become very conductive (high metal content---old lead based paint etc).  Sometimes receptacles get painted because of the desire to have the receptacles "disappear" into the overall color of the wall.  Other times they end of painted because people are just too lazy to properly protect the outlets during painting or where frequent "economy-painting" is done---like for rental properties.  It is very difficult to adequately clean painted receptacles, and I usually call for them to be replaced.

     Here are a couple of heavily "painted" receptacles.  In the first picture the receptacle has been caulked & painted---perhaps as an attempt stop air infiltration.  Sometimes it is difficult to determine the "why" of a defect.  The picture on the right shows a receptacle in an older home that has been painted many, many times.caulked receptacleheavily painted old receptacle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    In this next picture the GFCI receptacle has been painted to the point that the test buttons were no longer functional.red painted gfci

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Thanks for looking,

Charles Buell

www.buellinspections.com

 

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Tags:
electrical issues
painted receptacles
shoreline home inspectors
seattle home inspectors
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Comments 3 New Comment

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Rainmaker
570,044
Bill Gillhespy
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos
16 Sunview Blvd
Charles,  Thanks for the heads-up on this.  Didn't know it was a safety issue as I have painted many of them !
January 14, 2008 01:04 PM
Rainmaker
570,044
Bill Gillhespy
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos
16 Sunview Blvd
Charles,  Thanks for the heads-up on this.  Didn't know it was a safety issue as I have painted many of them !
January 14, 2008 01:04 PM
Rainmaker
1,172,646
Steven L. Smith
Bellingham WA Home Inspector
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc
I find it shocking (pun intended) when they paint the GFCI's so the buttons are stuck in place. That is really helpful.
January 14, 2008 11:33 PM
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My blog is intended to provide information related to home inspections in Seattle, surrounding communities and anyone else interested. Sometimes I will provide information that has nothing to do with home inspections. Enjoy!

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