Electrical panels and panel boards are to be fully contained without openings and gaps

A knockout in a junction box or circuit panel is a small, round piece of metal that gets, well, knocked out when wiring is installed. Someone wanted a hole on the panel to put wires in and changed their mind. or there were wires in that were taken out.

As a home inspector, I see them quite often. I call them out as hazardous, because a child could stick something into it, or sparks could shoot out if there should be a short circuit in the panel.

The fix is pretty straightforward; Measure the hole (because they come in different sizes), and subtract 3/8 of an inch. So if the hole is 7/8″, buy a 1/2″ plug. The plugs are hard to get in. Use a hammer.

The circuit breakers fill a rectangular hole. filling them is easy, if you have the panel manufacturer’s name and  serial number with you when you go to the store.

Remember; Always turn off the power when working around electrical wires.

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About the author

Joe has many years of experience as a Home Inspector. Joe is a proud member of ASHI, MAHI, WAHI & SAAR. He follows the Best Practices as described by the American Association of Home Inspectors and the Wisconsin Association of Home Inspectors. He is licensed in Wisconsin and is Radon Certified. Joe also complies with ASHI's Code of Ethics.

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