Using a pencil to label a panel directory

Martin B

Member
Location
Nebraska
I had a discussion with an older co worker about labeling circuits in the panel directory. The panel we where adding a circuit to was an older GE THQB type, I think put in about twenty years ago. When it was originally installed the electrician labeled the circuits in the panel directory by hand using a pen. I'm sure it looked nice and professional back then. Since then there have been circuits changed and removed and added so now the panel directory is a mess. I mentioned that if we where allowed to use pencil one could simply erase the directory entry and write in the new one.

My question is whats wrong with using pencil? My co worker said we are only allowed to use pen or some other permanent marking. I think a pencil mark is permanent enough, it wont disrepair by itself.

Our customer will not pay us to make a new panel directory. We would have trace out 1/2 the circuits just to know where they go.

Is this a code issue or a workmanship issue or both ???

P.S.
I take pride in my work and don't like it to look like crap. But I feel we left the panel directory looking like crap.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
There is no NEC requirement for pen that I know of.


As far as changes I carry white out in the truck just for that purpose. Also can repair ceiling tiles with it in a pinch.

 

Martin B

Member
Location
Nebraska
Thanks guys. I feel kind stupid for not thinking of the whiteout idea. I could have went to the front desk and asked the secretary for some,,,problem solved!
 

junkhound

Senior Member
Location
Renton, WA
White paper tape is your friend.

re: We would have trace out 1/2 the circuits just to know where they go. Pretty labor intensive that, eh?

Made up a 5A load resistor on a cord set with a 1 sec on, 1 sec off timer and relay. Clamp on ammeter used to check in panel to see which breaker feeds that circuit and label it.

Also have a 40A breaker on a heavy duty plug. Plug it in, close the 40A, see what trips on the main panel. Use a tester, find dead outlets and lights. Label the tripped breaker.
 

JFletcher

Senior Member
Location
Williamsburg, VA
Also have a 40A breaker on a heavy duty plug. Plug it in, close the 40A, see what trips on the main panel. Use a tester, find dead outlets and lights. Label the tripped breaker.
I'm not quite following your set-up; could you describe it a bit more, or post a pic?

I sometimes use my telephone circuit tester (tone probe) to trace electrical circuits, just have to make sure power is off first. and ofc it only traces the ungrounded conductor, unless you think an open neutral is the problem, then it's good for that as well.
 

cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
We had an engineer that required pencil so that they could be erased and changed if need be. I always love the ones with written with Sharpie and you couldn't begin to tell what was what. Goof Off is great for those.
 

1964element

Senior Member
Location
Chicago
Take a switch put two solid wires on jam it the receptacle and turn it on to trip the breaker.
It will last about 10 times.
It won't leave a black mark on the receptacle.


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John120/240

Senior Member
Location
Olathe, Kansas
Take a switch put two solid wires on jam it the receptacle and turn it on to trip the breaker.
It will last about 10 times.
It won't leave a black mark on the receptacle.


Sent from my E6782 using Tapatalk
A more professional method , plug in a radio & listen for it to go Off or a helper with a receptacle tester & two way radio/telephones.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I have always used pencil, I have also found it to not erase thorough enough on certain panel directory labels and makes it hard to read if you tried to erase something -and because of this white out still is best thing I have found for corrections.

Lately I haven't been writing on many panel directories instead using a label maker, it is much easier to read then my writing, even though it is still easier to read then a doctor's writing;)
 

electricalist

Senior Member
Location
dallas tx
In many cities here pencil in panels and marker on disconnects are not accepted.
I have copies of blank panel schedules. I fill out the changes on it and put it with the old one.

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I'm not quite following your set-up; could you describe it a bit more, or post a pic? I sometimes use my telephone circuit tester (tone probe) to trace electrical circuits, just have to make sure power is off first. and ofc it only traces the ungrounded conductor, unless you think an open neutral is the problem, then it's good for that as well.
If I'm reading it right, it's a plug where the load side is a 40A breaker, usually open, connected to both the hot and neutral. When he closes the breaker, he's creating a bolted fault, but with the safety feature that the 40A breaker will trip if the breaker in the panel fails to trip.
 

benmin

Senior Member
Location
Maine
Occupation
Master Electrician
Just the other day had some one tell me that a difficult electrical inspector would fail an inspection in a particular town if I used pencil to label the panel. Have always used pencil when writing in a circuit directory and never heard of any code it violates or failed an inspection for it.
 

electricalist

Senior Member
Location
dallas tx
It'll happen here. There may not be a code but it's one of those things that it's easier to do it than bump heads with the ahj on every job.

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