National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

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Friday, September 4, 2020

Question:

Enjoy your take on the NEC. When the Code says a panel index needs to be legible, can this be accomplished by using a magic marker or pencil.

Johnnie Marx

A

Answer:

Hey Johnnie,

Thanks for participating. When the Code uses the word legible, it is implied that one must be able to read the information marked on the equipment. In the case of disconnect markings, the NEC requires each disconnecting means be legibly marked to indicate its purpose unless located and arranged so the purpose is evident. The marking shall be of sufficient durability to withstand the environment involved. In the case of a panelboard, Section 408.4(A) requires every circuit and circuit modification to be legibly identified as to its clear, evident, and specific purpose or use. The identification shall include an approved degree of detail that allows each circuit to be distinguished from all others. Spare positions that contain unused overcurrent devices or switches shall be described accordingly. The identification shall be included in a circuit directory that is located on the face or inside of the panel door in the case of a panelboard and at each switch or circuit breaker in a switchboard or switchgear. This marking requirement could be accomplished using a magic marker or pencil. Penmanship (acceptable) is in the eyes of the beholder. A Good Workmanship practice here would be to use a typed or computer printed panelboard directory to meet the legible requirements of this section. What is legible to one, might not be readable to another. Remember, the occupant is the beneficiary of this NEC requirement.

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