I was just shopping for a breaker box and could not believe what I
saw. Just when I thought I had seen it all, they come out with
plastic breaker boxes. I cant stand plastic outlet boxes, and now
breaker boxes. Besides being flammable, I can just see it now. I put
the box in my shed and mice chew large holes in it. I have already
seen what mice can do to metal boxes, and I once found an old fuse box
that was so full of mouse nesting that it had actually started
charring the nesting stuff inside, but the metal prevented a fire. I
think it had gotten moisture in it and was arcing across the
terminals. I know a guy who had a mouse short out an outlet in his
garage when the mouse chewed thru the plastic box, and the romex in
the wall was no longer NM cable, but a black, white, and ground wire.
The mice had chewed off all the NM outer insulation, and in a few
spots there was bare copper on the hot wires. Thank God they still
make and sell metal breaker boxes. They are the same price too.
I suppose the plastic ones will be the new trend and will soon be
available in designer colors !!!
snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote in news:kgd5g1p69ftduqj49rad5sll7845o268he@
It's highly unlikely they're flammable. That wouldn't pass UL testing.
Take a torch to a plastic outlet box if you want to see what can be done
with flame resistant plastic these days. In addition, they're non-
conductive which could be advantageous.
I agree that the mouse resistance would be questionable so don't use them
in a shed. In a typical house, the hundreds of feet of hidden romex in a
would be a far greater potential risk with regard to mouse exposure as you
I love them. I live in Myrtle Beach SC where corrosion in outside
metal parts is a major problem. On the oceanfornt, metal disconnect
boxes rot out in a few years. The plastic ones last almost forever.
It just depends on your situation. They are great for corrosive
environments. The fill a need, and that is what it's all about. Just
use them where you need corrosion resistance, use the metal ones
everwhere else. That's what I do.
In your situation I can see where they would be useful. I suppose all
metal objects get eaten by corrosion near the ocean.
If I was to design the "perfect" box, it would be metal coated with
I'd love to have a plastic outdoor disconnect, and a plastic meter box. I
live on the Texas Gulf Coast and have several neighbors, especially the ones
closer to the beach, who go through meter boxes in less than five years.
The electric utility company provides the painted steel boxes for their
meters, but labor for an electrician and the inconvenience of having the
power off during the switchover is the customer's problem.
On Wed, 17 Aug 2005 18:47:38 GMT, "Robert E. Lewis"
They probably are available now.
However, why not paint the metal boxes every year to prevent
corrosion. In fact, when they are new, paint the heck out of them.
Use epoxy paint. That little factory paint is not much coating.
Possibly. My mother owned a waterfront property down the coast, with a
different utility company, and had to change out a meter can there -- they
used aluminum boxes (about 12 years ago), and they seemed more durable in
the salt environment. Unfortunately, the local utility requires customers
use the boxes they provide.
One of my neighbors made the mistake of putting their circuit-breaker box
outside, on the piling of their beach house. When they were facing
replacing it for the third time in about seven years, they took the box to a
trusted auto-paint shop owner and had him put on some sort of very heavy
paint -- may have been an epoxy. After a couple of years they framed the
rapidly rusting box with wood, to slow down further rust. It has lasted six
or seven years now, but really needs replacing.
Oh, they certainly are <capable> of it and I've seen a few...reason they
normally don't is their small enough to only hit one conductor at a time
and they're usually in dry locations so don't have a good ground...
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