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Is it permitted to paint the face of a receptacle to match the paint in a room?

Posted By Underwriters Laboratories, Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Question: Painting receptacles

Is it permitted to paint the face of a receptacle to match the paint in a room? Does painting the face of a receptacle void the Listing on the receptacle?

Answer

Receptacles are Listed under the category Receptacles for Plugs and Attachment Plugs (RTRT), located on page 109 in the 2005 White Book. Receptacles Listed under this category are evaluated for compliance with the Standard for Receptacles for Plugs and Attachment Plugs, UL 498. UL 498 requires receptacles to go through an overload and resistance to arcing sequence that evaluates the receptacles ability to endure the possible overloading that the receptacle may be subjected to in normal use and not breakdown either physically or that the contacts of the receptacles do not arc across the face of the receptacles insulating material which may cause a fire or electric shock hazard. When paint is introduced onto the face of the receptacle, the ability of the receptacle face insulating material to resist a potential arc across the face of the receptacle from one contact to another may be compromised. It is impossible to determine the effect paint will have on the electrical integrity of the receptacle.

Tags:  March-April 2006  UL Question Corner 

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