Tiling wall where circuit breaker panel is?

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  #1  
Old 06-24-07, 08:03 AM
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Tiling wall where circuit breaker panel is?

The wall at the end of my garage has an above the floor concrete platform where the washer and dryer are. On the left side of the platform is the wall for the water heater and A/C handler closet. On the right side is the outside wall.

I would like to tile the whole "laundry area" --three walls, platform and all. On the left wall, however, is the circuit breaker panel. Is it acceptable to tile around the panel?
 
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  #2  
Old 06-24-07, 09:09 AM
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Yes, but only as long as the front edge of the panel does not end up more than 1/4" from the surface of the tile.

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312.3 Position in Wall. In walls of concrete, tile, or other
noncombustible material, cabinets shall be installed so that
the front edge of the cabinet is not set back of the finished
surface more than 6 mm ( 1 /4 in.). In walls constructed of
wood or other combustible material, cabinets shall be flush
with the finished surface or project therefrom.
 
  #3  
Old 06-24-07, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Rocky Mountain View Post
Yes, but only as long as the front edge of the panel does not end up more than 1/4" from the surface of the tile.

----------------------------------------

312.3 Position in Wall. In walls of concrete, tile, or other
noncombustible material, cabinets shall be installed so that
the front edge of the cabinet is not set back of the finished
surface more than 6 mm ( 1 /4 in.). In walls constructed of
wood or other combustible material, cabinets shall be flush
with the finished surface or project therefrom.
Thanks, Rocky Mountain, for your reply and thanks also for posting the pertinent code. I forgot to mention that my circuit breaker panel has a metal frame or casing with a door that covers all the switches (I think that most panels do) How close to the four borders of that frame can I install the tiles so that they do not interfere with the removal of the frame should the need for a qualified electrician to do so arise? If I could have my way I would loosen the four screws from the casing and slip tile under it for a neat look but, besides understanding the dangers of tampering with the frame and door, I believe that the tile would cause the switches to protrude much less than they do now and, possibly, the slots would not keep them aligned and in place. Please forgive me if my qu
 
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Old 06-25-07, 08:10 AM
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> How close to the four borders of that frame can I install the tiles so
> that they do not interfere with the removal of the frame

As close as you want. The only requirement is that you must be able to remove the panel cover without removing any tile, trim or other finish.

> If I could have my way I would loosen the four screws from the casing
> and slip tile under it

You can do this as long as the tile is 1/4" or less thickness, although I don't recommend it if it would interfere with the alignment of the cover as you suspect it might.
 
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Old 06-25-07, 11:16 AM
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Though it's not specifically the question you asked, give some thought to how you or an electrician would run a new wire into the panel. It might be worth adding a removable panel above the panel so the wire could be fed down then into the panel. They make spring loaded plastic panels that could fit the bill nicely.

Just a thought.
 
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Old 06-25-07, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Zorfdt View Post
Though it's not specifically the question you asked, give some thought to how you or an electrician would run a new wire into the panel. It might be worth adding a removable panel above the panel so the wire could be fed down then into the panel. They make spring loaded plastic panels that could fit the bill nicely.

Just a thought.
Thanks for the thought, Zorfdt! Many times we tackle a project that ultimately LOOKS good only having to undo it --partially or totally-- after realizing that we neglected to plan for future expansion. For the last quarter of century or so I have been fortunate not to have to modify the circuit breaker panel in my house but one never knows what needs might arise later ...

Thanks again.
 
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Old 06-25-07, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
> How close to the four borders of that frame can I install the tiles so
> that they do not interfere with the removal of the frame

As close as you want. The only requirement is that you must be able to remove the panel cover without removing any tile, trim or other finish.

> If I could have my way I would loosen the four screws from the casing
> and slip tile under it

You can do this as long as the tile is 1/4" or less thickness, although I don't recommend it if it would interfere with the alignment of the cover as you suspect it might.
Thanks, Ben! In reference to tiling as close as possible to the panel door frame, I thought about what you said and I agree with you. I will keep a conservative distance between the panel frame and the tile (perhaps an inch of space all around, as neat and as straight as I can keep the tile) so that if the panel needs to be removed it would not pose a problem.

In reference to my initial plan of sliping tile under the frame, I gave it up as my thoughts concide with your recommendation against it. Not only it's dangerous for an unqualified person to handle circuit breaker panels but, by the time I add the adhesive and grout, the 1/4" allowance will be exceeded and --as you very well said-- the whole thing might interfere with the alignment of the cover.

Thanks again, Ben. I also thank all the other fellows who were so patient and kind to answer my questions.
 
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Old 06-25-07, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Zorfdt View Post
Though it's not specifically the question you asked, give some thought to how you or an electrician would run a new wire into the panel. It might be worth adding a removable panel above the panel so the wire could be fed down then into the panel. They make spring loaded plastic panels that could fit the bill nicely.

Just a thought.


What is this panel called? I'm curious because I installed a subpanel a few months back and don't want to keep tearing out the sheetrock in order to run new circuits. Don't mean to hijack the thread.
 
  #9  
Old 06-26-07, 04:54 AM
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I have seen them, I don't know what the brand name was but I think the label said "access panel". I saw it at HD.

FWIW, I would not install one of these unless absolutely necessary (as in, the hole had to be made today for circuits being added today). If you leave 3/16" of a gap at the top and bottom of the panel, then generally circuits can be fished in without too much trouble, depending on the particulars.
 
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Old 06-26-07, 10:09 AM
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What is this panel called?
I don't recall the name or the manufacturer, but the box stores have access panels that range from either plastic spring-loaded ones that snap in, to metal with hinged doors. Suggest you look either in the drywall section or the plumbing section.

In my case, I installed one below the service panel and it was a great help to pull circuits from the crawlspace through the sill plate into the breaker box. Painted the same color as the wall, it was difficult to even notice.
 
  #11  
Old 06-26-07, 11:17 AM
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> What is this panel called?

An access panel, and it's usually in the plumbing section at HD/Lowes in three or four different sizes: 8x8, 12x16, 16x16, etc.
 
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Old 06-26-07, 11:21 AM
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Outstanding!

Seeing my panel is IN the garage (outside wall), do you think installing this type panel would violate fire code? I thought there was some sort of fire code in the garage regarding walls, etc.
 
  #13  
Old 06-26-07, 08:18 PM
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Not if you install it in the next bay over.

Seriously though, I'm not sure. There is a lot of conflicting info out there about firewalls. Cheyenne WY won't even allow a panelboard to be installed in the garage wall adjoining living space, due to their read on the requirements. It's a common practice in CO.

I don't think it would hurt anything (as long as the access is on the same side of the wall as the panelboard), but I would be loathe to install one there solely for adding circuits, IMO.
 
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