foam insulation in outlet boxes

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Old 01-20-09, 11:33 AM
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foam insulation in outlet boxes

While painting a rental property, I found that my last tenant had sprayed foam insulation INSIDE the outlet boxes on the exterior walls of all rooms. The foam does not fill the box but plugs the gaps between the outlet and the side of the box. My question is, is this a fire hazard? I grabbed a can of the foam at the box store and it does not mention anything about this situation. I found that pulling the outlets and removing all foam is going to be a pain and result in scrapping most of the outlets. Any thoughts?
 
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Old 01-20-09, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by clint0423 View Post
My question is, is this a fire hazard?
That really depends on the flammability of the cured foam, which I don't know. However what I do know is that any foreign material in the boxes is prohibited, both from the flammability point of view and because the foam uses up cubic inches of volume which area required by box fill code.

I found that pulling the outlets and removing all foam is going to be a pain and result in scrapping most of the outlets. Any thoughts?
That sounds like the only way to be compliant with code. Hope you didn't send back the damage deposit yet.
 
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Old 01-20-09, 12:14 PM
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If you haven't given back the deposit I'd suggest replacing the outlets then charge back the cost of the outlets. Would probably be quicker to change then scrape. Might want to add a clause to the lease regarding this so the next tenant is on notice.
 
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Old 01-20-09, 05:09 PM
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Just an FYI - I believe most of the cured foam is fire retardant because it is also used as a fire block between floors. There is a "Great Stuff Fireblock" but from what they said on "Ask This Old House" the only difference is the orange color for easy ID.

Even though, filling the boxes is for sure a no - no.
 
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Old 01-21-09, 07:04 AM
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Ahh... I forgot all about the, cubic inches of volume, code issue. Thanks guys
 
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Old 01-22-09, 04:51 AM
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I can't find it online anywhere, but I believe that even after cured, the foam is flammable. I'm not sure what temperature though.
 
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Old 01-22-09, 07:50 AM
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Anything bill burn if it gets hot enough. Even drywall. (at least the paper will) Here is some info about firebolcking with Great Stuff. http://icf.loyola.com/products/foam/pdf/ner-645.pdf
 
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