Outdoor Sub-panel mounting question

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  #1  
Old 01-30-12, 10:31 AM
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Outdoor Sub-panel mounting question

This should be pretty quick for the 90% with more experience than me.

I've only mounted sub-panels or other outdoor fixtures onto brick or other masonry surfaces. I am now attaching a subpanel to an outdoor wall that is sided. My understanding is that there is either plywood or OSB behind the siding; is this correct?. Therefore, I should be ok to mount it "anywhere" (just meaning that I do not have to find a stud)? Any idea what length of screw would be needed (my guess is a 3 decking screw should do with silicone/caulk)?

I know this is pretty basic, I just don't want to put more holes through my siding than I will need. Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-30-12, 11:04 AM
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It really depends on the size of the panel, the type and style of the siding and the type of sheathing. My previous house had gypsum board sheathing and 1x6 cedar vertical tongue-and-groove siding so it was the siding itself that provided any structural strength.

My present house has OSB sheathing (1/2 inch) and 1x6 (nominal) lap siding. The siding itself has little structural strength and the lap style means that anything attached only "hits" on the high spots. I have always cut away the siding or made wedge blocks for anything I wanted to attach to the side of this house.

When I attached the power inlet panel for my generator I cut away the siding and attached the panel enclosure to the sheathing with carriage bolts making a secure mount. I caulked around the sides and the top of the enclosure but left the bottom uncaulked in case any rain got behind the enclosure.

In your case you might want to try to catch at least one side of the panel onto a stud and then use screws to hold the other side of the panel.
 
  #3  
Old 01-30-12, 11:15 AM
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Thanks. That is exactly what I was worried about (siding providing the structural strength). It shouldn't be difficult to find a stud so I'll make sure I do that. Maybe I'll pull some of the siding back or take an exterior light off to see if I can see what's going on behind it.
 
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