Insulating the electrical breaker panel

Old 10-27-04, 10:43 AM
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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Insulating the electrical breaker panel

I am doing some renovation work in my basement. I have a fairly standard surface mount electrical breaker panel. The panel itself is mounted on a piece of 4 foot by 4 foot plywood, which is attached to the basement wall on 2 pieces of wood (2x4) mounted vertically. So the plywood is mount 1 from the wall, with an air gap. All the wires arrive from above, and enter the panel from each side, and are attracted to the plywood. All fair normal. The main 200 amp supply enters though the basement wall at the back of the panel, and is not visible from the front.

I have a question. The whole things looks fine, is safe (I think!) and well constructed. However, there is no insulation, either behind the plywood, or indeed for a few feet around the panel. I would like to insulate the panel, but how best to do this? I could try to place 1 solid insulation at the back of the plywood, and seal the sides of the plywood to the vapour barrier covering the pink insulation, I plan to add to the stub walls. I will attract the vapour barrier to the plywood with 1x2 furring strips mounted on the edge of the plywood.

I have also seen where the insulation is installed right up to the panel itself, and sealed to the panel using the red vapour barrier tape. However, although this looks neat, how can you access the wiring?

Are there better methods? How is this normally done? Any and all suggestions on how to best do this would be welcome.
Old 10-29-04, 07:43 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: PA, USA
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I would do the 1" foam behind the plywood and forget it. Try as you might, you are never going to have perfect insulation or vapor barrier around a breaker panel because of just what it is - a metal box with holes in it. The only other thing is, make sure the vertical 2x4's are pressure treated wood. If they are not, apply some of that green treatment solution to them, you don't want them to rot inside a finished wall. Hope this helps.

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