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AssuredElectrical
AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4241
Experience:  Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade
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Our electric panel box is in a basement bedroom attached to

Customer Question

Our electric panel box is in a basement bedroom attached to a few strips of wood on concrete. There is a plywood cupboard on top. The rest of the room is panel wood on concrete (no 2 x 4's) Our basement tenants complained of drafts and cold air coming
from the panel box. What is the safest method to fix this situation without major costs. We put sheet insulation everywhere we could behind the wires and taped bubble wrap on top and taped edges but tenant told us this was a fire hazard so we removed it. The
tenant is a carpenter by trade and said we could pay him to fix it but I want to make sure we do the right thing. If you say to pull the electric box off and re-install after proper insulation could you estimate what an electrician would charge for that please.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.

Welcome. My name is ***** ***** would be glad to assist.

Can you post a picture of the panel?

I am not sure I understand the situation.

You have the panel on a block wall, but yet there are no studs and everything is mounted directly to the block including the paneling, correct?.

Where is the air coming from on a solid wall?

I think I may be missing a piece of the puzzle here, so bear with me.

Thanks

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My mistake, I probably gave too much information. Its a house build in 1969 so there is no insulation in the house. It's plaster upstairs and wood panel on concrete in the basement. The electric panel box is hidden behind a plywood door which you've probably seen a million times in old houses. .When I open the little plywood door, I see mostly all bare concrete. Except for a little bit of wood that the panel box is attached to which is then attached to the concrete wall. The draft comes from the plywood door covering the panel box. see attached picture
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.

Ok,

Appreciate the picture, it doesnt show anything except a finished room.

No way to make any determination with that.

Would need to actually see how the panel is mounted etc. to see if a solution is possible.

The air has to come through the solid block to infiltrate the room, is the room underground or above ground?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Tommy
I hope these pictures demonstrate what I mean. The tenant took the and sent them to me.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.

Ok, thanks. I can see the surroundings now.

I would not use any foam panels, it is way too toxic if melted or overheated to a flash point.

Not the right insulation around electrical.

You can use any fiberglass insulation that will fit in the area, just none with a paper backing.

That is what is used in the walls with electrical all over the home.

They also sell fire resistant panels as well which can be placed behind the wood if needed.

CLICK HERE for an example on the fire resistant, just check with your local building supply, they will have some type available.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Tommy. Would it also be safe to use a spray foam product so it reaches into the upper space my hand can't reach. If so, is it ok if the foam gets on wires.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.

I do not suggest any foam of any kind around the panel. Especially the spray type foam, if you read the label , it has a low ignition temperature on most all of them.

There should be very little influx of cold air in any small gaps, it is a block wall and appears to be below ground level

Use the fiberglass batting insulation and you can push it into small spaces