When installing a new electrical panel or remodeling around an existing panel, it is important to know what the proper clearances are and the proper methods of mounting the panel. Before starting, make sure that you take these tips to heart.
In the old days, you could mount a panel to just about any surface. If you are putting in a new panel, the panel must be mounted to a non-combustible surface. Type X 5/8 inch drywall is considered an acceptable surface to mount to. If there are seams in the drywall where you are mounting the electrical panel, the seams must be taped with one coat of mud applied. There are some variations of 1/2 inch drywall that are excepted as a proper mounting surface for electrical panels.
Securing the Panel
The panel must be secured to the wall in all four corners at the minimum. If wall framing or concrete cannot be mounted to, use screw in drywall anchors to provide a strong securing mount. Screw the screws into the drywall mounts and mount the panel.
Panel clearances were rarely used in older homes. Do not attempt to move a panel unless it is absolutely necessary. However, if you are installing a new panel you should follow these clearance rules. You should have 30 to 36 inches on each side of the panel clearance to any wall or mechanical object or obstruction. You should also have 36 inches directly in front on the panel to allow for proper servicing ability.
If you have a panel in a main living space, you may want to cover it with a decorative covering. This will protect the panel and be more attractive than the panel. Keep in mind that the same rules apply to a panel in a living space. Maintain proper clearances to allow for servicing. That also means that the cover must be easily removable.
Any time you are working with electricity or around electricity, make sure your respect it. Direct contact with electricity can cause injury or death and may cause permanent damage to your homes electrical systems. If you are not confident handling the panels yourself, call Electrician Olympia WA at (360) 301-8822 for free quote today. We are a reliable electric Olympia company that can handle the electrical issues with professionalism and precision.