Has anyone heard of Square D making/selling an alternative cover large enough to cover openings in the drywall around a newly installed load center? I have six new panels to install in which the dimensions are different from old to new I didn't really want to hire a drywaller to close them up.
in some cases you must restore the drywall tight to the enclosure but I would think only in fire separations. Write a standard we make holes and clean up the mess but we don't patch or fix them clause in your standard agreement then pressure the general or customer to pay for the drywaller. We are electrical experts not drywall experts. leave painting, patching and finishing to the experts in those fields. Now if they would just stay out of our work.
#206525 - 07/13/1207:58 PMRe: Covering drywall openings after new load center
I don't have a code book handy however all enclosures and boxes allow gaps no bigger than 1/8". This is due to if something arcs in the box, you don't want sparks rolling down in the wall and igniting the studs inside.
Even with an oversize cover, the gap would be exposed to the flying sparks. Even if you had an oversize cover, you still want to close in the gap by appropriate means.
Cuttler Hammer has an 'optional' goof ring for some of their panels. It covers about 1-1/2 to 2" past the backbox edges, and the stock panel cover attaches to that.
It was used in panel swaps in a townhouse developement, mostly for 'decorative' reasons, as the walls were required to be patched for fire rating.
I do not know if the UL listing allows leaving a gap or not.
From my personal view as an inspector, they were a royal PITA, as the first bunch were not installed with all four screws, only one for the ring, and three from the panel cover. (That was corrected quick)
IMHO, the suggestion from Mikesh may be the best bet, unless you have some patching skill. As I used to tell people, we are electricians, not spacklers!
As an EC, the forewarning that any penetrations that were required for the electrical installation would require 'finish' restoration "by others", detailed to include surface finish, painting and landscape restoration.
I used the disclaimer the few times that I was doing any resi without a GC. My men were not painters, plasterers, or landscapers.
In the odd event that someone would insist on 'restore to as-was'; I would hire a sub that did that trade.
I do know a couple of EC that are also good drywallers and painters but they are exceptions. I have seen more that make a good electrical job look like a hack did the finishing so the electrical work is immediately suspect. From the perspective of the general public they will judge you work more on the quality of your patching than if everyting works and code is met or exceeded. A little gap beside a switch that the cover does not hide is a sign of a poor electrical installation. I suspect a really good drywall patcher who does lousy wiring would get more repeat customers and referals than the best electrician that can't patch. Like I always say get the guy who is the pro to do the job they are expert at. I can change a washer in a faucet but I call the plumber to run the drains lines and water lines even though I know how to do a lot of their work I will not do it as expertly and I hate it when the real expert comes after me to tell me how a pro would have done it. Plus I hate it when they fix their own cords or wire in baseboard heaters or use an old extension cord to feed that new plug or............
A common theme in the business section is: why doesn't my phone ring?
Well ... maybe all this "I only do ..." waffling is scaring customers off of projects. Things never get done, because of the barriers put in place.
In my experience, darn few jobs have representatives of every trade on site. Somebody has to put all the pieces together. You want to stop cussing at the GC ... well, then you better find a way to get the job done.
I reflect on my (so far) unsuccessful quest to get central air installed in my home. Sure, there are A/C guys out there ... but none of them pour slabs, make security cages, or wants to enter a crawl space. Nope, I have to find the various contractors and put the deal together myself.
I submit that the EC is in a better position to line up these subs than the typical homeowner.
I think there should be more cooperation between the trades. They always seem to have an adversarial relationship. It also seems to be true between inspectors and contractors in some places. I think it is helpful around here that there is not enough critical mass to have "inspector only" organizations so we do get a little cross pollination there with groups who cater to both but I still don't see many groups where dry wallers, painters and the trades who need them to clean up the mess get together. I suppose the GC would say that is his job