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#15071 - 10/07/02 02:58 PM Panel Backboards  
SJT  Offline
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 241
Here on Long Island, on a residential service there is normally a plywood(3/4") backboard secured to the foundation wall. What I have done in the past would be to paint the plywood first with 2 coats of weather proof paint, and then power nail it to the wall. Does any one have another method or style to put a service panel on a foundation wall?

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#15072 - 10/07/02 03:03 PM Re: Panel Backboards  
Chris Rudolph  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 160
Winter Park,Fl USA
Use TAPCON masonry screws to secure the panel directly to the foundation wall.


#15073 - 10/07/02 03:15 PM Re: Panel Backboards  
Pearlfish  Offline
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 83
Chicago Ridge, Il, USA
My complements on putting in the extra work to paint the board.

Ditto on the Tapcon suggestion.

#15074 - 10/07/02 04:51 PM Re: Panel Backboards  
ElectricAL  Offline
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 597
Minneapolis, MN USA
There are a lot of unpainted backboards used throughout this 7 country metro area of ~3 Mil souls. Only occasionally do I see a painted one. Ironic. Your thread happens just after I put the first coat on a 4 x 4 sheet that I'll use on a custom job, a job that is paying extra for the quality.


Al Hildenbrand

#15075 - 10/07/02 06:16 PM Re: Panel Backboards  
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,864
Brick, NJ USA
Well, once upon a time, I was told that the backboard had to be "black",. (Fireproof paint) Well it was flat black latex! So he lied.
Now, we use wood stain. Black or dark gray.
For the "cusom" jobs, we have used epoxy paint. We also found a nice "edge guard", to cover the edges. It's a plastic "U" that slips over the edges of 3/4" plywood. Miter cut the corners, and you can do it in 1 piece. Mess up, and you can do it in 2 pieces. Mess up real bad, 4 pcs, and a few ss screws.

Anyone else ever heard of the "fireproof paint???


#15076 - 10/07/02 09:34 PM Re: Panel Backboards  
CanadianSparky  Offline
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 85
Alberta Canada
We're supposed to use fire-treated 3/4" plywood(rarely happens). But I usually make one of the GC's laborers at least paint it grey, I thought that was the norm. We use the smash-in anchors now from Hilti to hold it up.

[This message has been edited by CanadianSparky (edited 10-07-2002).]

#15077 - 10/08/02 12:28 AM Re: Panel Backboards  
nesparky  Offline
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 642
We use masonary anchors directly to the concrete or block. In this area only the meter is outside. The main is in the panel directly inside (10') of metal conduit is max length between meter and panel.
Why put wood on concrete or block if the rest of that wall is bare? the wood will rot out before the masonary.

[This message has been edited by nesparky (edited 10-08-2002).]


#15078 - 10/08/02 06:33 AM Re: Panel Backboards  
Electricmanscott  Offline
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Holden, MA USA
I use pressure treated 2X4's mounted to basement wall with plywood on that. Not much chance of anything rotting out.

#15079 - 10/08/02 10:04 AM Re: Panel Backboards  
ElectricAL  Offline
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 597
Minneapolis, MN USA

In my experience, the fasteners fail before the wood. I'll find 60 year old services on "one bys" that are held in position by the mounting screws of the panel, with, maybe, one or two of the original masonry nails left in service. The masonry gives way. The wood and the box are OK. Panel and sub panels are held in position by the wood, not stressing the panel-conduit-panel bonds as badly as if they were hanging only by their raceways and cables.

Another value of the backboard is as a thermal break to help minimize condensation; and as a moisture barrier to prevent corrosion. Most older dwellings around here have basements, and the below grade masonry will dampen when covered even when the basement is experienced as "dry".

Lastly, if there is enough moisture to take out the wood, it'll take out the panel anyway.


Al Hildenbrand

#15080 - 10/08/02 01:21 PM Re: Panel Backboards  
elektrikguy  Offline
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 132
How about mounting panel on 1 5/8 unistrut. Fasten unistrut to wall with tapcons and use spring bolts and 3/8 bolts w/washers to hold panel. That's the way I have done it. Also allows you space behind panel to run conduit if need be.

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