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I just upgraded our electric panel. But there are quite a few holes around the new panel (see the picture below) enter image description here.

How can I fix the upper and lower holes around the panel? Thanks.

  • You kinda set yourself up for that one when you selected a panel which was not as tall as the original. Generally widths are standard (14.5", the distance between two joists). – Harper Jun 23 '17 at 18:22
  • What make and model is the new panel? – ThreePhaseEel Jun 23 '17 at 22:11
  • @Harper the electrician made the choice. The old panel is smaller, the new panel (SquareD 200amp) is bigger. Do you mean he has picked the wrong-sized panel? Worse than that, he does not inform us about leaving holes on the wall... – zhanxw Jun 24 '17 at 3:08
  • @ThreePhaseEel SquareD 200amp – zhanxw Jun 24 '17 at 3:08
  • Double rats -- Eaton makes a "goof collar" but that's for Eaton's gear, and it sounds like it wouldn't work even if you had an Eaton panelboard in there anyhow – ThreePhaseEel Jun 24 '17 at 3:49
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Frame it with wood. Make it removable.

The Victorians had a brilliant sensibility. When they built bathrooms, they would build a small, attractive cabinet door in the wall on the other side of the tub spigot. You need access to the plumbing guts? Open the door. It has proven indispensable.

What looks like ugliness is in fact a godsend. You have access to the exterior of the panel for adding more circuits. That said, you still want fire protection.

Since this is a utility space anyway, I would build a simple, attractive wood frame of 1x4's around the panel, bridging over those holes. I would make the top and bottom easily removable. Also set it back just enough the service panel cover is easily removed without removing the top and bottom.

For fire protection, I would cut drywall pieces to fill those ugly holes top and bottom, and attach them to the back of the 1x4 framing. That way the framing holds the drywall in place. Want to add a circuit? Remove two screws and the 1x4 comes off, voila.

Since it is a utility space that gets dirty fingerprints, I would attractively stain the wood.

Thanks for the idea. I don't often embed service panels in drywall, but now I'll find a way to fit access points above and below, Victorian style.

  • the panel is in our garage, a place we will use everyday. As the wall has two depths (not just one plane), the upper panel is behind the wall hump, and the lower panel is aligned with the wall surface (I can add more pictures to show that). So I am not sure a frame will do the work. But I do appreciate this brilliant idea: if it could work, it would be terrific. – zhanxw Jun 24 '17 at 3:16

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