My main electrical panel is mounted directly to my basement wall, and I noticed last night while I had it open that it is starting to show signs of rust/oxidation around the mounting screws. What is the correct and safe way to get a piece of plywood in between the panel and the block wall? Should I be able to simply pull the panel out away from the wall far enough to slide a piece of plywood in or is there disassembly involved?


  • How about a picture of your opened panel. – JACK Dec 4 '19 at 15:30

You may be able to pull the panel off the wall and attach the plywood then screw into the plywood. I usually seal the plywood so it will last longer and look nicer. All my phone and data patch blocks are hung with plywood. I do this in unfinished basements as this extends the life of the panel if the wall is damp.

  • Yes, there should be enough "play" to pull the panel out a bit depending on the feed.+ – JACK Dec 4 '19 at 15:40

Assuming the connections are not rigid, it shouldn't be too hard to temporarily pull it away. Just be safe, pull the meter socket first.


My answer is just a little different from @Ed Beal 's. There should be enough give in the wiring to lift it off the wall an inch or two without straining any of the connections.

If that is the case, I would just cut two pressure treated 2x4's a little wider than the panel, and set them between the panel and the wall, positioned so the boards are behind the mounting holes in the panel. Fasten the boards to the wall and the panel to the boards and you have some breathing room. Use pressure treated so it won't rot.

It wouldn't hurt to put a little silicone on where the rust has started, might prevent the rust from spreading.

Keep in mind there are energized parts in there even with the main breaker off - don't do it if you can't do it safely.

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