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When I had solar panels installed, they removed an old electrical box, leaving a hole in the siding. For no apparent reason, they installed the new electrical panel over half of the hole they left. I'm not sure how to fix this. picture of electrical box covering half of hole in siding

It looks like I could cut a section of matching composite siding, screw that in and caulk around it with silicone on the exposed sides, but since half of the hole is behind the electrical panel, it looks like I'd also need to caulk the top and sides of the electrical panel to prevent water from dripping down into the opening. Is this the right approach for solving this problem?

Update: Here are some additional photos.

zoomed out picture of panel

bottom area of panel

above panel

It doesn't appear that any wires go into the house from the back of the panel. If you look carefully, it looks like there's a gap in the siding that goes all the way to the soffit. I'm not sure what that's about. Would I need to caulk that as well?

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    are there wires from that panel going through the wall behind it? – Jasen Mar 2 at 9:52
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    I would do exactly what you say. Patch what you can and use caulk to prevent water from hitting the bare wood behind the panel. That presumably is what the installer expected you to do. – jay613 Mar 2 at 14:18
  • There are no wires going through the wall behind it that I can see. Just screws. What's the risk of water collecting behind the panel if I caulk the entire box and the top caulk fails? – devinbost Mar 2 at 15:19
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That looks like T1-11 you should be able to clean the caulk out and install a new piece. I don’t like leaving voids because wood destroying insects may find a way in and make it home.

They probably put the panel there because it feeds the inside panel using the same opening.

Some lumber stores have partial sheets of T1-11. I would get a piece and match the pattern, if that is a seam just to the right I would cut that 1” piece out. Slip the new one in and caulk top and bottom. I would expect screws to be the best attachment method.

So clean out the caulk, remove the small strip, install new section and caulk the box and seams. Prime and paint to match.

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  • Thanks for the help. I updated the post to contain additional info. – devinbost Mar 2 at 15:55
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    I am not sure why the gap, t1-11 should overlap, I would want to calk that seam. You can patch the open area and calk around the box. I expected there to be a conduit going inside. I would pull the screws and put a full patch in but I do this all the time. You might fill the void behind the box with spray foam, just something to take up the air space and not leave a home for pests. – Ed Beal Mar 2 at 18:05
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    I agree, fill the crack to keep out bees, water, etc. Fix the soffit to keep out bees, squirrels, etc. Assume there is cabling going into the house through the back of the box because I don't see it on any other side. Therefore moving the box might be quite a task. Caulk and spray foam are good ideas to protect the areas you can't access. – jay613 Mar 2 at 22:32
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You can try complaining to the installer - they can come back, undo/loosen the poorly installed box allowing you access to fix what's behind, and then they can install the box properly.

This might interrupt your service or it may be okay to dangle for a few days while you work around it.

It would have made sense to fix the wall before the solar installers arrived. The best backboard would have been a plain flat sheet of outdoor-treated ply mounted securely, so they had a blank canvas to work from.
However if they removed the old box as part of the install, then they should have talked with the owner about remediating the hole before proceeding.

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  • They removed the old box as part of the install... I didn't even know about it until they had already installed the new box. – devinbost Mar 4 at 5:03

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