In remodeling my basement I have so far finished installing R-10 2" XPS insulation against my block walls. My question is: How close or how far away from the circuit breaker panel can I place the insulation? In other words can the XPS foam board go all the way up to the side of the panel, or do I need to allow some room between the panel and the foam board?

My question is due to the fact that foam board is flammable and I wonder if the foam would cause the box and breakers to overheat if the foam board was tight against it.


Foam board should never be exposed, it should always covered with a fire retardant layer like drywall. So if it is installed correctly, your breaker box would never come in direct contact with the XPS and you don't have a problem. If it is exposed, then you have a larger problem then just the breaker box making contact with it.

  • I understand that. It will be covered with drywall. Thanks
    – Bob
    Dec 12 '14 at 4:56

Heat is a byproduct of energy use. The electrical panel should not be generating heat in normal circumstances and doing so would be symptomatic of a hazardous condition.

Thus, it is normal to insulate around an electrical panel.

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