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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.

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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.

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