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Chief2

Complete Condo Demo and Rebuild

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So a Friend of mine bought a condo built in 1971, and went through the whole summer wanting to redo it over this winter. Wood paneling, popcorn ceilings, yeah the whole bit.

 

A lot of it I have down pat, but a FEW things are intriguing and questionable to me. The biggest hurdle I have come to, is the one bedroom butts up against the bathroom. The electrical panel is in the bedroom, butted right up against the fiberglass shower. There is about 2" of air, between the 1/8" skin of fiberglass, and the back of the electrical panel. To me, this seems HORRIBLE, but nothing is being done with a permit, and none of it needs to be, as we are REALLY just replacing wood paneling, sheetrock, and the floor(moving panel is OUT). So, what do you guys reccomend we put between the shower to provide some protection to the electrical panel? A co-worker of mine suggested maybe a piece of plywood, maybe a little insulation on that? What do you all think?

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I would consult the National Electric Code before proceeding. Intuitively, it doesn't sound safe to me.

 

IMHO, permits or not, you are responsible for correcting a dangerous condition when you expose it.

 

:v:

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I would consult the National Electric Code before proceeding. Intuitively, it doesn't sound safe to me.

IMHO, permits or not, you are responsible for correcting a dangerous condition when you expose it.

:v:

 

I would think a problem like that would be grandfathered in, I would also think you would want some type of moisture barrier between the both of them,

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if its been that way since 1971 with no problems i would not make a big deal out of it.

 

if you're worried about it you could put some plastic sheeting between the back of the breaker panel and the shower.

 

 

that close to the ocean theres probably more corrosion in the box from the salt air than the shower. ;)

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While conducting a search online, of the NFPA codes for electric installation, and safety, The best answer i can come up with is that if the opening of the panel is in a "moist" environment, it must be weather-proofed. If the rear of the panel is in the same vicinity of the plumbing, it must be weather-proofed. If it is installed on the non-plumbing side of the shower, theoretically, as far as i can tell(always have difficulty translating what codes ACTUALLY mean), it only needs 6mm of airspace, which it easily has.

 

So now that code doesn't really say anything about it, just for my own COMFORT, what would you use to "protect" the rear of the box from the shower section?

 

I have also come to learn, just because it is "code", does not mean it is the safest situation, so I would like SOMETHING, even if just insulation, between the shower and the electrical box. Would a piece of plywood with either insulation or rubber work?

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Many houses Have panels that are mounted on an outside wall, and we all know, shy of 3/4 plywood and siding, it's exposed. If you want add some additional protection I would use a low expansion spray foam insulation over a vapor barrier. If it's a 3 piece enclosure, you could try removing that panel with a blow dryer to release the adhesive holding it in place.Once removed, foam the back of the panel and let it dry. Then take a thin gauge wire and slice the overflow of foam back to the stud's. Then, Tack up a heavy mil plastic and re-install the panel. That should do the trick, but without pic's, I'm just thinking out loud :)

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here's a pic, but it doesn't help MUCH with viewing how its in there. Maybe it will help, maybe it won't.

 

522

 

 

 

You can see the back of the sheetrock ending, then a "yellow" color, which is the back of the fiberglass tub-liner. Figure there is a 1-2" gap between the two.

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I would be careful about doing anything that will cover the box because it will also trap moisture.

The best solution might be to move the box to the outside of the wall. From those pics it looks like you may have enough slack to do it.

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^I would have the slack in the feed wires, for things like outlets, lights, switches, etc. But what you can't see is that wire to the left, that goes through my buddy's condo, up to the condo above. Down below we have one exactly like it, as the main feed for HIS condo, and also the seperate feeds, both almost as large, for the heating and stove. It's ALL electric. Electric baseboard, electric stove. Sadly those 2 feeds are rigid, no slack, and probably like 2/0 cable. 30 amp breakers each for the stove and heating(240). And it struck me a little strange, there is NO main breaker that cuts the whole panel in that box.

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no main breaker was common in older panels. :(

 

i would stay away from foam or wood that could trap moisture against the box.

 

like i said in other post just drape some heavy plastic on the back side of the shower in case anything drips,

but leave the air space between the plastic and the panel box.

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The main is probably outside near the meter socket. They do that so they can cut power in the event of a fire without running in and out of multiple units. The panel itself is a metal zero clearance box so you don't have to do anything. That side of the shower is solid fiberglass with no fixture pentrations or plumbing. If the back of the panel is not all rusty right now, there's no moisture to worry about.


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Thank you everyone for your help and opinions.

 

Actually the place is in INCREDIBLE shape considering. The only evidence of issues is under the "through wall" air conditioner. Mold. It's had probably 4 air conditioners, with poor installation. Me and my buddy replaced that this year with a new one, foamed it in, and sealed everywhere. Shouldn't have any more issues.

 

Epanzella, I think i'll leave it be. The best thing we can do right now, is make it look original, so inspectors won't flip. Some minor things have changed, but nothing too large.

 

If you guys are interested, I have some pics I can put up throughout the process, although I will not likely be able to document the end. I may be moving to Florida in about a months time, and I don't know if we'll have it all back together by then. This weekend should finish the sheetrock in the bedroom, and work begins on gutting the living room. Most likely next weekend will be finish gutting the living room, and re-doing electrical(new outlets, switches, and replacing an old ceiling fan with a new one), and maybe SOME sheetrock up. After that we are going to tear out a seemingly decorative "overhang" over the cabinets, then new cabinets and countertop. Then when thats all done, paint, then hardwood floor.

 

My buddy is getting the floor at $4/sq. ft(read oak), installed, sanded, finished and sealed. Think that's a good deal?

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We started in the bedroom, and are moving our way to the living room.

 

Here are some shots after the teardown:

 

[img=

 

p><p>  <a href=http://www.stripersonline.com/image/id/2727164/width/419/height/700' alt='700'>

 

 

This last one is a shot of the RIDICULOUS use of 2x4's to take up space between the window and a stud, "rather than using insulation in a 5" space, let's just fill the entire space with 2x4's."

 

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