Repairing large/variable (dry)wall gaps around an in-wall ElectricalPanel cabinet?

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ftldiy

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Hi all,

I recently moved into a new place. Took the Electrical Panel cover off, and the immediate surround around it basically crumbled to pieces.

The previous owner, &/or their electrician, had done a sloppy job on the install, leaving large, uneven gaps around the panel enclosure.
Then they filled it with balls of masking tape and spackle. Seriously ... :-(

Anyway, I got rid of the most questionable stuff, and this is what I'm looking at now:

panel.jpg

I want to repair/fill the wall gaps to the outside edges of the panel.

If the gaps were small & uniform, I'd likely stuff some ClosedCall Backing rod, seal with an acrylic caulk, then fill in to wall edges with drywall compound.

With THAT^^ -- an uneven mess, with the largest gaps top & left @ ~ 1 1/8" -- I'm not sure what the right approach is here.

Should I first somehow 'plug' those large gaps with cut-to-fit pieces of plywood or drywall? Then rod+caulk+compound after?
Or get very large backing rod? Perhaps OpenCell (compressible) so as to better handle the variations? (not sure if acrylic caulk + open cell rod is an OK combo ...)
Or, some other approach? E.g., cutting out a larger, clean square hole, then measuring and fitting a cockeyed drywall frame to fit the hold, and the edges of the cabinet ...

Would appreciate any advice on doing this right, getting to a sealed surround, and clean paintable edges!

Thanks,

Rob
 
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Sparky617

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Are the gaps visible with the cover on? You could start with great stuff foam and then use drywall mud to make it even with the wall and accept paint. Maybe even go with the red/orange firestop Great Stuff.
 

ftldiy

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Yes, they are. That's the reason I'm looking to ultimately get to a paintable surface.

And, though I'm certainly no electrician, I've been told --- per electrical code -- the gaps should be <= 1/8".

It's already a bit of a kludge, as the electrical panel's not mounted level into the wall. @ bottom, the panel face is right behind the drywall, ~ 1/2" from surface. At top, it's almosts flush with the outside wall.
 

Sparky617

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Some, if not all panels, the panel that covers the side of the box/breakers is adjustable in or out to allow the main cover to be flush with the wall surface. If you shoot some expanding foam between the box and the drywall you can fill the gap. Let it cure, trim is as needed to get it slightly below the wall surface. Then use some drywall compound to give you a nice smooth, paintable surface.
 

bud16415

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I would make a picture frame out of thin plastic, metal or wood and sandwich it between with a couple screws to hold it. Paint to match the wall.
 

kok328

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Hi all,

I recently moved into a new place. Took the Electrical Panel cover off, and the immediate surround around it basically crumbled to pieces.

The previous owner, &/or their electrician, had done a sloppy job on the install, leaving large, uneven gaps around the panel enclosure.
Then they filled it with balls of masking tape and spackle. Seriously ... :-(

Anyway, I got rid of the most questionable stuff, and this is what I'm looking at now:

View attachment 27915

I want to repair/fill the wall gaps to the outside edges of the panel.

If the gaps were small & uniform, I'd likely stuff some ClosedCall Backing rod, seal with an acrylic caulk, then fill in to wall edges with drywall compound.

With THAT^^ -- an uneven mess, with the largest gaps top & left @ ~ 1 1/8" -- I'm not sure what the right approach is here.

Should I first somehow 'plug' those large gaps with cut-to-fit pieces of plywood or drywall? Then rod+caulk+compound after?
Or get very large backing rod? Perhaps OpenCell (compressible) so as to better handle the variations? (not sure if acrylic caulk + open cell rod is an OK combo ...)
Or, some other approach? E.g., cutting out a larger, clean square hole, then measuring and fitting a cockeyed drywall frame to fit the hold, and the edges of the cabinet ...

Would appreciate any advice on doing this right, getting to a sealed surround, and clean paintable edges!

Thanks,

Rob
Put the cover back on and trim it out with window moulding ?
 

mabloodhound

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This area doesn't get any abuse and is very stable so there is no need for plywood backing, etc. Just fill the void with expandable spray foam and as Sparky said, trim it below the surface and use drywall mud to get your finished surface, then paint it,
 

ekrig

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I recently had to fix a similar issue around my panel. I simply applied mud directly until it closed the gap so that it wouldn't show with the front cover on. In your case, you might have to do it 2 or even 3 times to close a bit at a time, but using hot mud you can do that in a couple of hours, maybe with time left for a coat of primer...
 

Eddie_T

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Since we are offering up options · · · I have added thin strip(s) of wood behind larger holes using tacky glue and a string,wire or finger to pull it tight against the back of the existing drywall. For a large hole I would fill with a scrap of drywall glued in pace before using mud or spackle.
 
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