Home & Garden

Draft from around the electrical panel (finished basement)

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 8th, 2017 5:40 pm
[OP]
Member
Nov 19, 2005
286 posts
3 upvotes

Draft from around the electrical panel (finished basement)

Hi,

I have noticed before, and have noticed again today, a draft coming into my finished basement from around where the wires come down to meet my electrical panel. The electrical panel has been framed around and has wooden doors on hinges (similar to a cupboard). Any suggestions on what I can do? (if it was elsewhere and there were no electrical wires that may need to be accessed in the future, I would spray 'great stuff') (if I didn't need to get into the panel, I would use something like the 'no more drafts' removable product. )
11 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2011
2307 posts
502 upvotes
Gee wrote:
Dec 7th, 2017 4:29 pm
Seal it from the outside with silicone or Great Stuff
A good idea, but at the same time, the draft may not wholly originate where the mains wires enter the house.

If it is brick veneer construction, the draft could be coming from the airspace between the brick layer and the house wrap behind it, which could be more of a challenge to seal
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
25895 posts
2889 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
fieldhousehandyman wrote:
Dec 7th, 2017 5:04 pm
If it is brick veneer construction, the draft could be coming from the airspace between the brick layer and the house wrap behind it, which could be more of a challenge to seal
Then you would need to seal on the outside and the inside.

If you just seal the outside, it should reduce the draft considerably even if it originates between the brick and house as there will not be enough of a vacuum for air to enter.
Deal Addict
Jan 25, 2007
2980 posts
822 upvotes
Paris
I sealed it with a pro great stuff can. You could also insulate the doors themselves if you are worried about doing the wires.

Also, if its anything like mine you would need to take down drywall to do much with the wires anyway, so a little great stuff is the least of my worries.
Last edited by Jerico on Dec 7th, 2017 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Gbill2004: Thanks but I'll just smell the couch before/if I buy it.

jonnyb: I go in there like PICASSO and toss the glue everywhere, I don't care what house I'm on.
Penalty Box
Dec 9, 2003
4212 posts
442 upvotes
Calgary
Check outside around the meter, box and house entry for breaks in the conduit or cover plate missing

Image
I apologize for offending sensitivities of alt right, alt left, or anyone in the middle, for humor or perspectives, for my maturity and occasional errors. I apologize for misunderstandings on gender, religion, politics, race or deals.
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2011
2307 posts
502 upvotes
Gee wrote:
Dec 7th, 2017 5:40 pm
Then you would need to seal on the outside and the inside.

If you just seal the outside, it should reduce the draft considerably even if it originates between the brick and house as there will not be enough of a vacuum for air to enter.
Depends on brick drainage installed, it the house has those little gaps every tenth brick on the bottom course, then lots of airflow, That is what I was thinking of, plus OP seemed unable to seal from the inside.

Inside and outside is best naturally, but if he can't get to inside to seal, just where the wires enter the outside might not be the total solution
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 2, 2012
1838 posts
760 upvotes
KINGSTON,ON
These types of issues are really hard to diagnose without knowing the age of your house, as well as its construction type. If the electrical system has been upgraded, that could also be a factor.
Pictures are often helpful. Take some if possible...
Deal Addict
Jan 5, 2003
3414 posts
2615 upvotes
Toronto
I would just put some basic thin weatherstriping (thin gasket strips, etc.) around the doors to eliminate the gaps. Yes, the panel "cupboard" will be cold inside, but at least it won't make rest of the basement cold.

Blocking the draft from the outside is best, but it could take a while to find all the places it's coming from.
Sr. Member
Nov 9, 2008
951 posts
171 upvotes
Toronto
jm1 wrote:
Dec 8th, 2017 9:27 am
I would just put some basic thin weatherstriping (thin gasket strips, etc.) around the doors to eliminate the gaps. Yes, the panel "cupboard" will be cold inside, but at least it won't make rest of the basement cold.

Blocking the draft from the outside is best, but it could take a while to find all the places it's coming from.
I have the same issue - basement recently finished but electrical panel does not have a cabinet/cupboard over it yet. There is a noticeable draft being drawn from above the panel - it is more noticeable when the A/C is running or additional ventilation is turned on in the house (stove hood, bath fan). I had the basement sprayfoamed so it's pretty airtight, which I'm sure is contributing to this occuring.

I have way too many wire paths to properly seal it, so I'll be weatherstriping the cabinet I eventually build around the panel.
[OP]
Member
Nov 19, 2005
286 posts
3 upvotes
MrFrugal1 wrote:
Dec 8th, 2017 12:08 am
These types of issues are really hard to diagnose without knowing the age of your house, as well as its construction type. If the electrical system has been upgraded, that could also be a factor.
Pictures are often helpful. Take some if possible...
Hi, the house was built in 1925. Brick on concrete blocks. Panel upgraded in 2012. Behind the panel there is no insulation but around (finished basement wall) is spray foam insulated).
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 2, 2012
1838 posts
760 upvotes
KINGSTON,ON
eko416 wrote:
Dec 8th, 2017 4:49 pm
Hi, the house was built in 1925. Brick on concrete blocks. Panel upgraded in 2012. Behind the panel there is no insulation but around (finished basement wall) is spray foam insulated).
My guess, like others here have said, the draft is probably originating from between the brick layers. They may have sealed around the pipe where it enters the wall, but it may not be sealed around the second layer.
I'd just spray foam it. It can always be removed later.

Top