What is the preferred method of sealing electrical boxes?

1: Foam gaskets behind trim plate

2: Expanding foam

3: Caulking

4: Drywall Mud

Views: 11148

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Bob---------------This sounds like a multiple choice test where # 5 ( all of the above ) is the correct answer. I'm assuming you mean on existing homes and not new builds. From my experience a gasket is always on the list and the other three depend on the gap around the cut out. I always use caps on recepticals too. Foam always makes a good backer for caulk or mud.

Yes existing home, if it was new construction I'd have the walls foamed and be done with it. Gaps are typically uneven between the drywall and electrical boxes, one side may be tight while the other has the switch plate barely covering the gap. Boxes don't line up with drywall, some are too tall, some to low. Oddly once the switch plates are on everythign looks OK. Typical construction for a 12yr old house around here.

foam gaskets are little to no use, try a blower door test and test the results you will see little to no difference, the air comes thoruogh the electrical holes in the sockets and from around or through the box. www.efi.org i believe is the correct website sells electric plates that seal or have a sliding door, this is good, but i have found by testing that the baby protectors work great and are cheap, try a blower door test and see. Caulk or foam the box to the drywall works and is easy and cheap, pulling out the electrical outlet to seal the back of the box is not cheap or easy and there is liability. go for the easy fixes first and test and measure the results. These are usually the small leakage points anyway, want to really reduce infiltration, look to the big areas, penetrations to crawl, attic, attic access, interior wall plates in the attic, large openings-coffered ceilings, drop downs, chases, chimneys, doors and windows, ducts, you probably have heard of the areas to look. hope this helps.

My concern is the temperature difference between the outlet and wall is about 8 degrees, even w/o blower door/wind involved. Baby protectors are already in place for small children in the home. I'm deciding weather to go with caulk or foam, my concern is it going past the gap and just filling the wall behind it. I'm not going bother will pulling outlets to seal the wires behind, too much effort for the return.

if that is your concern then foam would be the only alternative. if you can insert the tube and foam seal arouind and behind the box you might be able to air seal it and insulate it resulting in better temperature and infiltration. Some foams are better than others if indoor air quality is a concern, just like cualks. I doubt you will see the differnece in your utility costs, but if you are doing the work, what the hey might as well make it the best you can. You could throw in the foam gasket also if you have them, not that they will make any differnece, some guy is sitting in jamaca right now laughing at all the utility companies and weatherization programs that bought his foam gasket, LOL! Best of luck, would like to know the results, temperature and blower door numbers?

RSS

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network.

Latest Activity

Malcolm McKelvie replied to Alan Gindt's discussion Minneapolis Blower Door System for sale in the group Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
"yes I would pay the delivery fee!"
17 hours ago
Alan Gindt replied to Alan Gindt's discussion Minneapolis Blower Door System for sale in the group Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
"Malcolm, If you want to pay delivery from USA we can talk. Otherwise no thanks."
17 hours ago
Malcolm McKelvie replied to Alan Gindt's discussion Minneapolis Blower Door System for sale in the group Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
"How old is it? I assume it is in good working order? I'm interested in it but the price needs…"
18 hours ago
William H Nickerson replied to Kim Tanner's discussion Fantastic innovation
"So that's where you use those True Flow plates....."
22 hours ago
Colin Genge updated an event
Thumbnail

Passive House Testing Webinar with Kevin Brennan of the Passive House Academy at Online

September 29, 2015 from 1pm to 2pm
Tests needed to qualify as a passive houseWhy we’re seeing an increase in PH buildingsBest…See More
yesterday
Colin Genge updated an event
Thumbnail

DM32 Smart Gauge 101 Webinar at Online

September 22, 2015 from 1pm to 2pm
Webinar Learning Objectives:Gauge settings and operationCalculate results in the gaugeUpdate the…See More
yesterday
Colin Genge updated an event
Thumbnail

Blower Door 101 Webinar at Online

September 15, 2015 from 1pm to 2pm
See how easy it is to do your first test. Learn tips to perform your first duct test in only twenty…See More
yesterday
Colin Genge updated an event
Thumbnail

Zone Pressure Diagnostics (ZPD) with Bill Eckman of NME$A Webinar at Online

September 10, 2015 from 1pm to 2pm
Benefits and limitations of Zonal Pressure Diagnostics (ZPD).Best practices for accurate…See More
yesterday

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service