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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6

    Default insulation gaskest for electrical boxes

    Does anyone know of a product to insulate the electrical boxes behind the face plate (something like a foam gasket that would go around light switches or recep) ? If so, I would appreciate it if you could give me the name of the company that makes them or the web site address.

    Thanks,
    Fred.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Branford, CT 06405
    Posts
    3,617

    Default Re: insulation gaskest for electrical boxes

    These gaskets are available at any hardware or big box store in the weatherstripping department.
    Take Care

    Jim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    St. Louis area
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: insulation gaskest for electrical boxes

    Greetings,

    I almost hate to admit it, but, I use expanding foam behind the boxes. If it foams out too much I trim it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Walnut Creek CA.
    Posts
    207

    Default Re: insulation gaskest for electrical boxes

    Quote Originally Posted by James Eggert
    These gaskets are available at any hardware or big box store in the weatherstripping department.
    Yep, little foam rectangles with knockouts for the switch or receptacles. Wish I could remember the numbers I once read in a study of insulating electrical boxes. While minimal per box, when mutiplied around a house, for a years time, it was a significant enough amount to warrant the work.
    RMc____

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    144

    Default Why seal at the boxes?

    When I asked this question 5 years ago, I got an answer that forever changed the way I build houses. I asked Chris Makepeace if there was a good way to seal the air leaks in an electrical box and he asked me in return why I was trying to stop the air movement at the level of the drywall when that was such a difficult location to seal with all the complex geometry in the interior of a typical custom home. The intersections of interior walls, electrical outlets, furr-downs, stairs on exterior walls, tubs on exterior walls, wire and pipe penetrations, and upper floor rim joist areas are all examples of detailing that is almost impossible to get air tight.

    Make no mistake, our homes should be airtight and properly ventilated for fresh air. Moisture should be maintained between 30% and 50% RH for healthy sinuses and control of mold and dust mites.

    Chris introduced me to PERSIST. Here is a link. http://homeenergy.org/archive/hem.di...99/991108.html
    PERSIST stands for Pressure Equalized Rain Screen Insulated Structure Technique and represents the most advanced building envelope system ever developed that is both affordable and appropriate for use in any climate.

    Since using this approach we have cut our cooling costs to less than half of our already low consumption building methods. I air condition 4200 sq ft in Austin TX for a dollar a day in August. My average electrical consumption is around 1000 KWh per month with an additional 10 gallons of propane a month for hot water and rangetop cooking and indoor grilling. Our homes have been blower door tested at .76 ACH50. This method does not significantly increase the upfront building costs over the cost of modern building techniques.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    298

    Default Re: Why seal at the boxes?

    Hi,

    Yeah, we discussed that system a lot here about 3-4 years ago. Very interesting concept, but doesn't help this fellow, 'cuz he's probably already built the home and is looking for sealing methods. PERSIST would be a good topic under a separate thread.

    ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

    Mike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Portland, ME
    Posts
    6,297

    Default Re: insulation gaskest for electrical boxes

    Just came across this thread - would love to hear more about PERSIST.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: insulation gaskest for electrical boxes

    Dan- Did you follow the link?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Portland, ME
    Posts
    6,297

    Default Re: insulation gaskest for electrical boxes

    I did, but would be interested in the experience of those who've used it - what did you use for insulation, where's the sheathing, what siding did you use, where did you put the windows, etc.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: insulation gaskest for electrical boxes

    Quote Originally Posted by Dancing Dan View Post
    Just came across this thread - would love to hear more about PERSIST.
    Dan, Martin has revisited this subject up over at GBA

    http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/...s-and-ceilings

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Why seal at the boxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Moore View Post
    When I asked this question 5 years ago, I got an answer that forever changed the way I build houses. I asked Chris Makepeace if there was a good way to seal the air leaks in an electrical box and he asked me in return why I was trying to stop the air movement at the level of the drywall when that was such a difficult location to seal with all the complex geometry in the interior of a typical custom home. The intersections of interior walls, electrical outlets, furr-downs, stairs on exterior walls, tubs on exterior walls, wire and pipe penetrations, and upper floor rim joist areas are all examples of detailing that is almost impossible to get air tight.

    Make no mistake, our homes should be airtight and properly ventilated for fresh air. Moisture should be maintained between 30% and 50% RH for healthy sinuses and control of mold and dust mites.

    Chris introduced me to PERSIST. Here is a link. http://homeenergy.org/archive/hem.di...99/991108.html
    PERSIST stands for Pressure Equalized Rain Screen Insulated Structure Technique and represents the most advanced building envelope system ever developed that is both affordable and appropriate for use in any climate.

    Since using this approach we have cut our cooling costs to less than half of our already low consumption building methods. I air condition 4200 sq ft in Austin TX for a dollar a day in August. My average electrical consumption is around 1000 KWh per month with an additional 10 gallons of propane a month for hot water and rangetop cooking and indoor grilling. Our homes have been blower door tested at .76 ACH50. This method does not significantly increase the upfront building costs over the cost of modern building techniques.
    Ray...Intriguing article you link to there...what insulation material do you typically employ and how much do you use?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Milford, DE
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: insulation gaskest for electrical boxes

    How about the LESSCO air-vapor barrier box? http://www.lessco-airtight.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Portland, ME
    Posts
    6,297

    Default Re: insulation gaskest for electrical boxes

    Before we get too excited, look at the dates -the original question is years old.

    Bill - Ray hasn't posted in a year so don't expect an answer soon, although it would be great to hear his experiences.

    John - thanks for the link, fascinating topic. Coincidentally, I was stuck in traffic on Route 1 just north of the painfully quaint coastal town Wiscasset, watching my gas gauge slip well below "E". To keep myself from considering too deeply the prospect of having to hike to the nearest gas station, I decided to obsess over wall assemblies (for a change).

    PERSIST looks very cool, but I agree with Martin that it seems very counterintuitive. I keep thinking about Riversong's argument that wall assemblies should be more vapor permeable to the exterior than the interior in a heating climate, and it makes increasing sense to me. Maybe PERSIST finesses the issue by so completely separating the two. I assume these houses use HRV's or ERV's.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: insulation gaskest for electrical boxes

    Quote Originally Posted by Dancing Dan View Post
    Before we get too excited, look at the dates -the original question is years old.

    Bill - Ray hasn't posted in a year so don't expect an answer soon, although it would be great to hear his experiences.
    I completely missed that...oh well, it bumped the thread for us newbies to check out PERSIST.

  15. #15

    Default Re: insulation gaskest for electrical boxes

    As a Newbie, I am always searching online for stuff that can help me. Thank you for your help.
    LMT

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