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need an incredibly low-profile circuit-breaker box

Posted by talley_sue_nyc (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 24, 10 at 17:46

I have to move my circuit-breaker box, and the position my DH wants to put it is in a hallway between two doors. The construction of our building is such that there is NO thickness to the walls that I can use to sink it into.

The walls are about 3 inches thick, and they are solid plasterboard. Maybe, just maybe, I can carve out 1.5 inches to sink it a little, but this is not traditional 2x4-studs construction. Please accept that as a given.

So the box is going to have to be mounted on the surface of the wall. Which means it'll impinge on the hallway, and look awful, and feel like it's in your face, sticking out there.

What's the shallowest possible version of a circuit breaker box? I need to have GFI breakers in there, as well as normal ones, and I'd *like* to put a 220v outlet in there as well. I don't care whether it's expensive; I'll pay to get something low profile.

Is there any such thing?

(and yes, I own my apartment; it's a co-op. Finding another spot to put it means involving the co-op board.)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: need an incredibly low-profile circuit-breaker box

I suggest mounting the new panel flush with the wall in the hallway. Cut out as necessary for the box to fit in the wall and project into the space on the opposite side of the wall. Extra drywall or furring strips plus drywall will hide the box on that side of the wall. Room width might be reduced a couple of inches.


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RE: need an incredibly low-profile circuit-breaker box

Hmmm--That's an idea--though it will be sort of low. Is there a requirement on how high up the wall it can be positioned?

It would have to fit in the space between the kitchen counter & the upper cabinets. Because that is what is on the other side.

And it might look sort of stupid, w/ the white Corian counter going under the boxed-off section.

There are filler strips on that end where the cabinets are, I think.

Can go down low? Under the counter? Or up high, where the upper cabinets are? Not sure I can take them down to get to the wall, bcs the contractor Liquid-Nails'd the to the wall. I might have to dig through the wall carefully from the hallway side.

What *is* the shallowest box possible? Because even with that sort of an approach, I would want as thin as possible to minimize how stupid it looks on the back side, or to guarantee that it's not going to hit the cabinets themselves.

Does anyone know of a site that gives dimensions for those sorts of electrical panels?

I don't think it can go WAY high up, can it? In the soffit space? That would require an electrician to use a ladder to service it, and maybe that's not kosher?


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RE: need an incredibly low-profile circuit-breaker box

No operating/moving part of the panel may be more than 6 1/2 feet above the floor. The typical panel is 3 3/4 deep, 14 1/2 wide and a 40 circuit panel is about 36" high. You will not find a box significantly more shallow.


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RE: need an incredibly low-profile circuit-breaker box

NOTHING will be shallower than ~4".


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RE: need an incredibly low-profile circuit-breaker box

Just out of curiosity, why is it necessary to move the panel? You say you need to move it, then you say finding another spot to put it means involving the co-op board. I don't quite follow.


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RE: need an incredibly low-profile circuit-breaker box

We put it in a bad place when we renovated the kitchen, and our contractor didn't stop us. Since we moved it, we sort of lost our grandfathering of its original position (which was WAY up high). We moved it only a couple of feet in the original wall, but it can't stay there. I *might* be able to justify moving it a couple more feet down, but it won't *truly* be code, because it'll be on the side wall between upper and lower kitchen cabinets. It'll be much more accessible, but not code.

There aren't that many walls in the apt. that are thick enough to sink it. The one exterior wall it's on (which has cabinets on it), and the dumbwaiter shaft are the only places that are more than 2" thick, *and* are wide enough to hold it. Everywhere is is cosmetically a *really* bad place (like, the dining room wall?).

Even that short stretch of hallway wall is aesthetically really, really bad. It'll be a 4" bulge at eye level in a relatively narrow hallway.

I might be able to put it where the dumbwaiter door is, if I replace the door itself. There wall itself is set back slighty; if I factor in the thickness of the dumbwaiter wall, might mean the back of the panel wouldn't interfere w/ the dumbwaiter if it ever operated again. It would mean *my* apartment couldn't use the dumbwaiter, but since I won't be living there, I don't care. And I don't actually believe the dumbwater will ever be used again, it's a pretty safe gamble. And I don't think I'd need co-op approval for that, or if I did, I would think they'd give it to me.

And since we're hoping to put our place on the market, I want it resolved before we do.

How *low* can it be mounted?

I don't have 40 circuits--surely 36" high is WAY big? Aren't there shorter ones? I'm sure the one we have isn't that large. I guess I need to get my hands on a box to see how big it is--both the part where the breakers go, and the front panel.

How *low* can it be?


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