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Old 12-31-2016, 09:09 PM   #1
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Sealing around outleys


I have cold air coming around outlets. When I pop the cover, I see a gap around the box and feel cold air. Do I need to use 3M Fire-Barrier Caulk or can I use the expanding foam, which is much cheaper.

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Old 12-31-2016, 11:36 PM   #2
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Re: Sealing around outleys


Regular foam would work, but messy. Caulking is easier and you can use your fingers. Never touch the foam products before they cure, it doesn't come off.

My trich for air sealing is to use contact paper, the peal and stick variety. Place the switch plate cover on the contact paper and mark out the switch or receptacle whichever. Cut out so paper will fit over the device. You can pre-cut the outside dimension or trim after all is installed. In one case i left the contact paper showing a 3" boarder, helped with the finger prints.

But the paper will give a good air seal right up to the device.

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Old 01-01-2017, 07:46 AM   #3
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Re: Sealing around outleys


How old is this house?
Wondering if it's balloon wall construction.
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Frost-King-...f-a1cbdadb78e7
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Old 01-01-2017, 09:21 AM   #4
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1978. I actually purchased those and noticed a big difference when installed. There are a couple of outlets that there is a pretty good size gap.
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:04 AM   #5
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Re: Sealing around outleys


I like the foam gaskets, but you have to do them correctly. Do throw out the cut out sections as they are used to seal around the male parts of the plugs and get plugged back in.

Little bit of caulking and some gaskets can tighten them up a good bit. Foam can be a recipe for disaster if you ask me.
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:58 AM   #6
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Re: Sealing around outleys


Do you have insulation in the walls? If so, you need to fill the gap up to the insulation, which may be easiest with expanding foam. Or you can remove some drywall and fill in the insulation with appropriate material, fiberglass, rockwool, cellulose, whatever is in there now. Course then you have to replace the drywall, but its a new year, new project. I recently insulated my garage wall, curiously it was the only wall in the house with no insulation. I took off the drywall, filled the gaps with foam board, and installed new drywall. Much warmer kitchen now (opposite side of garage).

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