312.3 Position in Wall. In walls of concrete, tile, or other noncombustible material, cabinets shall be installed so that
the front edge of the cabinet is not set back of the finished surface more than 6 mm ( 1 ⁄ 4 in.). In walls constructed of
wood or other combustible material, cabinets shall be flush with the finished surface or project therefrom.
If the cover is a flush cover, there is an issue, but if you install a surface cover, there will be no exposed wood. However that doesn't change the code violation issue cited in post #4.Looks like a violation to me, combustible material exposed to the interior of the load center when the cover is installed.
I agree, but if I had one of my inspectors cite me for that (presuming I at least used a surface cover) lets just say I might go to jail for however I respond to it.If the cover is a flush cover, there is an issue, but if you install a surface cover, there will be no exposed wood. However that doesn't change the code violation issue cited in post #4.
Just says non combustible. Shouldn't even need to be metal. That said most anything can burn if you get it hot enough.If we assume for the moment that 312.3 is supposed to be referencing the wall surface material, rather than the whole wall, I would think the condition in the OP could be easily addressed by adding some metal over the exposed plywood corners around the opening. That would make the wall finish noncombustible in the vicinity of the panel. Is there a minimum thickness specified anywhere in the NEC, or could one just use aluminum tape, such as that used for connecting rigid air ducts?
Perhaps 312.3 requires that the wall (and not just the surface finish) be noncombustible to allow the 1/4" set back because cabinets often contain service conductors, feeders, etc. with higher current levels than the boxes for outlets, etc. described in 314.20. In other words, maybe the intent was to provide an extra margin of safety for cabinets beyond what's specified by 314.20, even though as you mention it's hard to rationalize the distinction when looking at the details of what's involved. Just speculation on my part ...So 312.3 references what the wall is constructed of, not what the finish surface is. Meaning the picture would be a violation even if the plywood were gypsum board? That seems a bit strange.
314.20, in contrast, references the finish material.
Seems 312.3 covers panels, cabinets, meter socket enclosures, and 314.20 covers outlet boxes, junction boxes device boxes, etc.The intent of 312.3 is to address both the construction and finish of the wall, and the intent of 314.20 is to only address the finish of the wall.
If the steel cabinet of a circuit-breaker (?) panel approaches the ignition temperature of plywood, you have more-important concerns to address first.... Is this a fire concern?
That might depend on how securely the panel's mounted. If it moves forward enough when the cover screws are tightened, (and/or the plywood moves back) no clearance-to-combustibles violation.If the cover is a flush cover, there is an issue, ...