Back of electrical panel, plywood or drywall?

My main electrical panel is mounted on the outside wall of my garage. It is stucco on the outside and the framing is 2x4's. The garage is mostly unfinished. The section around the back of the electrical panel has drywall. It's there to protect all the NM cable (romex) that comes out of the panel. There is a drywalled raceway at the top of the wall that the NM cable runs through to get into rest of the house.
The drywall panel that covers the back of the electrical panel is quite damaged and broken up. I would like to replace it. The back of the panel is flush with the inside drywall. Do I have to replace it with another piece of drywall, or can I use a sheet of plywood? I would much rather use plywood to cover the panel and the romex. I like the extra strength, so the damage doesn't happen again. Is it code that the panel must have drywall behind it?
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plywood is fine and actually prefered
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I have read that some jurisdictions require a non-combustible backing. You need to check your local Code.
Perce
On 06/12/06 04:47 pm Carl wrote:

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Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

Around here plywood is a code requirement..........
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Like someone mentioned ,check your local code. Around hereplywood is allowed but some places require fire rated plywood or a coat of fire retardant paint.
Bill
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On Mon, 12 Jun 2006 20:37:41 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (... ...) wrote:

Fire rated plywood????? Never heard of that. What is it made of? It cant be wood.....
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snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

It is wood that is specially treated, It saws and installs like regular plywood but usually there is a "stamp" on it and very difficult to paint due to the treatment.
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Indeed. Electrical/Building Code at least in Ontario Canada _requires_ a fire resistant backing, and everybody uses drywall.
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Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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