Closing Service Panel

If a service panel front is fastened on using drywall screws, do you put those screws back in after inspecting the panel? Do you bring your own screws for replacement?

Don’t open it in the first place and state why on your report.
However, If you are experienced give it a try. Wear gloves and tick the screws.

I blunt the screws and carefully re insert.

Okay, so experienced pros open the panel anyway - but doesn’t putting the screws back in expose you to liability? Aren’t you recreating a hazardous condition?

only if you put them back and don’t call it out.

We can’t go around correcting all the safety items we find.

I carry a baggie with most common ones… If I can’t find a match, I do what Michael Larson does – blunt them and put them back.
I note it either way on the report.

As mentioned blunting the tip of pointed (drywall) screws does help for temporary “safety”; But remember the screws are still self driving and they can easily twist and cut wiring.

I check the conductor positioning.
Some have lots of space while others are packed with wires.
Always a judgement call that 100% includes callout.

I carry some extra ones. If I don’t have the right size, I blunt the end of the screw.

Except for this past winter, when someone had installed 2 1/2" drywall screws. Two of the correct screws for the panel were laying on top of the panel !

I really wanted to blunt the person’s head who installed them.

This is what could happen…It was a blast.
This is the feed before that main breaker.

Sometimes I will put them back and call it out in the report but usually I will dig into my parts box where I carry a couple of each of the most common styles and replace them. I make sure to mention it in the report and to the buyer and their agent…its an inexpensive gesture that shows that you go above and beyond for your client.

But if I don’t have the correct style, or enough of them, then it’s a judgement call. If there a no conductors nearby then I may blunt the end and put it back in. If there are four screws and one is dangerously close to a conductor, then I will not put it back and I will call it out in the report.

Larsons amateur blunting is a mistake imho.
Opens one up to liability.

I photograph the screws for the report, make sure the wires in the panel are
out of the way and put two of the screws back in place to hold the front on.

Maybe and maybe not. You don’t want to leave the darn thing open. So if you put Blunt screws back in it don’t say it on a report. Where is the liability in that? I don’t carry extra parts with me it’s not my job.

I don’t carry proper panel front screws either and of course I report the condition as a hazard.

Twitt has a screw loose.

Though he is on my ignore list and has been for a long time I had to see what you were responding to.

Roy is exactly right.

You can’t leave it open and create a bigger hazard.

Blunting the screw if you don’t have the ones that belong there is your best bet.

Just make sure the wires are tucked out of the way where the screws holes are.

And of course you report it.

What does twitt do?

Call for an emergency electrician? :roll:

Opening a panel you don’t want anyone around you. When taking out the screws always expect something could happen . Treat it as though you were messing with a rattlesnake. I may be over zealous. But when I open one I make anyone standing around me turn their backs. I use the dead front as a shield. I would truly hate to have someone blinded by slag that could pop off that panel. It darn sure does happen I’ve had it happen a couple of times in my experience . This is something to take seriously. Oh yeah!

I had to bat a clients hand out of the way a few weeks back.

He had no clue that the bus was dangerous.:shock:

Great move Brother. You could have very well save someone’s life.
Please ppl ! The electrical is one of the main things that could cause death . Inasmuch, take every precaution that you can think of then more.
I’m done!

True Story:
A few years ago, I removed a cover & took my pic - all looked AOK.
Turns out there was some wiring held tight together in place by one of those plastic ties the electrician used. As I was screwing in the cover, the plastic tie snapped open & one of the cables came to the side & got pierced by the screw I was fastening in place. It was a proper flat head screw. Who would think such a far chance thing would occur?

There was an explosion with an extremely loud BANG! It burnt a big hole in the cable. I didn’t see it being right up at the front, but my assistant saw the flash go above & over my head.

The main disconnect breaker outside tripped thank God, but would not reset due to the now short/hole in the main cable.
I paid $150 for an electrician for the repair the next day even though it was not my fault - try telling that to the seller who came home & had no power.
I’m just very lucky & thankful I’m alive! It could have gone a different way & killed me.

There was no way this could have been foreseen.
Be careful out there guys.

Just did it today, Mike. Client’s friend (both 60 something ladies) trying to “point” at the old cloth covered insulation at the feeds, to ask it that was a fire hazard. I may have been too quick, but I literally slapped her hand away and told her to stand back away from the panel. I told her it was more likely for her to die right there right then than for that insulation to catch fire.

Partly my fault because I called the client over to show her a double tap. I usually guard the open panel with my body, but she squeazed in to “point” (touch) the questionable cloth insulation.