never! Never! have anyone around you when removing the dead front. and never walk away from it until you’re finished and its all closed up.I don’t use all the stuff that you have listed. I know I’ve opened up thousands. However when you’re messing with that kind of stuff you can never be too careful.
always expect the worst and be prepared for it.if removing those screws and all the sudden there’s a big flash don’t panic cuz you will be at that point endanging yourself and others.if it is the last screw and you drop the dead front and it hits everything.oh well! Do I have to say more. I carry a five pound fire extinguisher in my truck all the time
Chris, experience is your best teacher. Other inspectors will each help you (listen carefully to what they have to say). Even when you get comfortable removing dead front covers, issues will arise that you have never encountered.
Make sure that you are carrying both Flat head and Phillips head screwdrivers with you, because you will run into situations requiring both types.
When you unscrew the top left screw, put that particular screw in your front left pocket. When you unscrew the top right screw, put that particular screw in your front right pocket and so on until there are no more screws and no more empty pockets. Try to make it a practice of knowing which screw went where (they don’t always fit where you want them to fit).
I’ll give you an example of experience being your best teacher. On one inspection (years ago) I brought only a phillips head with me. I unscrewed every screw (which seemed to take forever). I unscrewed every one but the bottom left, my last one. It was a flathead and I didn’t take it out of my toolbag, before I began. I figured that I could just carefully lower the cover slowly to the right, so I could take a look inside. I should have known better because it didn’t go as far down as I wanted. Very gently, I pushed a little further down and I realized something was just not right. I glanced up to my left and noticed that I had tore some of the owners sheetrock. Very calmly and without making a scene, I put the panel back in position, and put in another screw in the top right to hold it; until I had my flathead with me. I then proceeded with a proper inspection and learned some valuable lessons that day.
Learn from your mistakes and learn from mine. Stay safe and remember: “SAFETY FIRST, SAFETY ALWAYS”.
Don’t you guys ever remove modern panel covers? They are #2 square head in case you’ve tried these with a Phillips head. I’ve seen more than my share of stripped screw heads. I carry a Dewalt screw gun with assorted attached bits, and I must admit that I don’t bother with magnets or gloves. I can’t even fathom how many covers I’ve removed, but please don’t do this without proper protection if you are new at this.
No… They stay in the foam supported bag until it’s time. I always take a good look at them for damage. I replace them yearly.
I know the leathers would be better but it’s hard enough to have the dexterity to pick up a screw etc.
So if they had a little hole what’s the big deal? errrrr… my life!
Brad what’s the percentage of screws that are flat vs. pointed you run into?
I estimate it’s at least 50% with me.
3 years ago after I double checked to make sure there were no wires in the way to put the screws back
(allot of wires were neatly wrapped together & held by a plastic tie type device) the tie device broke open
after the cover was in place & the wires spread.
I pierced the 1/0 cable.
I didn’t see anything but heard the explosion/bang. My assistant saw the flash shoot over my head.
The main disconnect tripped, got burnt up/damaged.
It wasn’t my time to go.
I’ve seen a lot of pointed screws too, and check the wiring locations before I put any screw back in. A couple of them, I had to mark the panel holes " Do Not Use" due to close proximity of the conductors. I do note all pointed screws on an home inspection report. Glad you didn’t get bit, but I bet you had to change your pants after that one.