Why to use proper Dead Front screw.

I was standing in front of the panel with the agent and the buyers telling them these are not proper Dead Front screws .
I told them why the proper screws were important.
As I started to back out the first screw …Pop ! Flash ! Smoke.
They all nearly fell over.
I finally got all the screw out and this is what I found.
It had been that way for years.
This is before the main.

Great example thanks for the post … Roy C

Roy C.
When it happen I couldn’t help but laugh at them.
I tried to hold it back but couldn’t.
They really freaked.
It sounded like a firecracker…lol !

Been there done that and it is a great teacher the students will never forget and you are the hero.
You can be sure your name will be given out many times from this …

Good for you

Just curious. Did homeowner “blame” you for blowing the fuse and want you to pay for an electrician since everything was “fine” till you popped the line. Havent been in your shoes yet but im sure one day I will. How did you handle it

I used to say,
Failed in testing Fortunately for you this did not happen while you were away .
There is a good chance this could have cause afire

Didn’t kick no breaker/fuse . It was between the meter and the main breaker.
They were happy I found it .
I had tic’ed it before I opened it completely.
In addition, It sparked before I opened it . Hence, they didn’t have any recourse even if they wanted to.
It will be a cold day in hell before I pay anyone form something I did cause.
I’m there to find these things. If they like it or not.
But, I’m kind to them always.

I can’t remember who posted it two weeks or so ago that they carry blunt screws for this very reason.

I’m going tonight to buy dead front panel screws.

Great Idea Chris.
I had to leave the dead off on this one. They had the powers shut off till it could be corrected. The dwelling is vacant .

I carry a few in the truck…

I carry bolt cutters cut the tip off and grind it down on the road or something…same thing, less cost.

Really? How much could they cost?

$10…I already have them in a case a lock needs to be cut…sometimes a seller puts a lock on something and can’t find the key. I tell them I have a master key to almost every lock, just only works one time…

Why keep buying screws, storing screws, finding the ones that fit…all it needs to be is blunt tipped.

A little taper on the end would help.

I agree with everything said about the screws but the sloppy workmanship that has the SEC’s so close to the front edge is also to blame.

Absolutely right Robert. Even a blunt tip can damage and/or penetrate a cable installed like the one Roy submitted. If a cable is directly behind the edge of the panel, dont install any screw back in that spot. This is more of a concern with larger feeder cables than with branch circuit conductors, which will normally flex enough from the pressure exerted by the blunt screwhead. Even still, it is best to be cautious.

Yes, I see this quite often where a simple cable tie or two would completely eliminate the possibility of any contact with the screw.

Does not the application of a regular screw destroy the machine screw threads?
I have no clue how many different types you would need on a regular basis.
I do however take pictures of the issue just like Roy does. Those screws do not get put back into the panel and it is reported.

Roy, what are you doing with no PPE on your hands?
No one should be looking at the panel until you have removed the dead front IMO>

I take temperature readings of all breakers, check the front and all screws with a ticker tester, I ask anyone within the panels vicinity to leave the room or turn away when I remove the panels dead front cover in case of a flash.
I now use plastic suction cup handles on the front and try to insure I am no way in contact with the panel.

Any time I see a odd looking screw be it discolored, the wrong size or just our of place my guard goes up.

I have avoided 2 flashes by having my head turned and following a safe practices ritual sense day one.
I have been ridiculed time and time again for being safe and taking my time.

NOTE: I have also saved agents the unfortunate circumstances from being blinded by flash and being electrocuted. They shrugged it off.
Man what a joke!!!

No, the metal is soft and will conform to a new thread once. Just insure you are taking you time to replicate a threading. no forcing. back and forth until the screw is set in place.
the metal that accepts the screw is softer than the screw itself.