I agree with Joe.
What I do is tell me client,take a picture of the screws and replace them back on the dead front in the panel making sure no wires are near the screws.
Take another picture of the panel with knock outs missing and carry on with inspection.Then eye roll my eyes at my clients.:roll::roll::roll::roll::roll::roll::roll::roll::roll:
I recall a couple of years ago i was removing a panel screww that happened to be sharp pointed, evidently when it was installed, it damaged the sheathing on a hot #12 wire, but the arc hard created a small valley in the screw that was not touching…when I started backing the screw out…pow, it tripped main breaker, fried the circuits on my electric screwdriver and shot it across the garage, luckily had on rubber soled shoes! I did not replace that particular screw, but took photo, then made sure that the remaining screws did not touch wires when i replaced the panel…then notified everyone at the end of the dangers…if someone lese would have done that without rubber soled shoes, could have been a serious accident! What’s worse, it was a new construction inspect!
good example. The screws I were looking at were kinda long and the panel wiring was all over, so hesitant to stick my hand in there and start moving wires around ya know? Mine was a house flipper. total cheap rehab crap workmanship all over the place.
A good pair of Kline’s lineman pliers takes care of pointy sheet metal screws, and I never reinstall drywall screws in a panel cover.
Go to a electrical supply house and buy a box of panel screws, (cheaper by far than from the big box stores). If you don’t have an account with Johnstone Wholesale Supply, you owe it to yourself to open a cash account under your company’s name. I have saved thousands of dollars buying things for my own home that needed replacing. They are nationwide so there is one in most places. They will also send you a catalog every year which is a tremendous reference resource, fliers when they have sales on testing equipment for you gadget junkies. I also have business accounts at the big box stores, lets me go there to the contractors desk for things rather than going through the regular lines. I rarely pay retail for anything.
I have seen many panels where the original screws were in the dead front , but the threads were stripped and half the dead front was hanging out enouugh that you could stick your hand between the dead front and the panel . My own panel was like that after the electrician left . ;):D:D
That is why I do what I said I do. Including making sure the screws I pull out go into the same place.
If you change them and screw up the threads you could be creating a problem.
If you drop a screw behind something, carry one long screw driver that has been magnetized by a speaker.
If you can’t get it [note it on the report] and tell the Home owner.