Can I use sheet metal screws to put a panel cover on?

Can I use sheet metal screws to put a panel cover on?

  • Only the manufactures supplied hardware?

    Votes: 78 40.8%
  • Any short machine screw that fits?

    Votes: 88 46.1%
  • Sheet-metal screws?

    Votes: 9 4.7%
  • Tek-Screws?

    Votes: 5 2.6%
  • Nail it on with Ramset?

    Votes: 9 4.7%
  • Why would I put the cover on?

    Votes: 14 7.3%

  • Total voters
    191
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iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
I do not believe there are any specific bonding requirements to meet. Consider the hinged cover of a disconnect switch.
 

readydave8

re member
Location
Clarkesville, Georgia
Occupation
electrician
:grin:


How about this, now you can compare it's size against a Fluke T5 tester.

3012Tek.jpg

Didn't know they made the Fluke T5 in a jumbo size.
 

mivey

Senior Member
iwire,

I think it is wrong to use those screws. Yes, they'll do in a pinch, but I'm still going with 250.8(5), (6), and(7) because if we look at 408.2, Art 314 is included. 314.40 (B) goes over thickness of the metal:
So is the screw or cover a switch, circuit breaker, or overcurrent device?
and two of the threads of the shown screws are greater in depth than that of the thickness of the metal, and so ideally(sp?) there is not 2 threads engaged.
What has grounding and bonding got to do with it?
 

OregonSE

Member
Location
Oregon
We have had inspectors look for this. OEM are prefered but machine screws will be accepted. Drilled and tapped with correct length. Sheet metal screws are for sheet metal {HVAC installs} sheet rock screws are for sheet rock,.
They will look for installers using self drilling screws in place of ground screws and bars. Some guys use green nail polish to get past that one.:roll:
 

mivey

Senior Member
So you agree I can use sheetmetal screws. :grin:

Panel cabinets and panel covers are sheetmetal.


(Generally flat metal thinner than than 1/4" is considered sheet metal, 1/4" and thicker is steel plate)
Oooooooh. That waskaly wabbit.
 

mkgrady

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
I think we are required to use the parts that come with the product to meet code. That includes the wire nuts we all throw away because they are crap and it includes using only the original screws to hold the cover on or an exact replacement.

Now, do I think it really matters? No, not in the case of disposing of the crap wirenuts and using real ones. Nor do I think it matters when we use a different screw to hold the cover on. But there is an exception. When the replacement cover screw is not original and it causes a problem.

So I think it is a code violation to substitute parts and in some cases it is immoral to use the provided parts.
 

LJSMITH1

Senior Member
Location
Stratford, CT
I bet Iwire was expecting me, of all people, to absolutely go *bonkers* over this poll....**



;)






**I took some powerful medication to calm myself down enough just to write this post...:roll:
 

LJSMITH1

Senior Member
Location
Stratford, CT
A little digging and I found a typical SquareD Panel Installation Guide...

http://ecatalog.squared.com/pubs/Electrical%20Distribution/Load%20Centers/Homeline%20Single%20Phase%20Load%20Centers/40271-419-04.pdf

On page 4 of that instruction:
INSTALLING THE COVER
1. Remove the cover twistouts.
a. Remove only enough twistouts to match the number of circuit
breakers being installed.
b.Twist out with pliers at the center of the twistout. See Figure 8.
c.Close all unused open spaces in the cover using filler plates
as listed on the cover directory label.
2. Attach the Spanish translation label, if supplied with the load
center, to the rear of the cover. See Figure 9.
3. Identify the branch circuits on the directory label.
4. If the load center is used as service equipment, apply the
“Service Disconnect” label to the part of the cover nearest the
main circuit breaker handle. If the load center is not used as
service equipment, apply the “Main” label to the part of the cover
nearest the main circuit breaker handle.
5. Install the cover using the screws provided.

Here are some spare parts you can carry...

http://ecatalog.squared.com/pubs/Electrical%20Distribution/Load%20Centers/Accessories,%20QO%20(LK,%20PK,%20QO,%20QON)/1130DB0502.pdf



Now, if you lost the screws or they were not in the package, I guess there would be a bit of a problem...;)
 
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Jim W in Tampa

Senior Member
Location
Tampa Florida
A little digging and I found a typical SquareD Panel Installation Guide...

http://ecatalog.squared.com/pubs/Electrical%20Distribution/Load%20Centers/Homeline%20Single%20Phase%20Load%20Centers/40271-419-04.pdf

On page 4 of that instruction:


Here are some spare parts you can carry...

http://ecatalog.squared.com/pubs/Electrical%20Distribution/Load%20Centers/Accessories,%20QO%20(LK,%20PK,%20QO,%20QON)/1130DB0502.pdf



Now, if you lost the screws or they were not in the package, I guess there would be a bit of a problem...;)


That is nothing more than typical instruction aimed at a 12 year old. They felt the need to tell you to put the cover on.
Perhaps Bob should have worded this pole bit differantly. Like as to the inspectors would they demand factory screws. Yes they could but only if they enjoy writing stupid tags, How can he be sure what came with it ? If you get tagged over machine screws other than originals then look out cause he is trying to get you.
 

K8MHZ

Senior Member
Location
Michigan. It's a beautiful peninsula, I've looked
Occupation
Electrician
BTW, not all panel covers use machine screws.

Some have specialty threads. Look close. Some have two threads so the taper is different than with a single thread of the same cut.

I guess my question is why the manufacturer would go to such extent to make a double threaded screw and then allow a sheet metal screw to be used in it's place? To me, such a substitution would constitute a modification.

Do the panels still maintain their UL status if modified with an unapproved means?
 

jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Retired Electrical Engineer - Power Systems
If you must use only the manufacturer supplied screws for a panelboard cover, shouldn't the same logic apply to device and cover plate mounting screws?
 

jwjrw

Senior Member
Some have specialty threads. Look close. Some have two threads so the taper is different than with a single thread of the same cut.

I guess my question is why the manufacturer would go to such extent to make a double threaded screw and then allow a sheet metal screw to be used in it's place? To me, such a substitution would constitute a modification.

Do the panels still maintain their UL status if modified with an unapproved means?

But alot of panels have self tapping screws with them as someone pointed out.
 

mivey

Senior Member
..I guess my question is why the manufacturer would go to such extent to make a double threaded screw...
A) Because someone in the design department had too much time on their hands.

B) Because the proprietary sales department was losing money on third-party replacement breakers.

Take your pick.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
I bet Iwire was expecting me, of all people, to absolutely go *bonkers* over this poll....**



;)






**I took some powerful medication to calm myself down enough just to write this post...:roll:

:grin:

I thought about sending you a PM to invite you here but I figured you would find it.

OK here is the other shoe dropping.

This screw

301Tek-1.jpg


Is a factory supplied screw.


Tek4.jpg


So once these screws strip out, and they already are I guess we have to replace the panel tub because we have to use factory screws?
 
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