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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George Stolz

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Windsor, CO NEC: 2017
Occupation
Service Manager
My sense of scale must be way off, because that screw looked bigger than the bolts holding on the bumper of a '76 Chevy pickup. On the panel they look natural enough, for what they are.

Made your T5 look small. :)
 

mivey

Senior Member
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?
Might as well. That un-supported, hemp-flex now comes in a metallic version.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
My sense of scale must be way off, because that screw looked bigger than the bolts holding on the bumper of a '76 Chevy pickup. On the panel they look natural enough, for what they are.

Made your T5 look small. :)

They where actually pretty big, I think they are 1/4" fine thread.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
For a sense of scale check out the size of my van in this shot.

301Sign.jpg
 

K2500

Senior Member
Location
Texas
Tired of stripped out screw holes? Well, do I have a deal for you!

I think that I"ll start leaving a few in the bottom of panels. Then maybe I won't need 5 different screw drivers to open the equiptment, should I ever return.
 

kbsparky

Senior Member
Location
Delmarva, USA
Are you talking about the long clamps used for covers on an oddball panel Sq D made years ago? With sharp pointed clamps that go nearly all the way to the sides of the panel can? One of the few truly stupid things Sq D ever did was make that panel. I can't remember the model or common name for it. I only saw one of them. Also had a weird breaker with some kind of flexible strips to terminate. Someone designed all that on a Monday following a 2 week drunk or drug binge.

That was the old style NEHB panel, commonly used on 480/277 Volt systems.

On another note, those Square D panel cover screws have unique threads that make the screws tighten twice as fast. While they may appear to be machine screws, they are not standard machine screws. Square D recently has included a couple of extras in each panel cover in case you drop/lose one. I now have plenty of extras on hand in the truck, and will use them when encountering a box that is missing one of more cover screws.

But there have been times where a panel cover screw was missing, and the inspector is coming for the final. I have used machine screws, green screws, tek screws, and yes, even sheet metal screws to secure a panel cover. I've even used those Square D cover screws on a different brand of panel in a pinch ;) [GASP!].

Inspector didn't seem to mind so long as the cover was securely fastened! :D
 

George Stolz

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Windsor, CO NEC: 2017
Occupation
Service Manager
I have used machine screws, green screws, tek screws, and yes, even sheet metal screws to secure a panel cover.
I remember an occasion where an old abused panel had drywall screws holding the cover on. In a holier-than-thou moment I tried to swap out the drywall screws for anything I had that was a machine screw on hand. After trying several different types of screws, I eventually had to concede that the drywall screws that were originally holding it on were the best fit.

And until this morning, I had always figured that story was too boring to repeat. :)
 

mivey

Senior Member
I remember an occasion where an old abused panel had drywall screws holding the cover on. In a holier-than-thou moment I tried to swap out the drywall screws for anything I had that was a machine screw on hand. After trying several different types of screws, I eventually had to concede that the drywall screws that were originally holding it on were the best fit.

And until this morning, I had always figured that story was too boring to repeat. :)
After this thread you might just feel some vindication. Nice to finally be able to wash away the dirty feeling after all these years. :grin:
 

K8MHZ

Senior Member
Location
Michigan. It's a beautiful peninsula, I've looked
Occupation
Electrician
I don't remember who posted the thread about using epoxy to glue nuts to the inside of a panel but I pity the poor sucker that has to get the panel off once the epoxy deteriorates and becomes un-stuck.

Perhaps my standards are a bit higher, but to me, gluing metal nuts on anything, let alone in an inaccessible area, is the true sign of a hack.
 

jmellc

Senior Member
Location
Durham, NC
Occupation
Facility Maintenance Tech. Licensed Electrician
I don't remember who posted the thread about using epoxy to glue nuts to the inside of a panel but I pity the poor sucker that has to get the panel off once the epoxy deteriorates and becomes un-stuck.

Perhaps my standards are a bit higher, but to me, gluing metal nuts on anything, let alone in an inaccessible area, is the true sign of a hack.
That was me. With those panel cans, the mounting holes were a size or 2 larger than 1/4 x 20, and the metal too thin to tap to 3/8 or 1/2. I wasn't about to put spring clips back in (even if I could have found some) as they were terrible for breaking. I cleaned the metal with alcohol for a good clean surface and used epoxy putty, not glue, to hold a 1/4 x 20 nut in place. Last time I was in that plant, repair was still good, after 6 years. If the nut had slipped, I'd cut it with a hacksaw blade, as I've had to do when clips break. I didn't have stuff around to weld a nut in place. I guess I could have drilled new holes in cover and can and tap to 10-32, but the epoxy was quicker and didn't leave unused holes.
 

jmellc

Senior Member
Location
Durham, NC
Occupation
Facility Maintenance Tech. Licensed Electrician
I don't remember who posted the thread about using epoxy to glue nuts to the inside of a panel but I pity the poor sucker that has to get the panel off once the epoxy deteriorates and becomes un-stuck.

Perhaps my standards are a bit higher, but to me, gluing metal nuts on anything, let alone in an inaccessible area, is the true sign of a hack.
Also, I'm open for any better ideas you have?? I am fully aware that most anything can be done to some higher level if one has all the special tools and materials needed. That is not always the case and we sometimes have to use what we have on hand. And when working against deadlines, we don't always have the time to run out for materials or reinvent the wheel.
 
Workmanship is always important

Workmanship is always important

Use 8/32 or 10/32 screws. You may need to r- tap if theres thread damage....
Do it right, make it look professional. Sheet metal screws will loosen more quickly over time than a machine screw and are not allowed..
 
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