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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jmellc

Senior Member
Location
Durham, NC
Occupation
Facility Maintenance Tech. Licensed Electrician
Marky Sparky, I'll give it to you; those clips and rivets look good. I will look into them. The clips look exactly like what broke out to start with, but may be ok if they are stronger metal. Rivets look good, but I have seldom ever used rivets and probably won't buy a tool I don't use that much.

Again, if nut slips loose, I would cut the screw with a hacksaw blade or a short sawzall blade. Did that before when clips broke and spun freely.
 
Screws are probably part of the listing of the equipment as it was tested . So if any machimne screw was good they would not send any screws with the panel to save the bucks.
 

macmikeman

Senior Member
Most times I installed a CH BR series load center they supplied 6 screws in the pack and the cover needed 4. I still got enough to last for years and they work great for (dare I say this?) old GE and other panels that are missing cover screws.
 

jaylectricity

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Occupation
licensed journeyman electrician
Is this question and answers serious?

It's easy to fall into the belief that all the electricians on this board are straight shooters who don't like fun. Lurk more and read more posts and you'll soon see what is said in jest, and what is just a test.
 

Jim W in Tampa

Senior Member
Location
Tampa Florida
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.

VIOLATION! I used my fingers to remove the twistout.


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.

Conflicting instructions^

When the time comes when I am not allowed to make a simple decision like "what kind of screw can I use to secure a panel cover", is the day I hang up my tools. Freakin stupid.

So what job are you looking for ? Any inspector could demand the factory screws if he wants to and you can't fight it. Perhaps Bob should have asked how many got taged for not using factory screws. Yes it is stupid to enforce this assuming you had no sharp pointed screws but there are a few ----- inspectors that enjoy taging. Not many but are a few.
 
sheet metal screws are you kidding?

sheet metal screws are you kidding?

IN the poll it addresses machine screws, the question was about metal screws. Big difference. However, the answer is the same NO!! Only a panel cover screw can be used. The difference is that on a panel cover screw the first 1/8 inch or so has no threads to cut through insulation.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
IN the poll it addresses machine screws, the question was about metal screws. Big difference. However, the answer is the same NO!! Only a panel cover screw can be used. The difference is that on a panel cover screw the first 1/8 inch or so has no threads to cut through insulation.

Joseph, it helps to read the entire thread. :grin:

The panel shipped from the factory with large sharp tek screws holding the cover on.
 

BarryO

Member
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.

VIOLATION! I used my fingers to remove the twistout.

It's a violation only if the instructions in question are included in the listing or labelling for the panel, directly or by reference.
 

batch

Member
Location
Florida
If an inspector cited you for 110.3 (A)(2) or 110.3 (B) and told you to prove the screws you substituted for them were acceptable in the listing. What could you do?

I had an inspector who failed an inspection where we were using 1/2" FMC screw in type connectors to bond the secondary side of a neon sign. He said that screw in connectors were not listed for bonding or grounding. My boss told the tech to swap the connectors to the set screw type the inspector told him to swap to. The inspector then said that the ones he said to use weren't listed for that purpose. They were told to swap to squeeze type connectors. Then he failed that. Finally they let me talk to the inspector, who BTW was very well respected by pretty much everybody. I had a copy of Mike Holt's "Understanding the NEC 1993" Or something. And in it he had outlined that all FMC up to 3/4" trade size was listed for grounding or bonding. The inspector wouldn't accept the book. So, I had to prove that by contacting various UL inspectors until I got a hold of someone willing to look it up.

He called me back and that basically Mike Holt was right and sent me documents to the fact along with all of his contact info. The inspector just signed off with out checking the info I provided.

Another time my boss for some unknown reason to either him or me, included a partial code snippet regarding:

600.6 (B) Control Switch Rating. Switches, flashers, and similar
devices controlling transformers and electronic power
supplies shall be rated for controlling inductive loads or
have a current rating not less than twice the current rating
of the transformer.

The inspector wanted me to size the switch to double the rated load. Which was 12 amps on a 20 amp switch. Again he cited me until I could prove he was wrong and that GP switched were rated for inductive loads.

So do you require the inspector to prove it isn't listed?

I have had inspectors ask me to "put a couple of more screws" in a panel that was held on by a couple of screws that require a 10in1 to get out. Not, even my problem. I am just showing him the time clock that controls the sign circuit. But, I'll through a couple of teks in there for him...
 

B4T

Senior Member
I have seen guys use drywall screws that dug right into the neutral.

Ground screws fit most taped panel screw holes.

The extra screws you get from gutters are also the same size thread.
 
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