When sharp screws are used in electric panel boxes.
I see it all the time. The original screws that came with an electric panel box have been removed and replaced with different screws not meant for the box.
Why can different screws be "not meant" for the box?
For a couple of reasons at least:
> The different screw(s) might be too long (!!).
> The different screw(s) might have the wrong die (the male portion of the coupling) for the tap (the female portion) that was cut into the panel box hole. A different die can change the original tap such that the proper screws will no longer fit or hold.
> The different screw(s) might have SHARP points, which are NOT intended for insertion into a place where there are electric wires! Panel box screw points are dull for good reason!
I can often see from the shape or kind of screw head that it was not intended for a panel box before I remove it.
And then, when it is removed and it has a sharp point I am not surprised.
What did surprise me on this box was seeing a large-amperage electric wire that had been previously punctured by a screw head, that there was a scorch beside it, AND THAT THE SAME SCREW HAD BEEN REINSERTED INTO THE HOLE!
Really? Somebody saw the problem that was caused by the wrong screw, wrapped the wire up with a little tape, and put the same screw back in place?
My recommendation: some things are hard to understand. And as regards electricity, there is not much room for error. And if you are fooling around in an electric panel box, lose the original screws and replace them with other inappropriate ones, well, you really should not be fooling around in an electric panel box! Wise up, get smart, and hire a professional!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560