How To Look At A House
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Where can I get replacement screws for the cover of my electrical panel (dead front)?
Saturday, September 10, 2022
Replacement screws that match the original ones for the dead front of a panel manufactured by Square D, Eaton, GE, or Siemens are available at the big box home improvment stores and most hardware stores for for around $6 for a half dozen. Screws that match older, defunct brands can be harder to find. But you can also get a 25-count bag of generic 10-32 rack screws in 1/2” length that fit most panels for about $10, or 1” length for $15.
Don't just use any screw that’s handy nearby. A pointed screw is dangerous because the tip can possibly penetrate the insulation of a wire behind it in the panel and cause a short circuit. So getting one with a blunt tip is important. Also, the head should be wide enough to securely cover the hole in the dead front. See our article What are the common problems with an electrical panel dead front? to learn more.
One of the occupational hazards of being a home inspector is dropping a screw while removing or replacing a panel dead front. Homeowners often pile up open boxes and other clutter below the panel on the garage floor that the screw falls into and then disappears. So we keep a few of the generic dead front screws in a tool bag for replacement.
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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about ELECTRIC PANELS:
• What causes copper wires to turn green or black in an electric panel?
• What is the maximum number of circuit breakers allowed in an electric panel?
• When should a corroded or damaged electric panel cabinet or disconnect box be replaced?
• What is a tandem circuit breaker?
• When did arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) breakers first become required?
• What is the maximum gap allowed between the front of a recessed electric panel box and the wall surface surrounding it?
• What are the requirements for NM-cables entering an electric panel box?
• Why is a fuse box/panel an insurance problem for homebuyers?
• Why is bundled wiring in an electric panel a defect?
• What is the difference between GFCI and AFCI circuit breakers?
• Why are old electrical components not always "grandfathered" as acceptable by home inspectors?
• What happens when you press the "TEST" button on a circuit breaker in an electric panel?
• What is a Dual Function Circuit Interrupter (DFCI)?
• What is the difference between a Combination Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (CAFCI) and an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) circuit breaker?
• Who is the manufacturer of those "bad" electric panels?
• Why is the circuit breaker stuck in the middle?
• What is a double tap at a circuit breaker?
• What is the right size electric panel for a house?
• What is the maximum allowed height of a circuit breaker (OCPD) above the floor?
• What is the maximum height you can mount an electric panel above the floor?
• What is the code required clearance in front of an electric panel?
• What is the main bonding jumper and where do it find it in an electric panel?
Visit our ELECTRIC PANELS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.
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