• IMPORTANT: Please note that nobody on this forum should be seeking from or providing advice to those who are not competent and / or trained and qualified in their field (local laws permitting). There is a discussion thread on this global industry-wide matter HERE. This also has more information about the warning with regards to sharing electrical advice in some countries. By using this forum you do so in agreement to this.
uHeat Banner - Forum Discount Available
This official sponsor may provide discounts for members

Discuss Set screw for ground wire stuck in breaker box in the American Professional Electrical Advice Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

I am a DIY'r. The last house I was in I tore down almost the entire house, room by room, to bare studs. Then rewired, reinsulated, drywalled, etc. We had the power lines buried and ran into a different part of the house when we had our basement replaced. I installed the new breaker box and moved all of the wires into the new box myself.

I've since moved to a new house that had room to put up a 30' x 40' shop, which I did, so I need to run power to it. The breaker box in my house only had 20 spaces and it was completely full. After weighing different options I decided to replace the breaker box in my house with a 42 space box and move my 20 space to my shop.

I ran 4/0, 4/0, 4/0, 2/0 wire to the shop and ordered the 200 amp subfeed kit for my QO Square D breaker box. I scheduled time for my power company to come out and kill my power so I could replace the box. The only real issue I had was I could not loosen the set screw where the ground wire from the grounding rod attaches to the main bar. I cut the ground wire so I could remove the box and since there was plenty of slack I was easily able to get it attached in the new box.

Now I need to figure out how I can reuse the old box. Any ideas for how to get that screw out? If I have to damage it beyond repair to get it out, how do I get a replacement?
 

Attachments

Bulk Workwear - Clothing Suppliers for the Whole Forum Network
This official sponsor may provide discounts for members

telectrix

-
Mentor
Arms
Esteemed
small cold chisel and hammer, or buy a screw extractor set.
 
Looks like there is a bit of corrosion there. Leave a few drops of penetrating oil on it and as others say get a screw removing kit.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
I was hoping to find a way to get it out without ruining it so that I can re-use it. If I chisel it out, use an easy out, or drill and tap it then I can't re-use it. If I go that way, where can I get a replacement so that I can re-use the box?

It does seem like there is a bit of corrosion around it. For some reason the contractor that installed it when the house was built didn't use an antioxidant grease.

One suggestion was to help loosen it using a penetrating oil. That's one thing I want to try but wasn't sure if it could cause other issues once power is running through it.
 

davesparks

-
Mentor
Arms
Esteemed
To get the screw out and reuse it you have a few options.
Heat it to expand the metal and break corrosion bond

Freeze it to contract the metal and break the bond, there are aerosol products available that do this.

Soak it in penetrating oil or diesel for a few days

Percussive shock, use a manual impact driver or put a stout screwdriver in the slot, hit the end of the screwdriver with a hammer whilst maintaining anticlockwise force. Combine this method with any of the others if necessary.
 

snowhead

-
Mentor
Employ an Electrician to do it, they'll most likely have a spare screw of the same type.
P.S I thought all wiring in the USA had to be inspected during installation and only a Licenced electrician could make final connections?
Or does that apply only in certain state

The grounding connector looks to be of a different material to the main bar.
It will be fixed from the back.
Remove the bar and then the connector, place on a metal surface and hit with a hammer, that will release the corrosion.
 
Last edited:

Megawatt

-
Arms
Advent Win
I am a DIY'r. The last house I was in I tore down almost the entire house, room by room, to bare studs. Then rewired, reinsulated, drywalled, etc. We had the power lines buried and ran into a different part of the house when we had our basement replaced. I installed the new breaker box and moved all of the wires into the new box myself.

I've since moved to a new house that had room to put up a 30' x 40' shop, which I did, so I need to run power to it. The breaker box in my house only had 20 spaces and it was completely full. After weighing different options I decided to replace the breaker box in my house with a 42 space box and move my 20 space to my shop.

I ran 4/0, 4/0, 4/0, 2/0 wire to the shop and ordered the 200 amp subfeed kit for my QO Square D breaker box. I scheduled time for my power company to come out and kill my power so I could replace the box. The only real issue I had was I could not loosen the set screw where the ground wire from the grounding rod attaches to the main bar. I cut the ground wire so I could remove the box and since there was plenty of slack I was easily able to get it attached in the new box.

Now I need to figure out how I can reuse the old box. Any ideas for how to get that screw out? If I have to damage it beyond repair to get it out, how do I get a replacement?
Darklager I hate tell you this but you probably will never get it out it’s aluminum and it sounds like it’s has what I call galded. They make nolox which you use on the lugs before screwing it in when you use copper wire and aluminum lugs. Worse case they sell the whole bar at Home Depot plus nolox which is the brand name. Good job
Post automatically merged:

I was hoping to find a way to get it out without ruining it so that I can re-use it. If I chisel it out, use an easy out, or drill and tap it then I can't re-use it. If I go that way, where can I get a replacement so that I can re-use the box?

It does seem like there is a bit of corrosion around it. For some reason the contractor that installed it when the house was built didn't use an antioxidant grease.

One suggestion was to help loosen it using a penetrating oil. That's one thing I want to try but wasn't sure if it could cause other issues once power is running through it.
Do you not have other connection points ? Did you draw a permit and did you get it inspected?
Post automatically merged:

Some bars are aluminium normally the earth (grounding) and neutral

only the live (hot) bar is copper

I think...
Actually Dusty the whole panel components to supply power to the breakers are aluminum the only copper you will see in the panel is wire that’s why you are supposed to use nolox
Post automatically merged:

Employ an Electrician to do it, they'll most likely have a spare screw of the same type.
P.S I thought all wiring in the USA had to be inspected during installation and only a Licenced electrician could make final connections?
Or does that apply only in certain state

The grounding connector looks to be of a different material to the main bar.
It will be fixed from the back.
Remove the bar and then the connector, place on a metal surface and hit with a hammer, that will release the corrosion.
Snowhead anytime you change or add panels to your electrical you are supposed to have a permit. What I’m surprised the most is the power company cut their power off it got relocated would turn it back on without having a permit, and been inspected by an inspector
 
Last edited:

Reply to Set screw for ground wire stuck in breaker box in the American Professional Electrical Advice Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

Aico 3000 Range
This official sponsor may provide discounts for members
Test Meter - Forum Sponsors since 2007!
This official sponsor may provide discounts for members
Top Bottom