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Old 04-08-2019, 10:51 PM   #1
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Panel Lug Nuts and Torque


I'm trying to get the torque right on some power/neutral/ground lugs because I'm a nerd. They are the flathead type and the nut in the lugs are close to 3/4" in diameter and the spec states 50 in-lb of torque. I put my regular flathead bit in my in-lb torque wrench and the head of the bit wasn't large enough so it stripped out the lug nut a bit since they are made of soft aluminum.

Can an electrician tell me if they sell special bits for these large lug nuts and how they go about torquing them to spec? Or am I just a square for trying to torque these down to spec?

Last edited by seephor; 04-08-2019 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:03 AM   #2
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Re: Panel Lug Nuts and Torque


Where are these screws located? On breakers? In the panel? Do you have a picture you can share so we can see what you see?
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:31 PM   #3
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Most of the larger connections are Allen screws to avoid being stripped.

The code calls for properly torquing connections including device screws.
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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.

Last edited by Jim Port; 04-09-2019 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:30 PM   #4
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Re: Panel Lug Nuts and Torque


I tighten all the lugs I have ever touched as tight as they will turn and then stop. That is more than enough to help the properly sized cable in the lug. Tighten the screw until it stops turning


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Old 04-10-2019, 12:41 PM   #5
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Re: Panel Lug Nuts and Torque


Quote:
Originally Posted by HandyAndyInNC View Post
I tighten all the lugs I have ever touched as tight as they will turn and then stop. That is more than enough to help the properly sized cable in the lug. Tighten the screw until it stops turning


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Andy.....you might want to read this.....

https://www.ecmweb.com/contractor/do...calibrated-arm
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:46 PM   #6
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Re: Panel Lug Nuts and Torque


Quote:
I tighten all the lugs I have ever touched as tight as they will turn and then stop. That is more than enough to help the properly sized cable in the lug. Tighten the screw until it stops turning
Thatís severe over-tightening when they are specíd at 50 inch lbs. (4.17 ft lbs)
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:57 PM   #7
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Re: Panel Lug Nuts and Torque


It may be, but they are still tight to this day. I am referring to buildings I wired some 40 years ago.


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Old 04-10-2019, 08:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandyAndyInNC View Post
I tighten all the lugs I have ever touched as tight as they will turn and then stop. That is more than enough to help the properly sized cable in the lug. Tighten the screw until it stops turning


Andrew
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A total hack method. I guess you have never seen the damage caused from overheated connections from being too tight or conductors flattened or cut from improper torque like you advocate.
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Old 04-11-2019, 04:07 PM   #9
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Re: Panel Lug Nuts and Torque


The hex or allen type ones are easy since I can use my hex key sockets with my torque wrench but these regular flat head ones that are 1/2"+ in diameter are the ones I can't find any socket type of flathead fits that have a wide enough flat head to prevent it from stripping out. I figured someone must sell some 1/2" wide flat head socket bits but I can't come across any. I used a regular 1/4" drive impact bit but the head is not wide enough so it strips out the soft AL. I ended up just use a large screwdriver and torqued it by feel but I'd rather proper torque it with my torque wrench..
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:57 PM   #10
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Re: Panel Lug Nuts and Torque


Get one of these and a torque wrench.....
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:37 PM   #11
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Re: Panel Lug Nuts and Torque


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Originally Posted by seephor View Post
I figured someone must sell some 1/2" wide flat head socket bits but I can't come across any.
What you're looking for is called a drag link socket.

The only retail stores I've seen them in were Sears stores with a full tool selection. I'm not sure if any Sears still in existence stocks much in the way of oddball tools, none of the last ones around here did. So it's probably going to be found at a specialty tool shop or ordered online.
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Old 04-11-2019, 11:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishbulb28 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by seephor View Post
I figured someone must sell some 1/2" wide flat head socket bits but I can't come across any.
What you're looking for is called a drag link socket.

The only retail stores I've seen them in were Sears stores with a full tool selection. I'm not sure if any Sears still in existence stocks much in the way of oddball tools, none of the last ones around here did. So it's probably going to be found at a specialty tool shop or ordered online.
Perfect. I would have never guessed “drag link socket” This is exactly what I’m looking for. I’ll order online. Thanks!
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