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#8629 03/30/02 02:53 PM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 360
General Question
Is it a good/necessary practice to go back and retorque the terminals in a new service?
Like after a year or so? The lugs were tightened using a recently calibrated torque wrench ( you do have one on the truck, to fulfill the "tag instruction requirement"
don't you?) when the service was put in, and now a year later I am curious if they should be checked. Just not sure if I trust the aluminum wire.
Aluminum feeder down from the weather head, copper from the meter into the panel.
Thanks for your input.


#8630 03/30/02 03:52 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 507
While I haven't done this as general practice I can tell you that you're right about aluminum wire. It will always "loosen up" in the lug after a few days.

The biggest problem with is this is the service interuption required to tighten the lugs.


#8631 03/30/02 06:58 PM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 4,294
You probably shouldn't retorque aluminum connections, but rather reterminate them completely. Golf Junkie's right. They will loosen soon.
If you retorque them, they'll cut into the conductor...and loosen soon...and retorque...until there's no conductor left.
If it was done correctly in the first place, the torque value from the panel mfr. already took into account this loosening, and you're fine.

[This message has been edited by electure (edited 03-30-2002).]

#8632 03/31/02 10:11 AM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,044
Tom Offline
If you torque to the proper value, the slight loosening that will occur has been taken into account. Leave them undisturbed & they will be OK.

Next time you rip out something with aluminum conductors, try tightening a terminal, you'll usually be able to turn it 1/2 to 1 full turn, yet there won't be any evidence of a loose connection.


Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
#8633 03/31/02 06:22 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
Likes: 1
In trying to be the first sparky on my block to be compliant, I've found that the Klein brand torque wrenches and screwdriver kit is a whopping $1500!!! I absolutely don't have that kind of money for a tool that I haven't "needed" before... Am I out of business now?

Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI
#8634 04/01/02 11:17 AM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 360
Thanks guys. That's what I figured, I replaced the Federal Pacific fuse panel that was "fuzzing" when my wife was running the dryer. (dryer fuse holder would get too hot to touch!) Uprated everything from the 100amp fuses to a Square D 200 Amp homeline.
The lights blink just ever so slightly when a high load, (sewer pump, a/c compressor) come on. It is probably the fact that the Power company did not upsize the drop in from the pole. I was mentally troubleshooting the blink.

#8635 04/01/02 02:22 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 280

Is that the Klein set that comes with two torque wrenches and a screwdriver(torque-type) and a bunch of bits ? I got a quote of $975 on that one, but that will have to wait so I ordered the screw-driver instead it cost 135.00, This stuff must be calibrated via WWV in Fort Collins Co.
The thing that gets me is not so much torquing requirements but trying to tork a slotted head screw, I got about a half a dozen adaptors for my 3/8 drive in-# wrench a
the manufactruers could make it alot easier if hex or allen type heads were used.

#8636 04/01/02 02:37 PM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 360
The parts I had, was 1/2 inch hex in the meter base and 3/8allen in the panel, no muss no fuss no embarrasen' questions.

#8637 04/01/02 04:58 PM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 31
When you been in the bidness as long as I have, you'll learn to torque by feel-just to the point of stripping.

#8638 04/01/02 05:07 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 280
I just gotta comment on this one. My neighbors son was putting an engine together and asked his father how much torque he needed on the Head bolts and his father told him to, tighten the bolts all the way down til they wont go anymore, then one full turn, snapped a couple before the father realized the kid took him seriously. [Linked Image]
Or then theres the old rule of the thumb, tighten them down til they smoke.

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