Short #25 – A Costly Screwup (Podcast)
In this short podcast episode, we share some quick tips about keeping panels and insulation in place to avoid a costly screwup.
Often, technicians will use an impact driver too aggressively. If you feel it begin to clutch, that means that the driver is actually impacting, and that means you're going too far. When that happens, you can strip out the screws, which can be a serious problem on larger equipment. On RTUs and other large commercial equipment, panels can fall off if you strip out those screws, which can be a costly screwup.
So, don't strip out screws. Even if you need to put the screws in by hand or with a regular driver instead of with an impact driver, you'll see better long-term results. On normal drivers, you can also set the clutch so that the driver stops before it can strip out the screw threads.
When panels fall off, the insulation can encounter issues as well. If the insulation peels off, please put it back on. Don't be afraid to use a little bit of spray glue to help mount that insulation to the inside of the panel. After using spray glue, you can finish mounting the insulation with some butyl tape on the edges, which has a heavy-duty adhesive and should last a long time. (Silver tape is okay, but it isn't nearly as strong as butyl tape.)
When panels come off due to screws stripping out, they can blow away in extreme weather. In Florida, we have hurricanes in the summer and fall, so flying panels should be prevented at all costs. In some cases, you can even use a slightly larger screw to replace a missing screw if need be. Self-tappers also aren't the best screws you can use.
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