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Based on comments/answer to my previous question, I cleaned the box up some, tightened all screws (no torque specs to be found) so I tightened to satisfaction.

I also noticed the wire on lower left big lug-screw (marked with an arrow) was bent back toward the main breaker panel frame. It seemed as though bare wire was touching the nut that is bolted to the frame (again, another arrow). I'm not sure that would cause an issue or not, but I did pull it away so it no longer touches. I haven't had any power issues in over 24rs.

Could this lug touching the panel box have caused my flickering and surge issues?

  • I included a reference to your previous question so it would be easier for others to know what you were talking about, and also made the question itself stand out a little more.
    – FreeMan
    May 24, 2022 at 14:23
  • Thank you FreeMan ,,I haven't perfected this site yet.
    – Larry D
    May 24, 2022 at 14:36
  • 1
    Usual best practice is to not have extra bare wire showing, so nothing can touch it. Would be an idea to push that wire in more or trim the wire so it can fit fully in. The loosest of the connection before probably caused most of the problem. That wire looking like the neutral probably had little problem touching the panel.
    – crip659
    May 24, 2022 at 14:53
  • 2
    By code a main panel the neutral buss and ground buss are to be bonded. The neutral wire touching the box would not have been a problem, but the loose wires were. As far as extra wire through the lug it is called witness that the wire is fully through the lug and most inspectors require it. The insulation that was missing from the neutral lug shows past problems, I would loosen up and push the wire through then tighten back down.
    – Ed Beal
    May 24, 2022 at 19:12

1 Answer 1


Could this lug touching the panel box have caused my flickering and surge issues?

No chance. This is a main panel, and neutral and ground are bonded here, so they are at the same voltage by definition.

I mean after the neutral connection failed, it might try arcing to ground, but only because the neutral connection failed.

You already have a clear, plain "smoking gun" reason why it happened.

I think you are entertaining "wishful thinking" because you feel flummoxed by this repair. That's understandable, since the lugs on the right are energized at all times and there's a risk to poking around in that box. However it needs to be fixed properly. Hire a professional, they'll make short work of this problem.

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