Well, you're not dead and it worked, but if there's a next time, consider what might have happened if the pliers had slipped on the allen wrench. I think the various ideas of taping the wrench or using a plastic T handled wrench, all with dry leather gloves, were less risky.
It was probably a function of coinciding with other large loads like an electric stove or clothes dryer. I guess you don't have voltage drop readings from before and after, but since the UPS should be trying to switch at a specific voltage you may have reduced the drop enough to miss that threshold. Of course the regulator down the street somewhere could have been adjusted or drifted slightly higher as well.
Here the first protection after the drop is the main breaker in the house panel. You're responsible for the meter socket on. There are code limits on the distance the unprotected feeder can travel inside the house before reaching the main breaker and if the panel and service entrance need to be further apart you have to provide a main breaker at the meter socket.
The utility puts their little seal on the meter socket here too, but they rarely seem to care much about it unless they have reason to suspect you are stealing power. I had to replace my meter socket on short notice when it failed some years back so I didn't contact the utility. It was years later when they changed the meter to the new remote read ones that they actually put a new seal on it.
Yep, the real old stuff can be pretty scary although people are far too paranoid about old knob and tube wiring. I'm still not sure the "modern" stuff is all that good in some areas though. I've seen some pictures of some apparently much newer service equipment that appeared to be quite new DIN mount breakers and whatnot mounted on a section of DIN rail. All fin to that point, but this DIN rail was mounted in an under stair closed to the back of a stair riser with no enclosure around it. I hope this was just a one off hack job.
Here the old stuff is "grandfathered" and allowed, but if you do any significant electrical work that requires a permit you will generally be required to bring the old stuff up to code as well. Here the homeowner can generally do their own electrical work, but they have to get a permit, follow codes and have it inspected just like any electrical contractor would. Generally seems to be the best way to do it as I will not permit anyone to force me to pay someone to do what I can do at least as well myself.
It's interesting how things vary between countries too.
You could have a great point about electric stove, which was on at some points. Like I said, it was intermittent, so I do not even know if I fully cured the problem. I tried the RPC a few times this morning, no problems so far.
Aww, don't let 'em scare ya! Be a man. Tighten the screw with cheap gas station pliers, butt-ass nekkid, standing in water, with your kid (no, scratch that, make it your wife since you'll be nekkid) watching so you can have a witness back you up when you're bragging later. But first will me your generator just in case. (:
The allen wrench doen't always stay in the screw or fall on the floor. It can and often does weld itself inside the box, possibly along with the pliers. It only has to happen to you once before your willing to spend 5 minutes and 25 cents worth of tape to insulate the allen wrench.
Even if you aren't electrocuted when you weld a wrench in a box you will usually end up blind for 10 or 15 minutes.