How well do you know the Code? Think you can spot violations the original installer either ignored or couldn’t identify? Here’s your chance to moonlight as an electrical inspector and second-guess someone else’s work from the safety of your living room or office. Can you identify the specific Code violation(s) in this photo? Note: Submitted comments must include specific references from the 2017 NEC.
Hint: Raindrops are falling on my head.
Our three winners this month were: Dennis Anderson, a master electrician with Orchid International in Juda, Wis.; Nathan Gallion, an electrical consultant with Gallion Enterprises in Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Hudson Doughenbaugh, an electrician with Barder Electric of Dakota, Ill. Each of them knew that installing this flexible cord set through the wall is a violation of Sec. 400.12(2).
Flexible cables, flexible cord sets, and power supply cords shall not be installed through holes in walls, floors, or ceilings. According to Sec. 400.12(1), they also must not be used as a substitute for fixed wiring of a building or structure. Keeping in mind Sec. 90.2 states that “installations” are covered by the Code, I would say that snaking this flexible cord set through the wall would be considered an “installation” that would be prohibited by Sec. 400.12(5).
There tends to be some confusion when it comes to which types of flexible cables and flexible cords are covered by Art. 400. The Informational Note in Sec. 400.1 can offer installers some guidance when it comes to figuring out which cords and cables are included in the rules. The technical name for an “extension cord” like the one in the photo is actually “cord set.” Cord sets are included in the “Uses Not Permitted” rules found in Sec. 400.12.