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 Code violation(s) in this photo?
Hint: Window display lighting doesn’t quite measure up
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Our three winners this month were: Timothy Adkins, owner, Adkins Electrical Service, Alum Creek, W.Va.; Doug Bress, president, Florida East Coast Contractors, Rockledge, Fla.; and Joseph R. Branham, vice president, Branham Electric Corp., Chesapeake, Va. They all pinpointed a few violations with this severely corroded box.
Corrosion of the junction box allows access to the energized conductors inside.
As per 314.15, “In damp or wet locations, boxes, conduit bodies, and fittings shall be placed or equipped so as to prevent moisture from entering or accumulating within the box, conduit body, or fitting. Boxes, conduit bodies, and fittings installed in wet locations shall be listed for use in wet locations.” A second Informational Note in this section adds, “For protection against corrosion, see 300.6.”
The junction box needs to be a minimum for 3R but, depending on where it is located, may be required to be a 3S or 3X. Section 110.28 states that enclosures “shall be marked with an enclosure-type number as shown in Table 110.28.”
Also, enclosures within the reach of pedestrian traffic are required to be locked by some means. As you can see in the photo, the securing means is not present on the lower latch.
As per 110.27, “Except as elsewhere required or permitted by this Code, live parts of electrical equipment operating at 50V or more shall be guarded against accidental contact by approved enclosures …”.
And, of course, reliable grounding/bonding through any corroded material is impossible.