corroded electrical equipment

Illustrated Catastrophes: Corrosion of Conformity

April 26, 2023
See the latest Code violations from NEC Consultant Russ LeBlanc.

All references are based on the 2023 edition of the NEC. 

Corrosion of Conformity

This photo shows us an excellent example of why Sec. 300.6 exists in the Code. That Section requires, among other items, raceways, cable armor, boxes, fittings, supports, support hardware, cabinets, boxes, and other enclosures to be made of materials suitable for the environment where they are installed. For ferrous metal equipment, Sec. 300.6(A) requires these items to be protected against corrosion on the inside and outside by an approved corrosion-resistant coating. Whatever coating was used on this equipment did not seem to fare very well. Rust has eaten away the bottom of the disconnecting means to the point where the raceway has completely separated from the enclosure,  leaving the conductors exposed to being damaged from the jagged edges of the rusty metal enclosure. Rain and moisture can now easily enter the meter socket enclosure, increasing the risk of shock and fire. The rays of the sun can also wreak havoc with the exposed conductor insulation too. The lack of electrical continuity and mechanical connection between the raceway and enclosure now violates Sec. 300.10 requirements along with many bonding and grounding requirements in Art. 250. I don’t think either of these enclosures comply with the requirements in Sec. 312.2 anymore.

Vending Machine Violations 

I spotted this contraption behind a vending machine on the outside of a local store. The vending machine power supply cord is the black cord with the orange cord cap. I’m not sure where the orange cord with the yellow cord cap is going, but I do know there are a few concerns here. First is the receptacle power tap installed in this outdoor wet location. I’m fairly certain that type of equipment is not rated for use in this wet location. Section 406.9(B) requires 15A and 20A, 125V and 250V receptacles installed in wet locations to be installed in an enclosure that is weatherproof with an attachment plug cap inserted or removed. This enclosure does not comply with that requirement. The cord caps on the power supply cords do not appear to be types that are rated for use in this wet location either. Installing and using listed or identified products without following instructions is a violation of Sec. 110.3(B). Installing power supply cords, cord sets (extension cords), flexible cords, or flexible cables in raceways is generally prohibited by Sec. 400.12(6), unless specifically permitted elsewhere in the Code. One example of this is wet niche lights for swimming pools where the cord is run from the forming shell, through a raceway, and to a swimming pool junction box as specified in Sec. 680.23(B).

About the Author

Russ LeBlanc | Owner

Russ started in the electrical trade as an apprentice in 1985. He worked his way up to become a Journeyman Electrician and then eventually became a Master Electrician and Licensed Construction Supervisor. In 1999 Russ become an Electrical Instructor for The Peterson School of Engineering in Massachusetts where he developed his passion for teaching, and quickly became Department Head of Electrical Instruction. Russ has taught thousands of apprentices, electricians, engineers, inspectors, and other electrical professionals during his career as an instructor. He continues to provide electrical professionals with Electrical Code seminars, Arc-Flash Awareness training seminars and educational material through his LeBlanc Consulting Services in North Reading, MA whose specialty is educating electricians. He has been an active member of the NFPA Electrical Section and has authored hundreds of National Electrical Code proposals and comments which have become Code rules to improve the safety for the electrical industry. Russ is also an IAEI certified Electrical Inspector.

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