Illustrated Catastrophes- December 2011

Illustrated Catastrophes- December 2011

More Code catastrophes uncovered and corrected in these faulty installations

Permit-Free Zone

The electrical work at this scooter and bicycle shop was done by the owner of the property. The open junction box and all of this equipment is not designed to be used in a wet location and violates the rules listed in 110.11.

"Unless identified for use in the operating environment, no conductors or equipment shall be located in damp or wet locations; where exposed to gases, fumes, vapors, liquids, or other agents that have a deteriorating effect on the conductors or equipment; or where exposed to excessive temperatures.

"Informational Note No. 1: See 300.6 for protection against corrosion.

"Informational Note No. 2: Some cleaning and lubricating compounds can cause severe deterioration of many plastic materials used for insulating and structural applications in equipment.

"Equipment not identified for outdoor use and equipment identified only for indoor use, such as ‘dry locations,’ ‘indoor use only,’ ‘damp locations,’ or enclosure Types 1, 2, 5, 12, 12K, and/or 13, shall be protected against damage from the weather during construction.

"Informational Note No. 3: See Table 110.28 for appropriate enclosure-type designations."

The NEC defines a wet location as: an installation placed underground or in a concrete slab or masonry in direct contact with the earth; a location subject to saturation with water or other liquids, such as a vehicle washing area; or an unprotected location exposed to weather.

Traveling Hazards

"I found this electrical panel in the back of a travel stop on I-40," says Orin Sowers of Armored Electric in Gallup, N.M. "Thought you might enjoy using it and picking apart all the Code violations."

These locations are often overlooked by maintenance and repair crews. This photograph shows some serious problems, including: open and exposed energized conductors; overcrowding; and improperly secured and supported wiring methods. These conditions could easily lead to an electrical accident.

Although our list of NEC rules that are violated here could fill several pages, here are a few obvious ones that come to mind.

"Completed wiring installations shall be free from short circuits, ground faults, or any connections to ground other than as required or permitted elsewhere in this Code." [110.7]

"Only wiring methods recognized as suitable are included in this Code. The recognized methods of wiring shall be permitted to be installed in any type of building or occupancy, except as otherwise provided in this Code." [110.8]

"Electrical equipment shall be installed in a neat and workmanlike manner. Informational Note: Accepted industry practices are described in ANSI/NECA 1-2006, Standard Practices for Good Workmanship in Electrical Contracting, and other ANSI-approved installation standards." [110.12]

"Unused openings, other than those intended for the operation of equipment, those intended for mounting purposes, or those permitted as part of the design for listed equipment, shall be closed to afford protection substantially equivalent to the wall of the equipment. Where metallic plugs or plates are used with nonmetallic enclosures, they shall be recessed at least 6 mm (¼ in.) from the outer surface of the enclosure." [110.12(A)]

"Internal parts of electrical equipment, including busbars, wiring terminals, insulators, and other surfaces, shall not be damaged or contaminated by foreign materials such as paint, plaster, cleaners, abrasives, or corrosive residues. There shall be no damaged parts that may adversely affect safe operation or mechanical strength of the equipment such as parts that are broken; bent; cut; or deteriorated by corrosion, chemical action, or overheating." [110.12(B)]

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