What’s Wrong Here? Hint: The Cable Guy

What’s Wrong Here? Hint: The Cable Guy

Can you identify the Code violation(s) in this photo?

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. It's your turn to identify the violation.


Hint: Cable Guy strikes again.

Find the Answer

There are many problems with this installation. First, let's start with the lack of a cover being installed on the panel. This violates 408.38, which requires panelboards mounted in cabinets or enclosures to be dead-front. We could also say this violates 110.18 since arcs or sparks are produced by overcurrent devices in their normal operation, and the lack of a cover would allow sparks to easily escape the panel. The exposed energized bus bars also create an extremely dangerous situation for an unqualified worker. The surge arrester sitting at the bottom right of the panel is a violation of Sections 285.5 and 110.3(B). The listing requirements and instructions do not permit the SPD to be left floating around inside the panel. It needs to be properly secured using its threaded neck and a locknut. In violation of 820.21, the accumulation of coaxial cables in front of the panel denies access to the electrical equipment. Perhaps this is why the cover was left off of the panel. This accumulation of cables also violates 110.26, which requires access and work space to be "provided and maintained" in order to allow safe operation and maintenance of the electrical equipment.

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