What’s Wrong Here? Hint: Depth Perception

What’s Wrong Here? Hint: Depth Perception

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: Problem with your depth perception?


Find the Answer

Even extra-long 6/32 machine screws won't make this Code violation disappear.




According to 314.20, boxes, plaster rings, extension rings, or listed extenders using a flush-type cover or faceplate installed "in walls and ceilings constructed of wood or other combustible surface material, shall be flush with the finished surface or project there from." The combustible wooden wall surface shown here could easily ignite if exposed to arcs or sparks from a short-circuit or ground-fault event occurring in this box. It's important to note that Section 314.20 does permit the front edge of these enclosures to be set back from the finished surface a maximum of  ¼ in. only where the wall or ceiling surface is made of a non-combustible material.

In addition, 404.10(B) requires flush-type snap switches to be installed so that the extension plaster ears are seated against the surface, when mounted in boxes that are set back of the finished surface as permitted in 314.20. Flush-type snap switches shall be installed so that the mounting yoke or strap of the switch is seated against the box when mounted in boxes that are flush with the finished surface or project from it. Neither the box nor the switches were installed correctly in this installation.

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