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What’s Wrong Here? Hint: It's What You Don't See

What’s Wrong Here? Hint: It's What You Don't See

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: It's what you don't see.

Find the Answer

No box! That's the problem here. This is what I found when I removed a luminaire to be replaced. The fixture bar was screwed directly to the wood siding of the house with an NM cable feeding the luminaire. The domed luminaire canopy was being used to cover the splices against the wood siding.

Section 300.15 requires when the wiring method is conduit, tubing, AC cable, MC cable, MI cable, nonmetallic-sheathed cable, or other cables, a box or conduit body shall be installed at each conductor splice point, outlet point, switch point, junction point, termination point, or pull point,unless otherwise permitted in 300.15(A) through (L). Part (A) tells us a  box or conduit body shall not be required for each splice, junction, switch, pull, termination, or outlet points in wiring methods with removable covers, such as wireways, multioutlet assemblies, auxiliary gutters, and surface raceways. Part (B) permits an integral junction box or wiring compartment as part of approved equipment in lieu of a box. However, this does not include luminaire canopy covers installed against the wood siding. If the splices or wires started arcing, this could ignite the combustible wood, since there was no box to contain the arcing or sparks.

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