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: Nice and tight
Find the Answer
Wayne Schneider, anestimator for Muth Electric, Inc., in Mitchell, S.D., sent us this photo, which shows an excellent violation example of the requirements in 314.29.
Boxes and conduit bodies, like those in the photo, must be installed in a manner so the wiring inside of them can be accessed without having to remove any building parts or without having to excavate the sidewalk, paved areas, or other finish material used to create the final grade.
As can be seen in this photo, the only way we could gain access to the wires inside those PVC conduit bodies is by breaking up the cement sidewalk in order to have enough room to remove the bottom cover screw. Although there is an exception in this section of the Code that permits listed boxes and handhole enclosures to be covered by loose soil, gravel, or other light aggregate where the box location is identified (and still accessible in the event it needs to be excavated), it doesn't apply to this installation.
Also, consideration should be given to the location of these PVC pipes since it may put them in a position to be subject to physical damage. Where PVC is exposed in areas subject to physical damage, heavier wall type Schedule 80 PVC conduit should be used instead of Schedule 40 PVC.