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What’s Wrong Here? Hint: Peek-a-Boo

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: Peek-a-boo

Find the Answer

Two boxes. One hole. Zero supports. That's what I found inside this wall opening. Now that just doesn't add up to a good installation.

The 4-in.-sq box and the handy box with the receptacle installed in it are simply floating around inside this hole, with absolutely no means of secure support. This is a clear violation of Sec. 314.23 of the 2011 NEC. Enclosures such as these must be supported.

There are several provisions in 314.23(A) through (H) that provide specific requirements for securing and supporting boxes.

  • 314.23(A) requires surface mounted boxes to be rigidly and securely fastened.
  • 314.23(B) requires rigid support from a structural member or brace.
  • 314.23(C) requires rigid support for boxes mounted in finished surfaces.
  • 314.23(D) requires boxes to be securely mounted to suspended ceiling components.
  • 314.23(E) and (F) permit threaded raceways to support boxes 100 in3 or less.
  • 314.23(G) permits boxes to be securely embedded in concrete
  • 314.23(H) permits boxes to be supported on a cord pendant.

As you can see, there are no provisions that allow boxes to simply float around inside of a wall opening.

One other item to note is the lack of support for the NM cable connected to the handy box. In accordance with 334.30, NM cable is required to be supported and secured within 12 in. from each outlet box.

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