What’s Wrong Here? Hint: Snug as a Bug

What’s Wrong Here? Hint: Snug as a Bug

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: Snug as a bug

Find the Answer

This NM cable is truly in harm's way. The cable could easily be damaged by a nail or a screw since it is attached snugly to the wood strapping. If the drywall installer misses his wood target by just a little, he could easily run the screw into the current-carrying conductor. Or perhaps the cable might get nicked just a little and cause a hot spot. This hot spot could eventually generate some arcing and start a fire. This is why 300.4(D) requires cables or raceways installed parallel to framing members to be installed so the cable or raceway is no closer than 1¼ in. to the nearest edge of the framing member where screws or nails are likely to penetrate.

If the 1¼ in. spacing cannot be maintained, then a 1/16-in. steel sleeve or steel plate may be used to protect the cable or raceway. For this particular installation, it would be impossible to push the cable back far enough, but it would be possible to install cable spacers or stackers and move the cable further to the right of the strapping or add furring strips on top of the 2x4 studs in order to maintain the proper 1¼ in. spacing. Installing a protective steel plate along the strapping for the entire length of the cable would be another option, but that solution seems rather impractical.

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