electrical cables improperly installed

What's Wrong Here? Hint: Piggybacking Prohibited

June 1, 2023
Can you spot the Code violation 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. Can you identify the specific Code violation(s) in this photo? Note: Submitted comments must include specific references from the 2023 NEC. 

Hint: Piggybacking prohibited!

Tell Them What They've Won…

Using the 2023 NEC, correctly identify the Code violation(s) in this month's photo — in 200 words or less — and you could win an Arlington Industries 18-in. Slider Bar and plastic box for mounting between studs with non-standard spacing. E-mail your response, including your name and mailing address, to [email protected], and Russ will select three winners (excluding manufacturers and prior winners) at random from the correct submissions. Note that submissions without an address will not be eligible to win.

April Winners

Our lone winner this month was James Hazelwood, a senior project engineer for 70e Advisors, LLC of  Pensacola, Fla. He was able to correctly cite some of the Code violations in this installation.

Section 406.9(B)(1) requires 15A and 20A, 125V and 250V receptacles installed in wet locations to be installed in a weatherproof enclosure. The lack of a cable connector and the broken cover plate certainly do not provide a weatherproof enclosure for the duplex receptacle installed here. Section 406.9(B)(1) additionally requires weather-resistant (WR) type receptacles to be used in wet locations. Section 406.9(A) also requires weather-resistant type 125V and 250V nonlocking receptacles to be used in damp locations too. As best as I could determine, the cable used to provide power to this receptacle outlet is a 2-wire cable and does not contain an equipment grounding conductor. This is a violation of Sec. 406.4(B), which requires the equipment grounding contacts on the receptacle to be connected to an equipment grounding conductor. Since I was only a visitor to this location, I was unable to determine if GFCI protection was provided for this duplex receptacle as required by Sec. 210.8.

About the Author

Russ LeBlanc | Owner

Russ started in the electrical trade as an apprentice in 1985. He worked his way up to become a Journeyman Electrician and then eventually became a Master Electrician and Licensed Construction Supervisor. In 1999 Russ become an Electrical Instructor for The Peterson School of Engineering in Massachusetts where he developed his passion for teaching, and quickly became Department Head of Electrical Instruction. Russ has taught thousands of apprentices, electricians, engineers, inspectors, and other electrical professionals during his career as an instructor. He continues to provide electrical professionals with Electrical Code seminars, Arc-Flash Awareness training seminars and educational material through his LeBlanc Consulting Services in North Reading, MA whose specialty is educating electricians. He has been an active member of the NFPA Electrical Section and has authored hundreds of National Electrical Code proposals and comments which have become Code rules to improve the safety for the electrical industry. Russ is also an IAEI certified Electrical Inspector.

Please visit www.russleblanc.net for more information.

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