wrongly reidentified electrical wires

What's Wrong Here? Hint: Wrongly Reidentified Reds

June 30, 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: Wrongly reidentified reds

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.

May Winners

Our winners this month were Roger Ervine, an EC&M reader from Windom, Minn., and Walter Jukes, a senior project manager for Creative Engineering Group of Canoga Park, Calif. They knew that having a panelboard full of circuit breakers in a janitor’s closet violated several Code rules.

Section 240.24(A) requires circuit breakers to be readily accessible. Climbing over or removing obstacles in order to reach these circuit breakers means they do not meet the Art. 100 definition of readily accessible. Section 240.24(D) prohibits circuit breakers from being in the vicinity of easily ignitable material. This closet has mops, cleaning supplies, and paper towels stored in it. All of these items could provide fuel for a fire. Section 110.26(B) prohibits items from being stored in the working space required for this electrical equipment. Lastly, there are two red fire alarm cables running next to the drainpipe on the right side of the closet that do not comply with the installation requirements of Sec. 760.24(A). Exposed fire alarm cables must be installed so they won’t be damaged during normal building use.

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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