Mingled and missing circuit breakers

What's Wrong Here? Hint: Mingled and Missing Circuit Breakers

Jan. 17, 2024
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: Mingled and missing circuit breakers

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.

November Winners

This month’s winner was Joseph Becker, an EC&M reader and contest participant from Loudon, N.H. He was able to correctly cite some the Code violations in this photo.

Storing cardboard boxes against the switchboard does not comply with Sec. 408.17. Switchboards and switchgear must be installed so as to minimize the probability of communicating a fire to adjacent combustible materials. Putting the flammable liquids storage cabinet against the side of the switchboard was not a good idea either. Notice the propane tank on the floor to the left of the cabinet? That’s another bad idea. Section 408.18(B) requires clearances around switchboards and switchgear to comply with Sec. 110.26. Section 110.26(B) prohibits the working space for this switchboard from being used for storage. A closer look reveals a toilet tank sitting on the floor in front of this switchboard in violation of Sec. 110.26(B).

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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