What’s Wrong Here? December 2010

What’s Wrong Here? December 2010

Can you identify the NEC Code violation(s) in this photo?


Can you identify the Code violation(s) in this photo?

Hint: Something appears to be missing here.

Find the Answer

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 Code violation(s) in this photo?

‘Tell Them What They’ve Won...’

Using the 2008 NEC, correctly identify the Code violation(s) in this month’s photo — in 200 words or less — and you could win something to put in your tool­box. E-mail your response to [email protected], and we’ll select three winners (excluding manufacturers and prior winners) at random from the correct submissions. Winners will receive a set of insulated hand tools from Ideal Industries, Inc., valued at more than $125.* The set includes 9.25-in. insulated side-cutting pliers, 10-in. insulated tongue-and-groove pliers, and a 0.25-in. 3 6-in. insulated screwdriver. (* Please allow six to eight weeks for delivery of tools.)


Our three winners this month include: Wayne Rogers, the owner of Electrical Contracting Consultants in Houston; Terry Wendt, an electrical contractor in Omaha, Neb.; and Adam Pfiefer, a journeyman electrician with Feyen-Zylstra in Howard City, Mich. All three individuals made note of several violations in this particular photo.

The most obvious problem is the locknut on the right is installed backward. Although it’s hard to tell in the photo, it also appears there is no locknut on the left side of this nipple. If the “teeth” of the locknut are not facing the enclosure, then proper contact for bonding is not made. For the locknut to function properly as a component of a complete bonding system, it must be securely tight and make proper contact with the enclosure. The way it’s currently installed is a violation of several sections in the Code.

As noted in 250.96(A), metal raceways and enclosures that serve as equipment grounding conductors shall be bonded to ensure electrical continuity to safely conduct any fault current imposed on them. Additionally, any nonconductive paint shall be removed at contact points or connected with fittings designed to make removal unnecessary. When this type of locknut is properly installed, it will “dig” into the metal surface of the enclosure and create a proper bond.

Sections 250.4(3), (4) and (5), as well as Sec. 300.10, also make reference to requirements for electrical continuity of metal raceways and enclosures.

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