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What’s Wrong Here? January 2011

What’s Wrong Here? January 2011

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


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

Hint:You’ll never guess where this was installed.

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 two winners this month include: Matt Piantedosi, an associate engineer with The Cadmus Group in Watertown, Mass., and Francisco Cruz Covarrubia, a master electrician with Texans Services One in Houston. Both of these guys pointed out numerous violations in this photo, such as the open wiring at the junction box, lack of GFCI receptacle, and broken conduit.

First, we can clearly see that these devices weren’t protected from physical damage. As noted in 300.4, “Where subject to physical damage, conductors, raceways, and cables shall be protected.” The first sentence in 300.11(A) also notes that “Raceways, cable assemblies, boxes, cabinets, and fittings shall be securely fastened in place.”

We can also see that there is clearly a lack of protection from the outdoor elements. As noted in 314.15, “In damp or wet locations, boxes, conduit bodies, and fittings shall be placed or equipped so as to prevent moisture from entering or accumulating within the box, conduit body, or fittings. Boxes, conduit bodies, and fittings installed in wet locations shall be listed for use in wet locations.”

Receptacles installed in wet locations must also comply with the requirements of 406.9(B), which in part states, “15- and 20-ampere, 125- and 250-volt receptacles installed in a wet location shall have an enclosure that is weather-proof whether or not the attachment plug cap is inserted.”

Here are two other items to take note of as well. Although this receptacle may be served from a GFI breaker, if it’s not, it must meet the requirements of 210.8(B)(4). The wire connectors are not listed for a wet location, as required by 110.3(B).

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