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What's Wrong Here?

What's Wrong Here?

Hint: Bad bend or lack of protection?


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. Joe Tedesco, who has a knack for finding shoddy electrical work, did the dirty work and found this mess. Now it's your turn to identify the violation.

Find the Answer


As noted in 300.4 (Protection Against Physical Damage) of the 2005 NEC, “Where subject to physical damage, conductors shall be protected.”

It looks as if this “pancaked” conduit was backed into by a delivery vehicle. The conduit contains energized conductors, most likely supplied from the space below to serve the upper floors. As you know, fishing in wire in older buildings, especially those made of brick, is not possible.

However, I could find no reference in Art. 342 or 344 that requires any special or additional protection be provided in this type of installation because these wiring methods are supposed to be used in areas subjected to physical damage [300.5(D)]. So I would have to say that in this case it was not the fault of the installer, but the fact that this driveway is used every day for deliveries to a hotel kitchen's back door.

For definitions of intermediate metal conduit (IMC) and rigid metal conduit, see 342.2 and 344.2, respectively.

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