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What's Wrong Here?

What's Wrong Here?

Hint: Which one of these covers meets the Code?


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.


Hint: Which one of these covers meets the Code?

Find the Answer


Hint: Which one of these covers meets the Code?

The answer is, neither one. The 2005 NEC added a definition for handhold enclosures to cover a new rule added to Art. 314. The definition reads as follows: “An enclosure identified for use in underground systems, provided with an open or closed bottom, and sized to allow personnel to reach into, but not enter, for the purpose of installing, operating, or maintaining equipment or wiring or both."

The specific violation with the installation shown in the top photo is the metal cover has no means of attachment to the handhole enclosure (because of the missing screws). This installation violates the requirement in 314.30(D), which states the cover must weigh more than 100 pounds before it can be installed without a feature that allows you to use a tool to open it. So why doesn’t the cover with the screws comply with the Code? Although this cover is securely fastened in place, it doesn’t meet another requirement of 314.30(D), which states the cover must have an identifying mark or logo that prominently identifies the function of the enclosure.

In addition to the violations noted above, there’s a good chance that neither of these installations meets the bonding requirements of 250.96(A). To meet this requirement, a bonding jumper must be attached to the covers. Although we can’t see inside these enclosures, there’s a good chance the jumper isn’t there.

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