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What's Wrong Here?

What's Wrong Here?

Hint: This equipment is readily accessible from the standing or sitting position.


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.

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Everyone enjoys a little bathroom humor, but not at the expense of violating the NEC. Check out what our three winners this month had to say about this installation.

Gary Conway, president of CES Engineering, Inc. in Grass Valley, Calif., wrote in to say that combustibles and flammables (aerosol cans on the wireway) can't be stored in an electrical room. “Working clearance in front of the equipment does not meet 110.26 because of the toilet and coffee table,” he wrote. “Wireway cover is not properly secured. If this room had a basin, it would be defined as a bathroom.” He went on to note that if this room was located in a dwelling, the installation would violate the requirements of 240.24(E), which states “In dwelling units and guest rooms or guest suites of hotels and motels, overcurrent devices, other than supplementary overcurrent protection, shall not be located in bathrooms.”

Joseph Routhier, EIT, LEED AP, electrical engineer for Shah Smith and Associates in Houston, also identified the working clearance violation. “The minimum clear distance from Table 110.26(A)(1) should be 3 feet, per Condition 2,” he wrote. “I would consider a person making direct skin contact with a porcelain tank grounded. Other violations include: 110.26(B), clear spaces, working space shall not be used for storage. I'm sure the air freshener, hand soap, and console table holding the reading material would count.”

Roger Zieg, instructor for Lewellyn Technology in Linton, Ind., took a slightly different approach. “The panels are not installed in a neat manner (paint) (110.12),” he wrote. “The panel above the table does not allow for sufficient width of working space [110.26(A)(2)], and the toilet paper hangers, cans, etc. violate 110.26(F), dedicated equipment space. Also, if this is a dwelling, the rule about service equipment and OCPD in bathrooms has been violated [230.70(A)(2), and 240.24(E)].”

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