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What's Wrong Here?

What's Wrong Here?

Hint: Is that what you call a floating connection?


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


Tony Scaffidi, technical support engineer, Pieper Electric, Milwaukee, sent in these comments in reference to the March photograph. “This looks like a utility energy saving device that went wrong,” he wrote. He pointed out a violation of Art. 300, specifically 300.13(A) and (B), which states that conductors in raceways shall be continuous between boxes, devices, and similar components. He also noted that per 300.15, where the wiring method is conduit, as in the picture, a box or conduit body that complies with Art. 314 shall be installed at each conductor splice point, outlet point, junction point, pull point, or termination point unless otherwise permitted in 315(A) through (M).

Brian Newland, electrical designer, DWG, Inc., Savannah, Ga., identified four violations in his submission. “First, the conduit opening is not protected from the weather [110.12(A)],” he wrote. “Second, the conductors are most likely not rated for external use (310.13). Third, there is a possibility of electric shock from the conductors not having wire nuts [110.14(B)]. And fourth, there is an improper connection from conduit to box (300.18).”

Ivan Philipose, electrical engineer, Sidhu Associates, Inc., Hunt Valley, Md., noted three violations. “It seems power and low-voltage wiring are housed in the same raceway — this may not be allowed per 300.3(C),” he wrote. “Splices must be made in a junction box of adequate size to suit the fill requirements of 314.16, and be routed through a conduit nipple connected to the control box. And all unspliced wires must be taped and terminated in a waterproof junction box as per 110.14(B).”

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