What's Wrong Here?

What's Wrong Here?


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

Terry Edmiston, director of technical services, Halco Electric in Los Angeles found this illegal installation during an infrared inspection at a hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. “A national cell phone service provider rented space from the hotel, and hired a ‘jack of all trades’ to install a new 200A switch for the power supply to a cell phone tower on the roof of the building,” says Edmiston. “The incorrect bus hardware would not allow the 200A fused disconnect switch to be properly bolted to the bus bars so ‘Jack’ used epoxy glue (non-conductive) to make his connection. Needless to say, we removed the epoxy and installed the proper bus hardware. Unfortunately, the electrical distribution system design required us to shut down the entire hotel so we could make the necessary repairs. The cell phone company absorbed the costs for all repairs incurred as a result of the original substandard installation.”

When this type of work is done, the installers must be sure they use the correct hardware, and any fittings associated with the equipment. In most cases, the benefit of purchasing listed equipment ensures a safe installation. We can appreciate the efforts of the final installer, which showed compliance with various rules in Articles 110, 310, and 408.

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