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What's Wrong Here?

What's Wrong Here?

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. Can you identify the Code violation(s) in this photo?


Hint: A real disappearing act

Find the Answer



April Winners

Our three winners this month were: Mark Byerley, Morgan AM&T, Greenville, S.C.; Jerry Cooper, journeyman electrician, Anacortes, Wash.; and John Grabowski, owner, John Grabowski Electrical Services, Bedminster, N.J. This group identified the following Code violations associated with the two-headed rooftop luminaire stand.

  • The capability of this conduit fitting to serve as a means of support is called into question. As per 300.11(B), “Raceways shall be used only as a means of support for other raceways, cables, or nonelectrical equipment” under one of three conditions. Condition 3 states, “Where the raceway is used to support boxes or conduit bodies in accordance with 314.23 or to support luminaires in accordance with 410.36(E).” As per 410.36(E), “Raceway fittings used to support a luminaire(s) shall be capable of supporting the weight of the complete fixture assembly and lamp(s).” The conduit body must be supported in a rigid and secure manner [314.16(C)]. In addition, the EMT is not permitted to serve as a support for luminaires [358.12(5)].

  • The use of this conduit and fittings (and possibly the conductors inside them) on a rooftop is also called into question. Conduit body and fittings do not appear to be approved for use in a damp or wet location [314.15].

  • It's a good bet the conductors serving these luminaires are spliced at this location. Only conduit bodies that are durably and legibly marked by the manufacturer with their volume shall contain splices, taps, or devices [314.16(C)(2)]. Based on the rooftop location, the temperature limitation of the conductors may also be a violation [410.21, 410.48 and 410.52].


Using the 2008 NEC, correctly identify the Code violation(s) in this month's photo — in 200 words or less — and you could win something to put in your toolbox. E-mail your response to [email protected], and we'll select three winners (excluding manufacturers and prior winners) at random from the correct submissions. Winners will receive a set of insulated hand tools from Ideal Industries, Inc., valued at more than $125.* The set includes 9.25-in. insulated side-cutting pliers, 10-in. insulated tongue-and-groove pliers, and a 0.25-in. × 6-in. insulated screwdriver. (*Please allow six to eight weeks for delivery of tools.)

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