What's Wrong Here?

What's Wrong Here?

Hint: Opening up a can of worms.


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

Edward P. Nescot, vice president, Western Operations, The Farfield Co., Greensburg, Pa., provided the following thoughts. “Cables are not properly supported, see Articles 300, 320, and 330 for AC and MC support within 12 inches of every box. The electrical nonmetallic tubing (ENT) is not properly supported [see 362.30(A)]. They used an improper fitting at the EMT and ENT conversion point [see 362.6]. The junction box is severely overcrowded [see 314.16(A)(1)] and has no blank cover plate [see 314.25].”

Richard Rubino, senior electrical inspector, City of Los Angeles, Lomita, Calif., offered a more detailed submission. References not overlapping with Nescot's comments include the following:

  • 300.16(A) — requires a box or fitting when there is a change — in this case from EMT to ENT.

  • 358.30 — calls for the EMT to be securely fastened in place within 3 feet of the box.

  • 362.30 — requires the ENT to be securely fastened in place at intervals not to exceed 3 feet and within 3 feet of the termination.

  • 362.10(1) and (2). If the building is more than three stories, this is a violation. And I don't see any thermal barriers.

  • 362.120 — markings not visible on approximately 6 to 8 feet of ENT (may be on the opposite side).

  • 314.23(A) — may be a violation if the box is not securely fastened to the top plate.

  • 314. 28(C) — calls for all junction boxes to be provided with a cover.

  • 320.24 — appears that the bending radius is less than five times the diameter (if this is Type AC “BX” cable) on the run closest to the bottom of the picture.

In addition to noting some of the same sections as the first two winners, John Ball, a health care electrician from Inman, S.C., added these references.

  • 110.12 — the job was not installed in a neat and workman-like manner.

  • 110.3(B) — the connection from EMT to ENT would not be listed or labeled for this purpose.

  • 110.8 — the connection from EMT to ENT would not be recognized as a suitable wiring method.

  • 300.11(A)(1) or (A)(2) — cables shall not be laid on the suspended ceiling.

  • 362.6 — ENT fitting not listed for direct connection to EMT in this installation.

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