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What's Wrong Here?

What's Wrong Here?

Hint: Can you say “backfeed”?


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



Congratulations to the following three readers who correctly identified the problem with this installation: Joseph Hertel, program manager, safety and buildings division, Wisconsin Department of Commerce, Madison, Wisc.; Steven Millard, electrician, U.S. Steel Corp., Hillsdale, Mich.; and J. Jason Deal, journeyman electrician, maintenance tech II, Advanced Technology Services, Littlestown, Pa.

They all pointed out that this cord violates the requirements of 406.6(B) of the 2005 NEC. The rule states, “Attachment plugs shall be installed so that their prongs, blades, or pins are not energized unless inserted into an energized receptacle. No receptacle shall be installed so as to require an energized attachment plug as its source of supply.”

Deal also added this comment, which is worth noting: “By the looks of the brownish coloring on the face of the receptacle, odds are there's quite a load down the line. People get hurt and property gets damaged all too often when creative wiring by untrained personnel goes unnoticed.”

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