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Whats 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. Brian, 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

The rules of 314.23 focus on the acceptable methods for proper support of: outlet, device, pull and junction boxes; conduit bodies; fittings; and handholes. In this particular installation, we see an interesting interpretation of the requirements for raceway-supported boxes. Although it’s very creative, this installation does not completely satisfy these rules.

Part (E) of 314.23 is the applicable section that regulates such an installation. The first sentence in that section says, "An enclosure that does not contain device(s) other than splicing devices or support a luminaire(s), lampholder, or other equipment and is supported by entering raceways shall not exceed 1650 cm3 (100 in.3) in size." Because these particular boxes are not larger than 100 in.3, it is permissible to use raceway support for them.

The second sentence in 314.23(E) mandates the boxes have "threaded entries or hubs identified for the purpose," which is also the case here. The third sentence requires that the box "shall be supported by two or more conduits threaded wrenchtight into the enclosure or hubs," which has been done.

So far, everything looks good. However, the third sentence in this section of the Code calls for "each conduit to be secured within 900 mm (3 ft) of the enclosure, or within 450 mm (18 in.) of the enclosure if all conduit entries are on the same side." Here's where things go wrong. This installation fails to meet this criterion because the short lengths of pipe are not supported at all, let alone supported within 3 ft of their point of entry.

It should be noted that while such an installation may not represent a danger in terms of exposing personnel to a shock or electrocution hazard, nor does it seem as if this approach to box support will cause a fire, it clearly does not meet the requirements for raceway-support of the boxes. Therefore, another means must be provided to ensure complete compliance with applicable Code rules. Remember, there is no virtue in following some of the rules; all applicable requirements must be satisfied. Any violation renders the entire installation non-compliant — no matter how innocent or harmless the deviation from stated requirements may seem.

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