Skip navigation

What's Wrong Here?

How well do you know the Code? Think you can you spot violations the original installer either ignored or couldn't identify himself? 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


How well do you know the Code?

Scott Stuart, a student at Triangle Tech in DuBois, Pa., generated this lengthy list of references to point out the violations noted in this photo:

  • 110.12(A) — unused knockouts in the metal box must be closed

  • 110.14(A) — eliminate exposed bare wires

  • 314.28(C) — all boxes must have approved covers

  • 314.16 and 314.16(A) — box fill calculation clearly not followed

  • 760.10 — circuit identification is missing

  • 760.30(A)(1) — place exposed or fished wires in a concealed space

Bill Gallus, an electrician with Habitat for Humanity, Johnstown, Pa., referred to this installation as a “rat's nest” and noted several violations. “Single conductors must be installed as part of an approved wiring method (conduit and box), and conductors of the same circuit must be contained within the same raceway (conduit) [300.3(A) and (B)],” he wrote. “A box or conduit body is required at each conductor splice point (meaning the splice belongs inside the box or conduit body) (300.15). Junction boxes and conduit bodies must have covers [314.28(C)]. The metal box must be grounded (250.110). Workmanship is very bad and questionable (110.12 and 760.6).”

Mike Groff, instructor/electrical designer, GG&S Merchant Systems, Allentown, Pa., added, “Looks like someone was troubleshooting this system and got lost!” He correctly identified the missing wire connectors and noted, “Exposed free ends of wires are required to be spliced or joined with splicing devices identified for the use or covered with an insulation equivalent to the conductors [110.14(B)].”

TAGS: content
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.