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What's Wrong Here?

What's Wrong Here?

Hint: This is a good example of how bad things happen in groups of three.


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



Three strikes and you're out! First, the junction box, located just below the panelboard, is missing its cover. Second, there are open, unused spaces in the panelboard. And third, the circuit directory in the panelboard is not properly filled out.

As per 314.25, each box in a completed installation is required to have a cover, faceplate, lampholder, or luminaire (fixture) canopy, except where the installation complies with 410.14(B). In addition, unused openings for circuit breakers and switches are required to be closed using identified closures, or other approved means that provide protection substantially equivalent to the wall of the enclosure (408.7). And the requirements of 110.12(A) call for you to cover unused cable or raceway openings in boxes, raceways, auxiliary gutters, cabinets, cutout boxes, meter socket enclosures, equipment cases, or housings so they are effectively closed, thus affording protection substantially equivalent to the wall of the equipment.

Although it’s a little difficult to see, the panelboard directory is blank. As per 110.22, each disconnecting means is required to be legibly marked to indicate its purpose, unless it’s located and arranged so the purpose is evident. The marking is required to be of sufficient durability to withstand the environment involved. And the requirements of 408.4 state, “Every circuit and circuit modification must be legibly identified as to its clear, evident, and specific purpose or use. The identification shall include sufficient detail to allow each circuit to be distinguished from all others. The identification shall be included in a circuit directory that is located on the face or inside of the panel door in the case of a panelboard, and located at each switch on a switchboard.”

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