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What's Wrong Here?

What's Wrong Here?

Hint: Spelling isn't the only problem with this installation


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 problems associated with this installation: Rich Varner, project manager/estimator, Varner Electric, High Point, N.C.; Richard Barnett, owner, Barnett General Contracting, Covington, Va.; and Benjie Linkous, P.E., consulting engineer, Hurd & Obenchain, Inc., Roanoke, Va.

These respondents correctly pointed out three Code violations.

  1. As per 314.19, “Screws for supporting the box shall not be used in attachment of the device contained therein.” As you can clearly see in the photo, the box mounting screws are also holding the receptacle in place.

  2. As per 314.25, “In completed installations, each box shall have a cover, faceplate, lampholder, or luminaire (fixture) canopy, except where the installation complies with 410.14(B).” The requirements of 410.14(B) do not apply to this installation.

  3. Although it's difficult to see in this photo, it appears there is no ground pigtail present in this installation. This is a violation of 404.9(B), grounding provisions for general-use snap switches.

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