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What's Wrong Here?

What's Wrong Here?

Hint: Do you hear a fire truck siren?


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


The improper placement of an enclosure that was not designed for use in a wet location and the separated electrical metallic tubing (thinwall EMT) coupling are good reasons why this exposed "energized" circuit should be corrected immediately.

Check out those fire hose couplings directly behind this electrical box. The NEC defines a wet location in Art. 100 as, “Installations under ground or in concrete slabs or masonry in direct contact with the earth; in locations subject to saturation with water or other liquids, such as vehicle washing areas; and in unprotected locations exposed to weather.”

The NEC also defines bonding (bonded) as, “The permanent joining of metallic parts to form an electrically conductive path that ensures electrical continuity and the capacity to conduct safely any current likely to be imposed.” As per 250.90, “Bonding shall be provided where necessary to ensure electrical continuity and the capacity to conduct safely any fault current likely to be imposed.” In addition, 250.96(A) states, “Metal raceways, cable trays, cable armor, cable sheath, enclosures, frames, fittings, and other metal non-current-carrying parts that are to serve as grounding conductors, with or without the use of supplementary equipment grounding conductors, shall be effectively bonded where necessary to ensure electrical continuity and the capacity to conduct safely any fault current likely to be imposed on them. Any nonconductive paint, enamel, or similar coating shall be removed at threads, contact points, and contact surfaces or be connected by means of fittings designed so as to make such removal unnecessary.” And the requirements of 300.10 state, “Metal raceways, cable armor, and other metal enclosures for conductors shall be metallically joined together into a continuous electric conductor and shall be connected to all boxes, fittings, and cabinets so as to provide effective electrical continuity. Unless specifically permitted elsewhere in this Code, raceways and cable assemblies shall be mechanically secured to boxes, fittings, cabinets, and other enclosures.”

You should also reference Secs. 110.2 and 110.3(B) for additional general installation requirements.

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