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What's Wrong Here?

What's 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. 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

”We were asked to do a load test on a standby generator,” says Paul Ryan of Paul A. Ryan, Inc., Wicomico Church, Va. “I ended up making a jaw-dropping discovery.”

“This service upgrade was made approximately eight years ago. They converted a 320A overhead feed to a 600A underground feed with a pedestal-mounted CT cabinet. Rather than change the service conductors, they used the old wall-mounted meter pan and cover (with a plastic meter blank) as a J-box. To make matters worse, the old overhead mast was unbolted and left loose from the top of the meter pan, allowing rain water to cascade over the connections within. An antenna guide wire was even tied to the top of the mast.

“With only one wall strap keeping the mast upright, every time the wind blew, the abandon mast conductors pushed on the hot conductors in the meter pan. If you look to the left, you’ll see where one of the split bolt legs blew a hole through the cover.

“After bringing this to the attention of building manager, we were contracted to correct this mess of violations. We left it Code compliant, of course.”

I can’t find anything here that would allow this to be done. Section 110.3 focuses on the examination, identification, installation, and use of equipment.

110.3(A) states, “In judging equipment, considerations such as the following shall be evaluated:”

  1. “Suitability for installation and use in conformity with the provisions of this Code FPN: Suitability of equipment use may be identified by a description marked on or provided with a product to identify the suitability of the product for a specific purpose, environment, or application. Suitability of equipment may be evidenced by listing or labeling.
  2. ”Mechanical strength and durability, including, for parts designed to enclose and protect other equipment, the adequacy of the protection thus provided
  3. ”Wire-bending and connection space
  4. ”Electrical insulation
  5. ”Heating effects under normal conditions of use and also under abnormal conditions likely to arise in service
  6. ”Arcing effects
  7. ”Classification by type, size, voltage, current capacity, and specific use
  8. ”Other factors that contribute to the practical safeguarding of persons using or likely to come in contact with the equipment”

110.3(B) states, “Listed or labeled equipment shall be installed and used in accordance with any instructions included in the listing or labeling.”

I also believe that abandoned wiring of all types should be removed.

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