As usual, never consider the following commentary associated with these photos as a formal interpretation of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Without criticizing anyone or any product, the following scenarios present us with serious electrical safety questions.
Multi-Outlet Cover Takes Flight
This multi-outlet assembly is located near a gate in an airline terminal of a major airport. The missing cover left live wires exposed to the public. The splices shown here are not permitted by the Code. A multi-outlet assembly is a type of surface, flush, or freestanding raceway designed to hold conductors and receptacles. It can be assembled in the field or at the factory. Per 380.2(B)(2), the Code states that a multi-outlet assembly cannot be installed where subject to severe physical damage, as is the case here.
Makeshift Cover on Pullbox
I found this unique installation in a Holiday Inn kitchen, and I was told the hotel manager was responsible for it. The overcrowded junction box violates 314.28 of the 2002 NEC, which states, “where splices or where angle or U pulls are made, the distance between each raceway entry inside the box and the opposite wall of the box shall not be less than six times the metric designator (trade size) of the largest raceway in a row.” This section of the Code also requires you to provide pull boxes, junction boxes, and conduit bodies with covers compatible with the box or conduit body construction and suitable for the conditions of use. However, this cover does not appear to have been designed for this box. Where metal covers are used, they must comply with the grounding requirements of 250.110.
One Too Many Stormy Nights
I recently found this junction box and cover on a bridge in California. The box contained circuit conductors that supplied lighting for the roadway surface of the bridge. We can only assume the aluminum cover was stolen and sold to a nearby junkyard for scrap. The dirt and sand buildup in the box is evidence this installation has weathered many Santa Ana storms.
Only Qualified Persons, Please
I found this illegal installation in a health care facility equipment room. A piece of metal-jacketed cable, which originated in a surface-mounted box at the entry to the room, supplied power to a water heater control circuit. The loose cable ran across pipes and on the floor. The use of an EMT “thin wall” fitting is evidence that a qualified person did not complete this installation, because a qualified person knows the potential hazards of not installing an equipment-grounding conductor. The use of an improper fitting is also a clear violation of the Code. Per 300.15, fittings and connectors may only be used with the specific wiring methods for which they are designed and listed. In addition, this installation is not recognized as a suitable wiring method per 110.8.
Now you can send Code Violations Illustrated stories and photos directly to Joe Tedesco at:
350 North Street
Boston, MA 02113
or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you mail pictures, please include the story, location, and some information about yourself — and please do not write on the front or back of your photo. Please send all digital images in JPEG format. You can send photos while visiting Joe's Web site at: www.joetedesco.com