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.

Hint: Here's one reason why you might not want to support City Hall.

Find the Answer

May Winners

Our three winners for May (Joel A. Peck, electrical project manager, Architechnics, Inc., Quincy, Ill.; John P. Thompson, utility consumer assistant specialist 3, New York State Department of Public Service, Office of Consumer Services, New York; and Edgar Santos, third-year electrical apprentice, Londonderry, N.H.) submitted similar comments, noting the same violations for this bathtub/shower area in a hotel near the seashore. Here's a summary of their responses.

“This installation appears to violate 410.4(D). No part of chain-, cable-, or cord-luminaires, track lighting, or ceiling paddle fans are permitted to be located within 3 feet horizontally and 8 feet vertically from the top of the bathtub rim, or shower stall threshold (bathtub/shower luminaire zone).”

“The 3-foot by 8-foot bathtub/shower luminaire zone may not apply to recessed or surface-mounted luminaires, according to interpretations. However, in this case, the installation is questionable because it looks like it was not properly supported.”

“In the 2005 NEC, if luminaires are located in a specific zone they are permitted and are required to be listed for damp locations, or listed for wet locations where they are subject to any shower spray. This installation may also violate the requirements of 404.4 if a switch was installed behind the curtain within the wet location in the bathtub/shower space, unless it was part of a listed tub or shower assembly.”


Correctly identify the Code violation(s) in this month's photo — in 200 words or less — and you could win something to put in your toolbox. E-mail your response to Joe Tedesco at, and he'll select three winners (excluding manufacturers and prior winners) at random from the correct submissions. Winners will receive a set of insulated hand tools from Ideal Industries, Inc. valued at more than $125.* The set includes 9.25-inch insulated side-cutting pliers, 10-inch insulated tongue-and-groove pliers, and a 0.25-inch × 6-inch insulated screwdriver.

* Please allow six to eight weeks for delivery of tools.