Can you spot the Code violations?

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: More than three strikes here.

Find the Answer

June Winners

Scott Bevan, P.E., LEED AP, of PAE Consulting Engineers, Portland, Ore., sent in these comments in reference to the June photo. “Per 2005 NEC Sec. 300.11(A), raceways and boxes must be securely fastened in place. The rigid nonmetallic conduit (RNC) out of the ground does not provide adequate support for the junction box as required by 314.23(E). Also, per 352.30, the RNC must be securely fastened within 3 feet of each outlet box or conduit termination. In addition, RNC is not permitted where the ambient temperature exceeds 50°C. This installation is clearly in a sunny location, which may exceed this upper limit. Finally, this installation violates 110.12, which requires work to be installed in a neat and workmanlike manner.”

In addition to noting a few of the same violations as Bevan, David Midgley, a project estimator for Walls-Carroll in Ohio, also identified the following problems:

350.12(1) — Liquidtight flexible metal conduit (uses not permitted where subject to physical damage). From what can be seen in the picture, there's no protection for the liquidtight.

352.48 — Joints. Judging by the way the PVC tilts to the side right at the coupling or bell end, I would say that this wasn't put together using an approved method.

352.44 — Expansion fittings. Because this conduit is subject to thermal expansion, an expansion fitting should be in place. It's too difficult to determine what the annual ambient temperature is. If it's Ohio, temperatures could be from -20°F to 100°F. Thus, according to Table 352.44(A), there could be an expansion of 6.08 mm per meter or greater.

Our third winner this month, Mark Trumbull, controls engineer with OFS in Sturbridge, Mass., noted many of the same violations as the first two winners.


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.