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: This is a living tree.

Find the Answer

September Winners

Shawn Tyburski, a designer with Integrated Design Solutions in Troy, Mich., submitted these comments in reference to the September photo.

“A conduit body shall be installed at each conductor splice point, outlet point, switch point, junction point, termination point, or pull point in accordance with 300.15. The wiring method used to supply signs and outline lighting systems shall terminate within a sign, an outline lighting system enclosure, a suitable box, or a conduit body in accordance with 600.C(1). Signs and outline lighting systems with incandescent lamp holders shall be marked to indicate the maximum allowable wattage of lamps. The markings shall be permanently installed, in letters at least 6 mm high, and shall be located where visible during relamping in accordance with 600.4(B). If this installation is outdoors, insulated conductors or cables used where exposed to direct rays of sun shall comply as noted in code section 310.8(D).”

Arthur C. Walker, a technician at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, N.H., had this to say about the installation.

“The light bulb is not designed for outdoor use. The lighting fixture doesn't look like it is designed for outdoor use either. There's no guard to protect the bulb. Nonmetallic-sheathed cable is designed for interior use only, not for exposed outdoor use. Using wire nuts in this manner (outside of an enclosure) is not permitted. There doesn't appear to be any kind of junction box available at this location. All equipment used outdoors should be designed for that use. In summary, this installation violates many rules in Articles 314, 334, 410, and 600 — to name a few.”


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.