Can you spot the Code violations?

Hint: An enlightening installation.

Find the Answer

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.

July Winners

Erich Ely, an electrical engineer with Olin Corp. in Niagara Falls, N.Y., had this to say about the photograph in the July issue. “The picture appears to violate Art. 410, Sec. IV: Luminaire Supports. I do not consider attaching the fixture to an existing fixture to be a secure means of support, as required by 410.15(A). Additionally, it looks like the existing fixture is still energized. This is not good.”

Matthew J. Majchrzak, an electrical engineer with Integrated Design Solutions in Troy, Mich., submitted these comments. “According to 410.30, cord-connected lamp holders and luminaires should have the fixture located directly below the outlet or busway that it is connected to. The cord shall not be under strain, and shall be terminated in a grounding-type attachment plug cap or busway plug. It also appears this installation violates 410.31. The fluorescent fixture appears to be acting as a raceway for the cord to travel away from the area that is above the HID fixture. In addition, the electrical tape that is wrapped around the fluorescent ballast compartment cover to secure it shows that this was a hurry-up makeshift attempt to conceal the splices.”

Note: All of the fixtures in this garage are wired in the same manner!


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.