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: These lights aren't so festive.

August Winners

Our three winners this month were: Don L. Nowlin, a Colorado state electrical inspector; Stephen Lynch, an electrical designer with Vincent A. DiIorio, Inc., Norwood, Mass.; and Eric M. Graettinger, P.E., an associate with Peter Basso Associates, Inc., Troy, Mich.

Graettinger's comments sum it up best. “This behind-the-bed receptacle installation violates NEC 210.60 (B), which states ‘Where receptacles are installed behind the bed, the receptacle shall be located to prevent the bed from contacting any attachment plug that may be installed or the receptacle shall be provided with a suitable guard.’ This is an all too common occurrence in guest rooms or guest suites in hotels and motels, sleeping rooms in dormitories, and similar occupancies.”


Using the 2008 NEC, 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.