As usual, never consider the following commentary associated with these photos as a formal interpretation of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Without criticizing anyone or any product, the following scenarios present us with serious safety questions.

All references are based on the 2005 NEC.


Marc VanOstrand, Owner of Grays Harbor Star Electric in Aberdeen, Wash., ran across this disaster at a trailer park in Ocean Shores. “The white wires running down the wall is 12-2 NM-B nonmetallic sheathed cable, which goes underground to each motor home's 30A disconnect. Do you think your readers can spot all the violations in this photo?”

This is obviously the work of an unqualified person, which shows violations of almost every rule in the book. The exposed open energized panelboards and overcurrent devices, missing cabinet covers, lack of proper and secure support of the wiring, lack of proper working space, and missing connectors are enough of a reason to cite the installers with the following red tag: “Violations too numerous to mention. Meet the inspector on the job!”

I would start my list of violations as follows: 110.2, 110.12, 300.5(D), 312.5(C), and most of Article 551, which covers the electrical conductors and equipment, except for low-voltage and automotive vehicle circuits or extensions thereof, installed within or on recreational vehicles, the conductors that connect recreational vehicles to a supply of electricity, and the installation of equipment and devices related to electrical installations within a recreational vehicle park.


Chris Krueger, vice president and master electrician for Airways Electric, Inc. in Memphis, Tenn., found this while on a service call at a residential property. “One of our customer's friends called us and said she had a fire and would like for us to come check her electrical box. Bet you've never seen anything like this!”

This panelboard violates the simple rule requiring sufficient working space about equipment, which is covered in 110.26. The evidence of an installation by someone who was not concerned about the occupant's safety could have led to a loss of life. Once again, I'm disturbed at the work being done around the country by unqualified and irresponsible workers.

Found a Code Violation? E-mail your photos to Joe Tedesco at