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.


The use of duct tape isn't the only problem with this installation. Check out that unique raceway arrangement. “All I can think of is the Three Stooges routine, ‘The Plumbers,’ where Curly says, ‘Hey Moe, these pipes is full of wires,’” wrote submitter William R. Jennings, Jr., P.E., a consulting engineer in Forest, Va. Jennings ran across this installation in Blacksburg, Va., while performing a study of the electrical systems for an apartment building. He added, “It was a unique application for sanitary piping and fittings. I wonder how the contractor got the wires through the tees? I suppose that explains why it cracked and had to be repaired with duct tape.”

This installation violates the requirements of 230.43, Wiring Methods for 600 Volts, Nominal, or Less, and 230.44, Cable Trays.


It looks as if Joe Moran, electrical systems tech II, Jones Lang LaSalle Services, in Plantation, Fla., stumbled upon the work of someone who isn't well versed in the proper construction of electrical equipment. Not only do many of the items in this cabinet appear to have been salvaged from used equipment, the installation is riddled with Code violations.

  • This cabinet clearly doesn't meet the construction specification requirements of 312.10(A), which states, “Metal enclosures within the scope of this article shall be protected both inside and outside against corrosion.” Further, the FPN in 312.10(B) directs you to 300.6 for information on corrosion protection.

  • The timer doesn't meet the requirement found in 404.5, which states “Time switches, flashers, and similar devices shall be of the enclosed type or shall be mounted in cabinets or boxes or equipment enclosures. Energized parts shall be barriered to prevent operator exposure when making manual adjustments or switching.” If the devices are only accessible to qualified persons and located in the enclosure such that any energized parts within 6 inches of the manual adjustment or switch are covered by suitable barriers, then an exception allows you to mount them without barriers.

  • The receptacles aren't installed in a box of suitable dimensions. Instead, they're mounted directly on the plywood backing board.

  • And last, but not least, what do you think about this grounding and bonding arrangement? It's nonexistent!

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