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.


Not only is this installation missing an outdoor box required by 300.15, but it also uses an incorrect type of cable assembly for this particular location. Any luminaire (fixture) installed in a wet location must be installed so that water can't enter or accumulate in wiring compartments, lampholders, or other electrical parts. In addition, all luminaires installed in wet locations must be marked “Suitable for Wet Locations,” per 410.4(A), Luminaires (Fixtures) in Specific Locations, Wet and Damp Locations.


Are these service entrance cables truly protected? I don't think so. Where Type SE service cables are subject to physical damage, like in this driveway near the trash containers, they must be protected by one of the following:

  • Rigid metal conduit

  • Intermediate metal conduit

  • Schedule 80 rigid nonmetallic conduit

  • Electrical metallic tubing

  • Other approved means

See 230.50(A), Protection of Open Conductors and Cables Against Damage - Above Ground.


Certain types of listed luminaires (fixtures)may be installed in a clothes closet under specific conditions.Approved fixtures include surface-mounted or recessed incandescent luminaires with a completely enclosed lamp or surface-mounted or recessed fluorescent luminaires. Incandescent luminaires with open or partially enclosed lamps and pendant luminaires or lampholders may not be installed in a closet. See 410.8, Luminaires (Fixtures) in Clothes Closets.


A quick check of these explosionproof fittings revealed an improper installation. Per 501.5(C), sealing fittings must be listed for use with one or more specific compounds and must be accessible. Sealing compound must provide a seal against passage of gas or vapors through the seal fitting, and it can't be affect-ed by the surrounding atmosphere and liquids or have a melting point of less than 93°C (200°F). The minimum thickness of the sealing compound can't be less than the trade size of the sealing fitting and, in no case, less than 0.625 in.

It should also be noted that the cross-sectional area of the conductors permitted in a seal can't exceed 25% of the cross-sectional area of a rigid metal conduit of the same trade size unless it's specifically identified for a higher percentage of fill. And threaded joints must be made up with at least five threads fully engaged.

Found a Code violation? Send your photos to Joe Tedesco at 350 North St., Boston, MA 02113 or