A Pole with No Hole

Trust me when I say the view from this side of the pole is the same as the others. The question we need to ask ourselves is what happened to the handhole on this luminaire pole? Was it missing from the start, or did it disappear during a modification process? Whatever the reason, the lack of a handhole is a violation of 410.30(B) of the 2011 NEC.

As noted in 410.30(B)(1), “A pole shall have a handhole not less than 50 mm × 100 mm (2 in. × 4 in.) with a cover suitable for use in wet locations to provide access to the supply terminations within the pole or pole base.” An Exception states no handhole shall be required in a pole less than 8 ft tall. However, this pole greatly exceeds that height limit. Another Exception says no handhole shall be required in a pole that is 20 ft or less in height above grade, provided it has a hinged base. It’s obvious from the photo this pole does not have a hinged base.

 

Don't Buy Your Gas Here

“I took these photos at a gas station close to where I live,” says John Nuss, Mountaintop Electric, LLC, Fort Worth, Texas. “On a cloudy day, I pulled in and got out my static tester. Sure enough, these wires were hot! It has been like this for at least seven years. Needless to say, I don’t buy gas here, because it is too dangerous.”

As listed in 514.4 of the 2011 NEC, “All electrical equipment and wiring installed in Class I locations as classified in 514.3 shall comply with the applicable provisions of Art. 501.” An Exception to this requirement notes, “As permitted in 514.8.” An Informational Note in this section states: “For special requirements for conductor insulation, see 501.20.”

We can also make reference to 500.5(A), which states “Locations shall be classified depending on the properties of the flammable gas, flammable liquid-produced vapor, combustible-liquid produced vapors, combustible dusts, or fibers/flyings that may be present, and the likelihood that a flammable or combustible concentration or quantity is present. Where pyrophoric materials are the only materials used or handled, these locations shall not be classified. Each room, section, or area shall be considered individually in determining its classification.”