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. Can you identify the Code violation(s) in this photo? Note: Submitted comments must include specific references from the 2011 NEC.
Hint: Crank up the Volume
‘Tell Them What They’ve Won...’
Using the 2011 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, including your name and mailing address, to firstname.lastname@example.org, and Russ LeBlanc will select three winners (excluding manufacturers and prior winners) at random from the correct submissions. Note that submissions without an address will not be eligible to win. Winners will receive a set of insulated hand tools from Ideal Industries, Inc., valued at more than $125.* The set includes 9.25-in. insulated side-cutting pliers, 10-in. insulated tongue-and-groove pliers, and a 0.25-in. x 6-in. insulated screwdriver.
*Please allow six to eight weeks for delivery of tools.
Our three winners this month were: Gary Stoltenburg, a manufacturing plant electrician from Medford, Ore.; Carlos Vargas, an electrical trainee from Oxnard, Calif.; and Billy Townsend, a master electrician/owner of GenPower Services, LLC in Plant City, Fla. They all correctly identified violations in this “replacement parts” photo.
Section 110.12(B) notes the internal parts of electrical equipment, including bus bars, wiring terminals, and other surfaces “shall not be damaged or contaminated by foreign materials such as paint, plaster, cleaners, abrasives, or corrosive residues.” It goes on to state, “There shall also be no damaged parts that may adversely affect safe operation or mechanical strength of the equipment such as parts that are broken; bent; cut; or deteriorated by corrosion, chemical action or overheating.”
Section 110.14(A) requires the connection of conductors to terminal parts be made in a manner to ensure a thoroughly good connection without damaging the conductors. The connection shall be made by means of pressure connectors, solder lugs, or splices to flexible leads.
408.30 requires panelboards to have an amp rating not less than the calculated load. It’s doubtful the small wire used to make the repair has the same amperage as the original bus bar.
Another thing to keep in mind is the short circuit current rating of this panelboard has been adversely affected by this repair. It may no longer match the designed short circuit rating. This would be a violation of 110.10.