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. Joe, who has a knack for finding shoddy electrical work, did the dirty work and found this mess. Now it's your turn to identify the violation.

 

Find the Answer

I found this room in a multifamily dwelling in a major city on the East Coast. In addition to the service equipment shown here, there were panelboards for the house loads, elevator control equipment, time clocks for the security lighting system, and a transfer switch for the emergency generator located in this space.

The working space for equipment operating at 600V, nominal, or less to ground shall comply with the dimensions of 110.26(A)(1), (A)(2), and (A)(3) or as required or permitted elsewhere in the Code. From an original design/layout standpoint, the room met Code requirements. However, once the building owner allowed this space to be used as a storage area, a violation can be cited.

As noted in 110.26, "Sufficient access and working space shall be provided and maintained about all electrical equipment to permit ready and safe operation and maintenance of such equipment." We can clearly see in the photo that access and working space has not been maintained in this electrical room. In addition, this is a clear violation of 110.26(B), which states, "Working space required by this section shall not be used for storage. When normally enclosed live parts are exposed for inspection or servicing, the working space, if in a passageway or general open space, shall be suitably guarded."

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