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 Tedesco, 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.

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Mitchell Brochu, a student at a local trade school in Philadelphia — who's been working in the field for about eight months — noted the following Code violations with the January photo: Sections 230.9(A), 230.27, 230.50(A), 230.54(A), and 230.54(F). “I hope I got it right,” says Brochu. “I could use those insulated hand tools!”

Brian N. Ferreira, an assistant estimator with Consolidated Electrical Services in Norwood, Mass., had this to say. “As for the obvious violation with the orange boot used to protect the service drop connections, I looked to Art. 230 (Services) and found the following:

“230.9 Clearances on Buildings. Service conductors and final spans shall comply with 230.9(A), (B), and (C).

“(A) Clearances. Service conductors installed as open conductors or multiconductor cable without an overall outer jacket shall have a clearance of not less than 3 ft from windows that are designed to be opened, doors, porches, balconies, ladders, stairs, fire escapes, or similar locations.

“(B) Vertical Clearance. The vertical clearance of final spans above or within 3 ft measured horizontally of, platforms, projections, or surfaces from which they might be reached shall be maintained in accordance with 230.24(B).

“I also like how they extended the service drop conductors to accommodate the lack of slack to make the connections to the service conductors. At least they didn't need a ladder to make the final connections!”

Charles Smith, an electrical development engineer in Circleville, Ohio, also cited a violation of Sec. 230.9 in this installation.

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