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.

Hint: Cord connected

Find the Answer

April Winners

Andrew Lemmink, an estimator/project manager with Bizcom Electric, Inc., in Cincinnati, says he's seeing a lot more of this now that the cost of CFLs have become reasonable. “The picture shows a clear violation of 590.4(F) Lamp Protection for temporary lighting installations,” says Lemmink. “The lamp shield is missing, and the bulb is damaged.”

James Irons, a plant electrical supervisor for Ocean County Utilities Authority in Cedar Run, N.J., and Jim Swift, an electrical designer with Vincent A. DiIorio, Inc., in Norwood, Mass., cited the same Code reference.

Swift also added these comments. “590.4(J) states that cable assemblies and flexible cords shall be supported in place at intervals that ensure they will be protected from physical damage. I don't think the installing contractor took the time to properly support the temporary lighting, which led to the damaged lamp.”


Using the 2008 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 tool-box. E-mail your response to Joe Tedesco at, and he'll select three winners (excluding manufacturers and prior winners) at random from the correct submissions. Winners will receive a set of insulated hand tools from Ideal Industries, Inc. valued at more than $125.* The set includes 9.25-inch insulated side-cutting pliers, 10-inch insulated tongue-and-groove pliers, and a 0.25-inch × 6-inch insulated screwdriver.

* Please allow six to eight weeks for delivery of tools.