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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Our three winners this month (Chris Wright, a shop supervisor with Pemco Corp. in Bluefield, Va.; Frank Bares, a general manager for the Shuttle Group, Otis Service Center in Bloomfield, Conn.; and Daniel J. DeNapoli, vice president of Star Delta Electric in Mahopac, N.Y.) all made similar comments covering the following basic rule. As per 400.10, “Flexible cords and cables shall be connected to devices and to fittings so that tension is not transmitted to joints or terminals.”

They also noted, “The excessive strain on the bend in the cord caused it to pull apart. The receptacle should have been oriented to allow the cord to face downward. It also appears that the damaged cord at the plug was very dry and brittle — and may have been missing a clamping mechanism as well.”

When I took this picture, the cord was being used to supply a very large electric coffee pot in a hotel kitchen. The condition of the cord appeared to be in violation of the basic rules covered in 110.3(B). Here are two UL requirements for this product as noted in the 2006 UL White Book.

  • “Attachment Plug — A male contact device for the temporary connection of a flexible cord or cable to a receptacle, cord connector, or other female outlet device.”

  • “The terminations of devices intended to be wired to flexible cord are based on the use of flexible cord or cable having copper conductors, in accordance with Art. 400 of ANSI/NFPA 70, National Electrical Code (NEC). The ampacity of flexible cord and cable is based on Section 400.5, Tables 400.5(A) and 400.5(B). The conductors are sized as specified on the product or in the manufacturer's instructions provided with the device. The terminations are based on the use of 60°C flexible cord or cable. The terminations of devices intended to be wired onto branch-circuit conductors are based upon the use of 60°C insulated conductors in circuits rated 100A or less, and the use of 75°C insulated conductors in circuits rated more than 100A, as specified in Table 310.16 of the NEC.”

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