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?

Hint: Now you see it — now you don't.

Find the Answer

October Winners

Our three winners this month were: Khondker Ahmed, electrical engineer III, New York City Transit, Broadway, N.Y.; Aaron Beatty, electrical engineer/project manager, Professional Consultants, Inc., Evansville, Ind.; and James E. Young, P.E., project manager, Washington Group International, Inc., Denver.

Here's a list of some of the Code sections they felt were in violation.

As per 590.4(F), “All lamps for general illumination shall be protected from accidental contact or breakage by a suitable luminaire or lampholder with a guard.”

Two references can also be made on the damp or wet location front. As per 410.10(A), “Luminaires installed in wet or damp locations shall be installed such that water cannot enter or accumulate in wiring compartments, lampholders, or other electrical parts.” As per 410.96, “Lampholders installed in wet or damp locations shall be of the weatherproof type.”

If this installation was made for temporary reasons or done so in conjunction with a decorative lighting display then the time constraint requirements of 590.3 would also come into play.


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 toolbox. E-mail your response to, and we'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.