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: Hanging in the balance — the box, that is.

Find the Answer


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, 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-in. insulated side-cutting pliers, 10-in. insulated tongue-and-groove pliers, and a 0.25-in. 3 6-in. insulated screwdriver. (* Please allow six to eight weeks for delivery of tools.)

December Winner

P.J. Higgins, owner/operator of P.J. Higgins Contracting, Inc., Peru, Ind., was our winner this month. “I think this is taking Sec. 230.53 (Raceways to Drain) just a little too far,” says Higgins. “It also violates 300.5(D)(4) (Enclosure or Raceway Damage).”

If subject to physical damage, conductors shall be installed in rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, Schedule 80 PVC, or equivalent. In addition to noting that thin wall drain, waste, and vent pipe is not listed for use as an electrical conduit, Higgins also notes, “ENT is not rated for outdoor use, violating manufacturing specifications.”

He finishes up by pointing out that in no way does this installation meet the requirements set forth in 110.12 (Mechanical Execution of Work).

Two other sections of the Code can also be referenced with regard to this installation: 300.12 and 300.18. They both deal with the continuity of raceways.