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.
Electrical Technology Level 3 students Brett Stratton, Jason Landry, Michael Schwinn, and Steven Raymond from the Pinkerton Academy, Derry, N.H., sent in the following correct response. We always thought EC&M could come in handy in the classroom.
“If the wires are under-sized for the dryers, and they appear to be, they're in violation of 220.18, which requires the installer to calculate the load based on 5,000W or the nameplate rating on the dryer, whichever is larger. In addition, the size of the junction box is woefully undersized for the conductors, which should contain 12 10 AWG wires, according to 314.16(A). The other problem that's evident from the picture is that the dryers are equipped with a 3-wire cord. If they've been installed recently and aren't located in a mobile home or a recreational vehicle, then they're in violation of 250.140, which requires the use of a 4-wire connection to the outlet.
“There also appears to be some kind of funky grounding wire externally attached to the outlet on the right. Who knows what this was designed for?”