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: “X” marks the spot.
Find the Answer
Tell Them What They’ve Won
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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. (Please allow six to eight weeks for delivery of tools.)
This month’s winners include: John Sokolik, senior project manager, Pelican Engineering Consultants, LLC, Naples, Fla.; Darin Hultberg, electrical engineering technician, Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc., Grand Forks, N.D.; and Richard Owen, partner, Owen Electrical Contracting, Oakdale, Minn. Although these three responded quickly and accurately, almost all of the submissions that we received this month made reference to the most glaring clearance violations shown in this photo.
As noted in 230.9(A), “Service conductors installed as open conductors or multi-conductor cable without an overall outer jacket shall have a clearance of not less than 900 mm (3 ft) from windows that are designed to be opened, doors, porches, balconies, ladders, stairs, fire escapes, or similar locations.” In addition, 230.9(B) states, “The vertical clearance of final spans above, or within 900 mm (3 ft) measured horizontally of, platforms, projections, or surfaces from which they might be reached shall be maintained in accordance with 230.24(B).” It’s clear the service conductor is within reach of anyone who stands on this open balcony space. Section 230.24 begins with the phrase, “Service-drop conductors shall not be readily accessible.”
The communications cable below the service conductors can also be cited. As noted in 800.44(A)(4), “Supply service drops of 0-750V running above and parallel to communications service drops shall have a minimum separation of 300 mm (12 in.) at any point in the span, including the point of their attachment to the building.” The distance between the power and communications cable near the point of attachment is less than 12 in.
Although it’s difficult to see in this photo, one might also call into question the means of attachment at the building (230.27) and the mounting supports used (230.51) for support of the service-drop conductor.