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: Dedicated space

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January Winners

It appears our January photo was much tougher to analyze than we originally thought, simply because of the nature of the work (i.e., many electrical professionals do not perform work in hazardous, classified locations and are not very familiar with the requirements spelled out in Articles 500, 510, 502, and 503). As a result, we only received one submission that was acceptable. Congratulations to our winner this month: Charles Attick, supervisor technical services, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, Laurel, Md. The primary answers we were looking for are summarized as follows:

This receptacle is not suitable for use in hazardous locations, which is a violation of 501.145.

The flexible cord between the explosionproof pin-and-sleeve connector and the receptacle outlet is a violation of 501.140 and 400.8(1). Section 501.140 permits the use of flexible cord for: “(1) Connection between portable lighting or other portable utilization equipment and the fixed portion of their supply circuit;” and “(2) For that portion of the circuit where the wiring methods of 501.10(A) cannot provide the necessary degree of movement for fixed and mobile electrical utilization equipment, and the cord is protected by location or a suitable guard from damage and only in an industrial establishment where conditions of maintenance and engineering supervision ensure that only qualified persons install and service the installation.” This duplex receptacle is required to be supplied by one of the other wiring methods identified in 501.10, because it is neither portable nor does it need to allow for movement.

As noted in 400.8(1), flexible cord may not be used “as a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure.” Clearly, the duplex receptacle could have been supplied by a permanent type of wiring method.


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 he'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. × 6-in. insulated screwdriver. (* Please allow six to eight weeks for delivery of tools.)