Code Clusters is a fond look back at some of the most interesting and outlandish Code violations published in the pages of EC&M magazine over the past 15 years — the item below is the seventh in a series of 10. Questions? Comments? We'd love to hear your feedback! Post your thoughts in the box below.

 

Up Through the Rooftop, Down Through the Valley

All references based on the 1996 edition of the NEC.

NEC Violations Illustrated - Rooftop 1

Harold Endean of Boonton Township, N.J., shared these Code violations with me. He has more than 20 years of experience in the electrical industry. Between the two of us, we thought we’d seen it all. We were wrong: These rooftop Code violations take the cake. I think you’ll see what we mean.

NEC Violations Illustrated - Rooftop 2

It’s impossible to overemphasize the necessity of making safe installations. This month’s photos stress the need for work that meets the National Elec­trical Code (NEC) requirements. As usual, never consider the following commentary as formal interpretations of the NEC. Without criticizing anyone or any product, each of the following photos presents us with serious electrical safety questions.

NEC Violations Illustrated - Rooftop 3

This first photo shows a 100A subpanel feed coming from the main service in a building and running to a subpanel in a kitchen in a different part of the building. Instead of running the feed through the building, installers thought it would be easier to run the wire through a drop ceiling, go up through the roof into a bathroom exhaust fan vent pipe, and run it along the roof. Finally, they taped the cable to the vent pipe.

NEC Violations Illustrated - Rooftop 4

These next two photos show the same subpanel feed running down one roof, through a valley on the building, up the second roof, then entering the build­ing. No straps support the subpanel feed. Rainwater runs down the valley, so the cable most certainly sits in water some of the time. The cable also lies across the two air conditioner pipes, which run from the air compressor to air handlers.

This last photo shows where the subpanel feeder drops down into the kitchen. Someone just drilled a hole in the roof and fed the cable through it without even adding any tar or duct seal or curbing of any sort.

See next violation: Lack of Overload Protection