As usual, never consider the following commentary associated with these photos as a formal interpretation of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Without criticizing anyone or any product, the following scenarios present us with serious safety questions.

All references are based on the 2005 NEC.


While performing work at a government site, Gary Hack of Benet Labs, Department of Army, New York, stumbled across this homemade heating unit that employees were using to flash cook their lunch. “I couldn't find a UL label on it,” Hack wrote.

Although the NEC doesn't specifically prohibit such a contraption, the situation does present some very serious personal safety concerns. One particular section of the Code worth reviewing is 110.3, Examination, Identification, Installation, and Use of Equipment. Section (A) of this rule focuses on examination and states in part, “In judging equipment, considerations such as: suitability for installation and use in conformity with the provisions of this Code, heating effects under normal conditions of use and also under abnormal conditions likely to arise in service, arcing effects, and other factors that contribute to the practical safeguarding of persons using or likely to come in contact with the equipment.”


Phil Petroska, NACHI certified home inspector, North Country Home Inspections, Harrison, Maine, ran across this unique light fixture during a recent home inspection. No, the water filled globe didn't contain a goldfish.

The evidence of water in this globe shouldn't be blamed on the location of this luminaire. The water was most likely the result of a flooded second floor bathroom, or a leak in the roof that was supposed to be fixed. However, it is a good reminder of the requirements of 410.4(A), Luminaires (Fixtures) in Specific Locations, which states, “Luminaires (fixtures) installed in wet or damp locations shall be installed so that water cannot enter or accumulate in wiring compartments, lampholders, or other electrical parts. All luminaries (fixtures) installed in wet locations shall be marked, ‘Suitable for Wet Locations.’ All luminaires (fixtures) installed in damp locations shall be marked, ‘Suitable for Wet Locations’ or ‘Suitable for Damp Locations.’”

Found a Code violation? E-mail your photos to Joe Tedesco at