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.

A FITTING INSTALLATION

Steve Perhac, a lead electrician with Micron Technology in Boise, Idaho, was kind enough to share this photo with us. “As I was walking across a hydroelectric dam, I happened to look down through the grated walkway and see this,” said Perhac. “My supervisor wanted to show it to the electrical inspector, but ran out of time during his last visit. However, he did tell him about it.”

As per the NEC, a conduit body is defined as “a separate portion of a conduit or tubing system that provides access through a removable cover(s) to the interior of the system at a junction of two or more sections of the system or at a terminal point of the system. Boxes such as FS and FD or larger cast or sheet metal boxes are not classified as conduit bodies.”

A portion of 300.15 states, “Where the wiring method is conduit, tubing, Type AC cable, Type MC cable, Type MI cable, nonmetallic-sheathed cable, or other cables, a box or conduit body shall be installed at each conductor splice point, outlet point, switch point, junction point, termination point, or pull point, unless otherwise permitted in 300.15(A) through (M).”

In addition, as per 314.28(C), “All pull boxes, junction boxes, and conduit bodies shall be provided with covers compatible with the box conduit body construction and suitable for the condition's use. Where used, metal covers shall comply with the grounding requirements of 250.110. An extension from the cover an exposed box shall comply with 314.22, Exception.”



JUMP-PROOF DESIGN?

I found this young person jumping around in the planter of a market area. It appears he wasn't the first person to jump on this box. Take note of the quick fix someone made earlier with black electrical tape.

The installation seemed to be in compliance with the requirements of 314.23 (Supports), which states, “Enclosures within the scope of this article shall be supported in accordance with one or more of the provisions in 314.23(A) through (H).”

More specifically, 314.23(E) states, “An enclosure that does not contain a device(s) other than splicing devices or support a luminaire(s) [fixture(s)], lampholder, or other equipment and is supported by entering raceways shall not exceed 1650 cm3 (100 in.3) in size. It shall have threaded entries or have hubs identified for the purpose. It shall be supported by two or more conduits threaded wrench tight into the enclosure or hubs. Each conduit shall be secured within 900 mm (3 ft) of the enclosure, or within 450 mm (18 in.) of the enclosure if all conduit entries are on the same side.”

Found a Code violation? E-mail your text and photos to Joe Tedesco at joseph.tedesco@yahoo.com. Please do not send in low-resolution images, such as those typically taken with a cell phone camera.