All references are based on the 2011 edition of the NEC.

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah

The installer who used “zip cord” to wire this transformer created several violations. The way in which this was installed leaves the transformer case ungrounded and the splices floating in free space. The use of flexible cord in this manner creates a violation of 400.7 and 400.8. There are 10 permitted uses for flexible cords described in 400.7 including, in part, wiring for pendants, luminaires, portable signs and appliances, elevators, cranes, for the prevention of noise or vibration, specific appliances, moving parts, and elsewhere specifically permitted by the Code. Wiring this transformer was not on this approved list. In addition, 400.8(1) prohibits using flexible cord as a substitute for fixed wiring methods. The lack of equipment grounding or bonding for the transformer case creates several violations of Art. 250, including 250.4(A)(2)and (3), which generally require the case to be grounded and bonded. Similarly, 250.110 requires equipment grounding for the non-current-carrying metal parts of fixed equipment likely to become energized. You may also notice the missing cover for the device box. This is a violation of 404.9(A) and 406.6, which require faceplates to be installed for switches and receptacles. All in all, this installation creates some serious shock hazards.

 

New Wood Molding Looks “Hot”

This new wood molding looks fantastic. Unfortunately, the installer made it impossible to install a faceplate on the switch. The lack of a faceplate is a violation of 404.9(A). Faceplates must be installed to completely cover the box opening, and in the case of a flush-mounted switch, it must seated flush against the finished wall. I also wonder how an electrician might go about removing this switch, since the lower mounting screw has been covered up. I supposed they would have to remove the molding first. This, of course, would be a violation of 314.29, as boxes are supposed to be installed in a manner such that the wiring in them can be accessed without removing any part of the building. In addition, because there is no faceplate, the combustible wood is now exposed to any arcing or sparking that may occur at splices or terminals inside this box. This could create a real fire hazard. The lack of a faceplate also leaves the energized terminals exposed in a manner that a person could contact them and receive a shock.