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 2008 NEC.


“The PVC services that I installed 10 to 12 years ago are ready to fall off the sides of the buildings,” says Joseph Penachio, owner of 15 Hour Update in Peabody, Mass. “I had to replace one service because the PVC split when the service pulled off the wall. Thankfully, the last expansion clip next to the weather head in this particular location was still intact. Supposedly, these types of expansion clips are now UV rated.”

Article 352 focuses on rigid polyvinyl chloride conduit (type PVC). The listing requirements [352.6] state, “PVC conduit, factory elbows, and associated fittings shall be listed.”

Securing and supporting requirements are outlined in 352.30. “PVC conduit shall be installed as a complete system as provided in 300.18 and shall be fastened so that movement from thermal expansion or contraction is permitted. PVC conduit shall be securely fastened and supported in accordance with 352.30(A) and (B) or permitted to be unsupported in accordance with 352.30(C).”

For further information, see UL's DZYR.GuideInfo for Rigid Nonmetallic Schedule 40 and Schedule 80 PVC Conduit, which can be found on the UL Web site at


“I saw this installation at a local amusement park,” says Bruce Osborn, electrical project manager with Cator, Ruma & Associates, Co. in Lakewood, Colo. “The wire runs wild to a water pump in the middle of the pond.”

This type of installation may not comply with some of the rules in Art. 400, Flexible Cords and Cables. More specifically, 400.2 states, “Flexible cords and flexible cables shall comply with this article and with the applicable provisions of other articles of this Code.” Section 400.3 notes, “Flexible cords and cables and their associated fittings shall be suitable for the conditions of use and location.”

In addition, the broken luminaire and improper “in use” cover are not acceptable either.

Found a Code Violation? E-mail your photos (no cell phone images, please) to Joe Tedesco at