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.


From the looks of the joint between the piece of rigid nonmetallic conduit (RNC) and the coupling at the expansion fitting, it looks like the installer forgot to use glue. All joints between lengths of RNC, and between conduit and couplings, fittings, and boxes, must be made by an approved method (352.48). Where direct-buried conductors, raceways, or cables are subject to movement by settlement or frost, they must be arranged to prevent damage to the enclosed conductors or to equipment connected to the raceways. This can be accomplished by installing “S” loops in underground direct burial to raceway transitions, using expansion fittings in raceway risers to fixed equipment, or installing flexible connections to equipment [300.5(J)].


These rusty ground clamps and pipes obviously haven't seen any maintenance in quite some time, if ever. As one of the most important points in the grounding system, these ground clamps help ensure that the grounding electrode conductor will be available to serve its intended purpose. The grounding or bonding conductor must be connected to the grounding electrode by exothermic welding, listed lugs, listed pressure connectors, listed clamps, or other listed means. Ground clamps must be listed for the materials of the grounding electrode, and not more than one conductor can be connected to the grounding electrode by a single clamp or fitting, unless the clamp or fitting is listed for multiple conductors. See 250.70 and the definition of “listed” in Art. 100.


The installation of this type of “temporary power pole,” minus the Port-O-Potty, is common and readily accepted in many locations around the country. However, this temporary service is actually mounted on the privy. The loose cover on the enclosure was of the most concern. Temporary power and lighting installations are allowed during the period of construction, remodeling, maintenance, repair, or demolition of buildings, structures, equipment, or similar activities. Although this installation doesn't necessarily violate the requirements of 527.4(A), where a “service” must be installed according to the requirements of Art. 230, there should probably be an exception added to cover this type of installation.


This is a good example of why the rules for dedicated equipment space [110.26(F)] are included in the Code. Protection from physical damage is required at all switchboards, panelboards, distribution boards, and motor control centers. For indoor installations, a dedicated “electrical space” is defined as “the space that is equal to the width and depth of the equipment extending from the floor to a height of 6 feet above the equipment, or to the structural ceiling, whichever is lower.” This space must be dedicated to the electrical installation. No piping, ducts, leak protection apparatus, or other equipment foreign to the electrical installation may be located in this zone. This photo clearly shows the results of not adhering to these requirements. Cleaning fluids used on the floor above in the building's beer vat area have clearly set up a dangerous situation.

Found a Code violation? Send your photos to Tedesco Electrical Code Consultants, Inc., PO Box 130408, Boston, MA 02113 or