How well do you know the Code? Think you can spot violations the original installer either ignored or couldn't identify? Here's your chance to moonlight as an electrical inspector and second-guess someone else's work from the safety of your living room or office. Can you identify the Code violation(s) in this photo?




Using the 2008 NEC, correctly identify the Code violation(s) in this month's photo — in 200 words or less — and you could win something to put in your tool-box. E-mail your response to, and he'll select three winners (excluding manufacturers and prior winners) at random from the correct submissions. Winners will receive a set of insulated hand tools from Ideal Industries, Inc., valued at more than $125.* The set includes 9.25-in. insulated side-cutting pliers, 10-in. insulated tongue-and-groove pliers, and a 0.25-in. × 6-in. insulated screwdriver. (* Please allow six to eight weeks for delivery of tools.)

July Winners

Our three winners this month were: Paul Furman, owner of PDF Electric, Pawcatuck, Conn.; Timothy Waldman, electrical code official for the city of Reading, Reading, Pa.; and Mark Sheehan, estimator for JH Electrical Enterprises, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Here's just a few of the many Code violations these three associated with this mess of a residential service panel.

  • Installation is not neat and workmanlike [110.12].

  • Improper electrical connections and terminations (i.e., more than one wire terminated on branch and main breakers) [110.14].

  • Improper identification of grounded and ungrounded conductors (i.e., white wire being used as ungrounded conductor and red wire being used as grounded conductor) [200.6, 200.7 and 210.5].

  • Undersized conductors attached to main breaker (i.e., not properly protected) [240.4].

  • Enclosures for switches and overcurrent devices shall not be used as junction boxes [312.8].