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.)

February Winners

Congratulations to our three winners this month: Jake Swift, owner, Swift Electric, Ventura, Calif.; Evan Scholz, Foreman, Kaemmerlan Electric, St. Louis, Mo.; and Frank Gramenzi, journeyman, Schooley Electric, Cherry Hill, N.J. These three correctly identified the violations noted below.

The primary violation identified by our readers was the use of two conductors under a single lug. As noted in 110.3(B), “Listed or labeled equipment shall be installed and used in accordance with any instructions included in the listing or labeling.” In addition, as noted in Underwriters Laboratories' “Guide Information for Electrical Equipment” (the “White Book”) in the Wire Connectors section, “Conductors generally accommodate a single conductor under a clamping mechanism unless otherwise identified, such as with the number of conductors located parenthetically in front of the wire size or range.” This marking is typically given on the lug itself. As you can see in the photo, this lug has no such marking.

These three readers also pointed out that the requirements of 250.12 call for the paint to be removed from the enclosure where the ground lug is attached to ensure adequate conductivity. The wording in this section of the NEC states, “Nonconductive coatings (such as paint, lacquer, and enamel) on equipment to be grounded shall be removed from threads and other contact surfaces to ensure good electrical continuity or be connected by means of fittings designed so as to make such removal unnecessary.”

Additionally, they also observed the connection of the grounded neutral conductor to the enclosure is being made by means of a screw that does not meet the requirement given in 250.28. (B).

Lastly, the grounding electrode conductor is not terminated at the proper location. As given in 250.24(A)(4), “Where the main bonding jumper specified in 250.28 is a wire or bus bar and is installed from the grounded conductor terminal bar or bus to the equipment grounding terminal bar or bus in the service equipment, the grounding electrode conductor shall be permitted to be connected to the equipment grounding terminal, bar, or bus to which the main bonding jumper is connected.”