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Does This Meet Code 2

This is the second installment of “Does This Meet Code.”  The first installment received many comments, many of which were emailed to me.  I encourage to post your thoughts, sarcasm, and code sections in the area listed below the post by clicking on the section called “Comments.”

The question at hand this week looks at an electrical picture sent to us from the the East Coast.  This picture was taken during an inspection of a small addition to an existing building.  This junction box was utilized to extend several circuits into a the new space.  The inspector was not an electrical inspector and questioned “Did you get your final electrical inspection?”

Now, I will never be able to claim to be an elctrical inspector, but where does this fall in the area of incorrect wiring?  What if you can’t put the cover on the junction box?

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View previous editions of “Does this Meet Code

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Jeff Hugo November 26, 2008, 11:45 am

    Now I’m just a dumb sprinkler guy with a building official background, but even I can tell there are issues here. Junction boxes need covers. I see some wires taped, instead of having wire nuts, and I dont believe that all these wires will fit inside. If the wires are correct (according to the NEC), then a junction box extension and a cover would be needed.

  • Chuck Riesterer November 26, 2008, 1:59 pm

    A good fire inspector keeps his/her eye open for all things that “just don’t look right.” This photo is a prime example. It begs several questions:
    – Is this high-voltage or low-voltage wiring?
    – Is this an approved installation method? (The NEC requires installations be completed in a workman-like manner)
    – Does it require an electrical inspector’s approval?

    One does not need to be an electrical inspector to ask questions. But you may need the qualification to provide the answer.

    From the fire code official’s stand point, you need to be familiar with your code, and all the references it makes. In our jurisdiction, we currently use the International Fire Code – 2006 (IFC). Chapter 6 of the IFC addresses this very issue by requiring the following:

    – Identified hazardous electrical conditions in permanent wiring shall be brought to the attention of the code official responsible for enforcement of the ICC Electrical Code.
    – Open junction boxes and open-wiring splices shall be prohibited.

    So at the very least, the correct course of action in our community is to note the violation & have it corrected. A call to the local electrical inspector may turn up other unsafe isses that our eyes are not trained to notice.

    Bottom line – Life safety. In addition to preventing a future problem for the owner, you keep his occupants safe, his property safe AND reduce the risk for the responding fire & emergency personnel.

  • Brian Dove November 26, 2008, 3:32 pm

    This bees a Rastafarian Electrical Code matter mawn. Dem Dreads Be lectrifying mawn!

  • FJ Spinelli November 26, 2008, 8:09 pm

    This actually looks like a box that is being used as an extension of the box above it. Wire nuts are a must, along with a cover. Definately a need for an electrical inspection.

  • aaron j. November 26, 2008, 9:58 pm

    I would write it up. Jboxes need to be properly covered. How they accomplish this task is not really my problem. Not an electrician, just a fire inspector.

  • Tim Rogers December 1, 2008, 1:22 pm

    Looks like someone modified the original installation A LOT! As an inspector, I try not to direct how someone would go about fixing something, merely telling them exactly what isn’t right is usually enough. I agree that this looks like and extension on a box already. It may be time to have an electrician come out and run another conduit or two. How many boxes would anyone allow to be stacked?

  • Nick Markowitz Jr. December 12, 2008, 3:25 pm

    I am an electricain and this clearly is a violation .
    just putting a lid on would be a violation of spacing requirements with in the enclosure . Even if a proper exstension box with lid was used it still looks like it would be overcrouded and still a code violation the correct way to have done this install would have been to put in a bigger junction box like a 6X6X4 or another 4×4 box beside it and do splicing over in that enclosure. I have seen where 2 or more rings are installed on top of an original junction box and though leagally on the line it is questionable work when done this way.

    Thou you as AHJ may not have legal authority over electrical work you still have moral if not legal obligation to point out such a problem and see it is properly inspected by proper authority. at bare minimum I would have put contractor on notice for such an obvious problem to protect your own intrests.
    I inspect properties for prospective buyers and when i find sigificant problems i notify property owner and when they do nothing i follow it up with a letter to AHJ.

  • Mike Lewis August 6, 2009, 11:32 am

    Of course it doesn’t.

    NFPA 70 314.28 Pull and Junction Boxes and Conduit Bodies. 3 (C) Covers. All pull boxes, junction boxes, and conduit bodies shall be provided with covers compatible with the box or conduit body construction and suitable for the conditions of use. Where used, metal covers shall comply with the grounding requirements of 250.110.

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