National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

Tuesday, July 28, 2020


Comment on CQD for 05-29-2020

Greetings Code Question of the Day,

I have to install a feeder across my property to supply a pump house for a well. Can I run the conductors overhead using large trees for support of the spans? Sonny Wilson

Hey Sonny ,while supporting from "large" trees, say hello to Tarzan too.

The other day my new neighbor across the street who's a friend of my wife's, from when she worked, called about an electrical problem in home she bought last October, which is across the street from us.

I went to check it out. There was an outlet above the kitchen countertop that was dead and three others in the kitchen and dining room. I checked the breaker box and cables coming from the box with my non-contact testing pen and all had power.

I check the GFCI outlet box and the cover plate was "springy". The GFCI wouldn't work or respond to a test. I took off the cover plate and found a conduit outlet box, about 2" deep, fastened on one side to the stud by two drywall screws, which weren't seated tight.  I tried to remove the GFCI from the box but it was attached with short wires and to another duplex so that came with it.

It's a 20-amp 12AWG circuit and the push-in connectors were used on the GFCI. What a freaking mess. I should have taken a picture. He took out the original single gang metal box and put this in its place instead of just adding a new section to the original box.  It's too shallow for the number of wires and devices in it. Just a fire hazard waiting to happen. I wonder if the electrical inspector saw that fix. However, the dope that did this wrapped the yokes with electrical tape for "safety". Maybe more to make sure it didn't short out until the house transferred anyway. What a rat!!

After it's fixed, I'm going to suggest she file a claim in small claims court against the realtor and I'll act as an expert witness in her behalf. This kind of stuff has to be stopped. It really upset me that someone could be so careless about others safety. It's sure questions the integrity of the realtor too.

The new owner, who bought the house like this, said that one of the realtor's husband put in the GFCI because the inspector wouldn't pass it without one for getting a mortgage. 

I said to her, after shutting off the breaker, call your electrician and have him replace this whole box and to call me when he comes over to look at it. I’m not insured so, I won't touch anyone else electrical system. I'll give them advice and look at what they did for compliance, but that's it. As soon as you put your hand on it, you're liable.



Hi Nick,

Thanks for the follow up comments to assist Sonny. 

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