National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

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Friday, April 16, 2021

Question:

Greetings CQD,

Is there an NEC rule that says that equipment needs to be suitable for a wet location and not rust away to the point of falling apart? The situation involves an old enclosed circuit breaker and the enclosure has rusted to the point where water is getting inside, and the door is ready to fall off. I'm wondering if this installation ever met the Code when it was first installed. Do you have an opinion.

Tom Erickson

A

Answer:

Hi Tom,

First, your situation is starting to become more common, specifically for older electrical equipment installed outdoors. Check the NEMA rating on the equipment to determine suitability for location where it is installed. There is also  general requirement in the Code that applies to this situation. Check Section 110.11 which indicates that unless identified for use in the operating environment, no conductors or equipment shall be located in damp or wet locations; where exposed to gases, fumes, vapors, liquids, or other agents that have a deteriorating effect on the conductors or equipment; or where exposed to excessive temperatures. Section 110.3(A) and (B) probably apply in this instance, if the equipment is listed. Sounds like the equipment needs to be replaced.

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