Common Examples of National Electrical Code Violations

February 7, 2022 3:40 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When your home’s electrical wiring and infrastructure don’t meet your local residential electric code, repair work may be necessary to address the problem and bring your electrical components up to specifications.

Here are a few examples of some of the types and causes of National Electrical Code (NEC) violations:

  • Doing electrical work for friends or family: DIY work is allowed in your own home, so long as it passes inspection; however, just because you’re reasonably handy doesn’t mean you can start offering your services to friends and family. Tampering with other people’s electrical systems is a code violation, even if your work were to pass inspection.
  • Not using a neutral wire for switches: All switches in your electrical system in your home require a neutral wire. This is because these switches need at least some constant electricity.
  • Not using GFCIs: Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) are required in areas where water or moisture is likely to be present in areas where people are also likely to be using small appliances. GFCIs are required in bathrooms, kitchens and outdoor outlets, and there are plenty of other areas where it makes sense to install them, including garages, unfinished basements, wet bars, sump pumps and work or storage areas. Any GFCI should be easily accessible so it can be reset.
  • Crowding around a service panel: All electrical panels must have plenty of clearance. This clearance should be 30 inches wide, 3 feet deep and 8 inches high (or more for all three). These clearances ensure electricians will have easy access to the panel when performing repairs and also make the area easily accessible in emergency situations.
  • Not enough receptacles: The modern home has more electrical outlets than ever due to our increased needs for electricity. There are more devices constantly running in homes these days, and more devices that need to be charged on a daily or near-daily basis. If there are not enough receptacles in your home, it is likely your electrical panel is overloaded. Rather than making excessive use of extension cords and power strips (also a code violation), you should simply install more receptacles in your home. If you have to upgrade your circuit panel, so be it.
  • Not using tamper-resistant outlets: Tamper-resistant outlets are specifically designed to prevent children from being able to insert objects into holes. Children could easily take a paper clip, for example, and shove it into a standard outlet, which is a major safety issue. If you do not have tamper-resistant receptacles, you should at least have outlet covers that protect your children (and outlets).
  • Performing DIY work you’re not qualified for: While DIY work is allowed, keep in mind that it must pass an inspection to meet code. If you’re not completely confident in your ability to do an electrical job correctly, it is in your best interest to hire a professional so you do not hurt yourself or damage your electrical system.

For more information about how you can avoid residential electrical code repair issues, contact us at Eavenson Electric Co.

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