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Plastic electrical box with BX and Romex Cables spliced together without ground continuity and no cover on the box

Naughty Electrical Code and Safety Violations

Dear Mr. Electrician:  The home inspector said my house has a lot of naughty electrical code and safety violations.  How can I identify the problems and make code-compliant electrical repairs myself? Answer:  Without experience and knowledge, you will be unable to identify all of the naughty electrical code and safety violations or make proper repairs. NOTE: Some text links below go to applicable products on Amazon.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  Using my links helps to keep this website FREE. Identifying and implementing safe work practices is essential, even if you work alone in your home. Repairs can sometimes be more challenging than installing new things.  You must work within existing spaces and finished walls and be much neater doing the work. Do a lot of research.  Read books, and watch videos from reputable producers such as This Old House.  Each building code violation will require a different code-based solution. Talk to a few electrical contractors.  Ask a lot of questions.  You may be able to get an idea of what corrections need to be done and maybe how. Sometimes other trade skills are needed in the course of doing electrical work.  The electrical trade learning curve is great with a combination of classroom training and several years of working under experienced people.  In addition, an investment in specialty tools is required. The photo at the top of this page is an example of a metal armored cable spliced inside a plastic electrical box.  Metal armored cables must be terminated in metal electrical boxes.  The metal armor of the BX cable is the grounding conductor.  It maintains grounding continuity by being connected with the correct tightly installed BX connector. Top Of Page The Romex cable grounding conductor is then attached to the metal box using a 10/32 machine screw.  The electrical box must also have a blank cover on it. EXAMPLES OF NAUGHTY CODE AND SAFETY ELECTRICAL WIRING I have made many repairs to DIY wiring and observed many code violations and poor installation methods.  Below is a partial list of common electrical wiring mistakes I have encountered. Please note that a homeowner does not always do DIY-type wiring.  It is often done by other contractors and handypersons who are not qualified or licensed to install electrical wiring.  Homeowners should be aware of who is doing electrical work in their homes.  Insist on getting permits for any new electrical installations. The wife called me after her husband tried to install a ceiling fan.  Above is what I found when I arrived.  This was the first time I had seen an electrical box installed upside down in the ceiling. The homeowner removed the existing builder-installed plastic electrical box, but he did this instead of buying an old work fan brace and box that would have fit through the existing hole.  The ceiling fan support bracket was attached to the back side of the electrical box. That electrical box was not rated for fan support, and installing it upside down made it inaccessible. See my posts about ceiling fans for more helpful information. In the photo...