February 15, 2021

Our Jenny Kuether, P.E., recently won a contest in Electrical Construction & Maintenance magazine for pointing out the code deficiencies in a meter installation.

Jenny, who is Epstein's chief electrical engineer, recognized the deficiencies in a photo in the magazine's "What's Wrong Here" section from a previous issue. This section allows readers to put on their electrical inspector’s hat and write into the magazine describing what is wrong while citing relevant code sections.

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Of what was wrong with the meter installation, here is EC&M's description:

"The cartoon mascots for Rice Krispies cereal would probably be impressed by the snap, crackle, and pop that this PVC raceway must have made when it broke apart. Perhaps installing a PVC conduit expansion fitting or using a flexible wiring method would have been a better option for protecting these service entrance conductors.

"Section 230.43(15) does provide limited use of liquidtight flexible metal conduit (LFMC) for wiring of service entrance conductors. For services, LFMC is limited to a maximum length of 6 ft, and a supply-side bonding jumper must be routed with the LFMC.

"Thermal expansion may have also played a role in the destruction of this raceway. Section 352.44 requires expansion fittings to be installed in the PVC conduit run where the length change is expected to be 1/4 in. or greater 'in a straight run between securely mounted items such as boxes, cabinets, elbows, or other conduit terminations.'

"In any case, this service needs to be rewired."

Congratulations, Jenny!