Our contractor accidentally cut the 220 volt 6 gauge line that ran from our main
electrical box to a panel that operates our spa and outdoor lighting. His fix
was to splice the lines in a junction box. This is all outside and the junction
box is mounted on the side of a wood pergola hidden by a vine. Is all this safe?
Children play in this area daily
Picture of inside the junction box included , main house panel, and the spa
panel the cut line runs to
Let the contractor know that you will be
pointing it out to the Electrical Inspector -
... along with all the other half-fix items ..
.. problem solved ?
ps : don't let that contractor into your home
ever again ..
On Sunday, July 5, 2020 at 6:14:05 PM UTC-4, Stacey wrote:
I would be concerned too. Looks like they took a plastic junction box and
then hack mounted terminals into it? The problem is that the junction box
is only 1/8" or so thick and those screws that are energized must go right
through it into the wood. Energized metal isn't supposed to be sticking
out of a box and joined wires are not supposed to be uninsulated like
that unless they are part of an approved piece of gear, eg like a a
panel, switch or disconnect. Those terminals look like something used
for GROUNDS and screwed to metal.
Couple of ways this could be done, there are large wire nuts capable of #6.
Also there are other insulated connectors available. How did this happen?
Did they cut an underground cable? There are even direct burial splices
available. Any of those would be code compliant. Is this contractor
licensed to do this work?
Our resident code expert, Mr. Fretwell is the best expert on this,
I'm sure he'll be adding more.
It would be safer if the terminal lugs weren't attached to the
building through the box. Let them float in the box and tape them up.
The ground wire just twisted together would be better in some sort of
There is something called a terminal box. That should have been used
to splice the wiring. It wouldn't necessarily be kid safe though.
Correct, the terminals being screwed to the wood is DEFINITELY a
NO-NO. If they are screwed to the box, and the box is insulated from
the building, it might be OK. It will trip the required GFCI the way
it is (if the GFCI is installed)
Let me count the ways.
1. Ground lugs are not listed for splices
2. Those lugs are not listed for more than one conductor.
3. The ground twisted together is not a listed splice.
4. There are no lock nuts on the RNC connectors. Threading the box
does not make it a hub.
This is an easy fix. Just go buy 3 Polaris style insulated 2 hole
splices for 6 gauge wire and get rid of those lugs. (the generic ones
are a lot cheaper than Polaris)
I might even tolerate two of those lugs bolted together to splice the
ground but I would rather see a split bolt or some listed splicing
While you have those wires lose, screw on some lock nuts.
The good news is that is a 15 minute fix and not very expensive.
"3R" is not water tight, it is only "rain tight". If you want to clean
up that box, shoot screws in those holes. It is not uncommon to see
installers actually drill holes in the bottom of boxes to let them
drain when water gets inside. (not "if"). There is a reason they call
these "wet locations".
I assumed the picture was sideways. You are right, drilled holes and
lock nut connections should only be on the bottom but I assume the
installer would argue, he tapped the box so it should seal. It still
needs lock nuts. There is not enough thread engagement to be
considered a hub.
The wiring in that other panel looks really sloppy to my eyes.
I don't know code but usually when an inspector sees something that looks like that he keeps looking until he finds something. And conversely when everything looks neat and tidy they figure there's nothing to look for.
The first rule of inspecting is limit yourself to the scope of the
open permit. It makes your life easier. ;-)
Looking at that panel my main question is about how they grounded the
can. They should have extended the 8ga from the feeder to the can, not
2 #12s from god knows where. (also the 2 wires under a lug listed for
1) If there is not an 8ga path the can is not properly grounded. I
would also look to be sure there is a clip on the in feed breaker.
Using wire nuts in lieu of a ground bus is bad workmanship but not
illegal. It does seem to reflect the "what I had on the truck" style
in the other box.
As trader says, that's a cobbled-up job -- the mounting screws through
the box outside into the mounting board taht looks like it'll be wet
often enough and won't last indefinitely is definite no-no.
Box isn't outside rated, either I'm guessing.
Where is this located -- if it were buried, also as other said there are
splices for the purpose but if it were mine, unless you didn't call 811
and told him there wasn't anything where he was digging, if it were mine
I'd expect a "as new" repair/replacement, not a patch.
He screwed up, it's his nickel to make it whole again and this ain't
whole by any stretch. It works, but it's definitely not legit.
Dry, it's reasonably safe as temporary patch; wet it's a definite hazard.
On 7/5/2020 10:32 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Just wasn't sure whether was/wasn't from looking...as said, that was a
I notice this time it's got mounting ears--may have used the one on the
top that is hidden, the bottom one is hanging in air.
So, the assumption the lug mounting screws are also all that's holding
the box to the fence slat is possibly wrong, altho one screw on one side
isn't enough, either.
I'm still wondering where those two conduits came from/go to...inside
this box is NOT where the feed was cut I'm sure...what was done where
that occurred to get the pieces to this point to make the
On Monday, July 6, 2020 at 2:32:40 PM UTC-4, dpb wrote:
ide and the
That's what I was wondering too, which is why I asked if it was underground
and cut off. The only way I can think of this coming about was if the
existing wiring was cut there where the new box was, the piece from there t
panel shown wasn't very long, so they replaced that piece with a new longe
piece to work into the splice box. Otherwise when you cut anything in the
middle, you typically wind up needing two splice boxes and a piece of new w
between the two. Actually, now that I think about it, I guess you may wind
up with two splices on each wire even if it's an underground fix, unless th
cut is really nice, with no damage to the wires. I'd think most times you'
going to screw the wire and even if it's just an inch of cable lost, you're
still going to have two splices per wire and new wire.
Got lucky years ago after being unlucky! What would be the odds of
hitting the well power feed running across country from the old well
house that has the pressure tank, etc., to the new well location w/
posthole digger for fence around new garden area? A half-inch wide
Romex wire ~2-ft deep in a 100-yd stretch for the one post?
Of course, hit it dead on. Didn't know it at the time; wasn't 'til
SWMBO complained the water quit that realized it. Fortunately, that
wasn't long and days were warm and long so had plenty of time to dig it
back up and repair.
Amazingly enough, did almost as clean a cut as a set of cutters and Dad
had laid the cable loosely-enough in the trench we had plenty of length
to just use the gel-filled compression fittings for repair. It's been
probably 15 years now, since...
Still amazed in managing to pick precisely that point to put the
post...the wire just heads off diagonally from wherever precisely it
runs from the pumphouse to miss the other fence and head towards the
pole the controller is mounted on by the well...it's all just big open
area; could have run the wire anywhere within 20-ft either way and could
have put the post almost anywhere +/- 2-ft of where chose.
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