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#948 - 04/09/01 06:05 AM NM Cable outdoors
Redsy Offline
Member

Registered: 03/28/01
Posts: 2138
Loc: Bucks County PA
I went on a service call to trouble shoot landscape lighting the other day and found an interesting istallation:
Coming through a garage wall and laid across a mulch bed is a run of NM Cable. It runs about 3 ft., then disappears into the ground. On the other side of the walkway is a run of UF cable laying on top of the mulch, and coming from, (or going to) a round box with 2 flood lamp holders for treescape lighting. There is other outdoor lighting, all 120 volt, as part of this lighting scheme, also. I know the NM is part of the circuit. When I asked the homeowner if her husband did the work, she said no, a contractor did it about a year ago. I then asked her if it was a handy-man type and was told that it was an electrical contractor. I told her to call him back, and if he doesnt come out, I will try to rectify things, but she will have to pay again. Even though the circuit is GFCI-protected, I told her that it was an electrocution hazard because GFCIs do fail, and the NM cable will become saturated and possibly result in leakage currents. The GFCI protecting this circuit was hidden behind some shrubs, and although I tested it, I doubt it was ever tested before or will be in the future. She was unaware of GFCI testing. Did I over-react?

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#949 - 04/09/01 12:28 PM Re: NM Cable outdoors
Bill Addiss Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
Redsy,

I've seen many such installations where I am told that the Landscaper had installed the lighting. Typical installations have minimal cover (if any) and buried splices with wirenuts and tape. It is inevitable that something will fail or be damaged, hopefully it's not a person.

You are right that GFIs' fail, especially ones installed outside. I've seen a Pool Light with a broken lens (Bulb & Socket in water) that did not trip the GFCI that was 'protecting' it.

As far as over-reacting goes, No one can tell where or when a Serious Accident will occur, but it is always best to try and reduce the odds if you can. It sounds like you did your part in notifying them of a possible problem, it's their Gamble from here on out.

Bill

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#950 - 04/09/01 02:58 PM Re: NM Cable outdoors
sparky Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
i recently repaired a shallow run of UF feeder, spotted it by the snow that had melted in the area!


it can get expensive in more than one way!


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#951 - 04/09/01 04:59 PM Re: NM Cable outdoors
Tom Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1069
Loc: Shinnston, WV USA
No, you didn't over-react. if code violations were rated on a scale of 1 to 10, you'd find that a 1 or 2 could become a 10 with astonishing speed.

Anytime I'm on a call & run into a code violation situation, I explain it to the customer & I also include the same info on their bill for the original call. In todays lawsuit happy atmosphere, you should always CYA.

Insufficient cover doesn't affect just out trade. Whats fun is when you go to dig a shallow trench (3 or 4") to cover a ground wire & you slice a gas line in two. Been there, done that, bent the end over, taped it & told the owner to call their plumber.

Tom
_________________________
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.

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#952 - 04/10/01 05:58 AM Re: NM Cable outdoors
Redsy Offline
Member

Registered: 03/28/01
Posts: 2138
Loc: Bucks County PA
Bill,
I wondered myself if it was the homeowner, a "do-it-all type" contractor or even a landscaper that did the installation. The customer told me "it was, you know, a regular electrician. He had a truck and all".
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bill Addiss:
Redsy,

I've seen many such installations where I am told that the Landscaper had installed the lighting. Typical installations have minimal cover (if any) and buried splices with wirenuts and tape. It is inevitable that something will fail or be damaged, hopefully it's not a person.

You are right that GFIs' fail, especially ones installed outside. I've seen a Pool Light with a broken lens (Bulb & Socket in water) that did not trip the GFCI that was 'protecting' it.

As far as over-reacting goes, No one can tell where or when a Serious Accident will occur, but it is always best to try and reduce the odds if you can. It sounds like you did your part in notifying them of a possible problem, it's their Gamble from here on out.

Bill

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