Common Electrical Code Violations and What They Mean

Whether you’re remodeling your home, building a new one, or moving to a new place entirely, they all have many things in common. One of those things is electricity. Everything needs electricity to function! However, what seems as simple as installing new wiring or breaker boxes isn’t so simple after all. Even if you wire something correctly, there’s still a risk of injury, sparking, or other harmful things happening.

That’s where the National Electrical Code (NEC) comes in. The NEC is a standardized book of electrical codes and rules that need to be followed when completing any electrical work in the United States. Though these codes may seem troublesome or like a waste of time, they exist for a purpose. They not only keep you as a homeowner safe but ensure electricians can safely install and repair your electrical work if need be.

With the tons of codes you have to sort through, it can be difficult to digest every single one of them and not make any violations. Rowbel Services wants to help you understand the most common electrical code violations and what they mean. That way, when completing your next electrical project, you have all the knowledge you need to make that project successful.

Most Common Electrical Code Violations

Even if you don’t install the electrical components yourself, it’s still helpful to know and understand the most common electrical code violations just in case.

Choosing the Wrong Circuit Breaker

One of the most common electrical code violations is the wrong circuit breaker being chosen for specific zones in your home. A circuit breaker is meant to stop the flow of electricity to certain portions of your home if it senses a surge in electricity that exceeds its preset limits. 

Some circuit breakers require you to manually reset them when they’re tripped. Others reset automatically. Additionally, depending on the type of appliance and zone the circuit breaker services, there are specific types that need to be installed for each. 

Not having the right type of circuit breaker installed is a no no for a couple reasons. For starters, you could be violating the NEC. Not only that, but not having the right type of breaker poses a safety threat to you and anyone else in the home, with fires or other types of incidents being a possibility. 

Covering Outside Receptacles Incorrectly

It may not seem like a big deal to leave outdoor outlets partially uncovered or unprotected altogether. However, it’s crucial that you have the right kind of outdoor outlet protection in place so you don’t violate code or pose a safety hazard to yourself and your family. Even if your outlet is under shelter and only partially exposed to the elements, it’s still partially exposed! Rain, sleet, and other debris can easily cover and get inside the outlet. Dust, water, and electricity don’t mix well, either.

To keep the value of your home high, your family safe, and follow codes, cover outdoor receptacles correctly the first time around. If you have any questions about the type of coverings you need, give the folks at Rowbel Services a call! We’ll be happy to help and answer any electrical questions you may have.

Not Having Tamper-Resistant Receptacles

Tamper-resistant outlets are designed with safety in mind. Although they’ve just recently become a standard and a must in the NEC, many homes have had them installed for years. What are tamper-resistant receptacles? They’re outlets that have stoppers in them to prevent children, animals, or outside elements from getting deep inside the outlet and sustaining shocks or other damage. 

They’re required for both indoor and outdoor outlets, so it’s best to include them in your remodel or new home design from the minute you have installations made so you don’t have to go through and fix them later. 

Overcrowding Holes With Too Many Wires

We’re sure everyone’s been tempted to fit as many wires through a standard ⅞”hole as possible. After all, it saves space and time, right? While it may save both time and space to keep all your electrical holes jam packed, it’s against electrical code and is also a big fire hazard. 

It’s all too easy to pack too many wires in a hole and have the casing on wires scrape together and etch off one another. To avoid overcrowding a hole, always adhere to NEC standards. As a general rule of thumb, never put more than three wires in a standard ⅞” hole. If you have any questions about whether or not you’re putting too many wires through one spot, call Rowbel Services and we’ll get you squared away as soon as possible!

Incorrect Wire Splicing

Some people may not even realize that they violate the NEC with this electrical technique. Whether you’re looking for a bendaround solution or a quick fix to a problem, splicing may seem like a foolproof option and easy to do. However, connecting more than one wire together by yourself is extremely dangerous. 

Splicing of any kind is actually illegal and against code altogether. The only time that splicing is allowed is when it’s performed by professional electricians for troubleshooting or temporary lighting fixtures. Otherwise, it’s off the table. 

Forgetting a Neutral Wire

We’re all human, so it’s not uncommon to make mistakes when wiring your switches. One thing that all switches need according to the NEC is a neutral wire. Neutral wires are in charge of carrying a consistent, small amount of electricity from the power source to your switch. They’re also connected to a grounding system, too. 

If you have questions about or troubles installing your wires and switches, it’s best to give a call to a licensed electrician. They’ll explain the process to you from start to finish and make sure you don’t have any code violations. 

Panels Configured Incorrectly

There aren’t currently any laws against performing electrical work for your own home by yourself. However, while doing so, you have to ensure you’re following the National Electrical Code to remain safe and not break the law. 

While it may not seem like a big deal when it comes to choosing the arrangement of circuit breakers (and types of circuit breakers) to go in your electrical panel, it’s quite the opposite. It’s crucial that you have your panels configured correctly and have your breakers matched to accommodate a proper wire size and load capacity. 

For example, say you choose a breaker that’s larger than what you actually need. You could potentially allow more electricity to pass through a certain point that feeds a certain zone. If you feed too much current to a certain device or zone, you could start a fire, get shocked, or cause an explosion inside. Additionally, having only what you need installed saves money on your electrical bill every month. 

Installing Incorrect Light Fixtures in Your Bathroom

Your bathroom is one area in your home that retains the most moisture. As such, it’s important that you have the right kind of lighting installed so you don’t cause a sparking or fire hazard to occur. This goes for outlets, as well. Moisture-dense areas usually require GFCI outlets to adhere to code. As an extra layer of protection, outlets even have covers for when you’re not using them so moisture stays out. 

The right type of lighting fixtures and outlets for your bathroom (or other damp areas in your home) is all found in the NEC. Additionally, contacting a licensed electrician will ensure that everything is installed correctly the first time. 

Do You Need Help With Electrical Work?

Electrical work can be time consuming, confusing, and stressful, even for the most experienced electricians. If you’re doing a project by yourself and need any electrical work completed, we recommend calling a professional electrician service to ensure you adhere to all safety regulations and don’t violate any electrical codes.

Do you need a talented group of individuals to help you with your electrical work? Do you reside in metropolitan Maryland or Virginia and want the best of the best? You’re in luck! Rowbel Services is here to help with all your electrical needs, no matter how big or small your project is. We provide service to commercial and residential buildings and are composed of only certified electricians and highly qualified individuals. 

The crew here at Rowbel Services has completed hundreds of different electrical projects and has years of experience in the field. We even have a rating of 5/5 stars on Google, with many happy clients attesting to our skills and craftsmanship! If you’re interested in reading some of our testimonials and reviews, kindly navigate here to find more information. 

We do our best to provide reliable service, clear communication, and take accountability for all of our work. We do whatever we can to work with you by your busy schedule so you’re not left out of the important servicing you need. Are you ready to give us a try and complete your electrical project today? Contact us to learn more! Send us an email at or call us today at 1-877-ROWBEL-1! We can’t wait to welcome you to the Rowbel family!

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