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Basic Electrical Wiring Methods Explained

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Identify Electrical Problems

I really admire people who decide to do electrical wiring projects around the home, but Please don't do work like this!

Shown Below:
This was an interesting discovery. An existing ceiling fan which was installed without an electrical box.

The wire had been poked down through the ceiling sheet rock.

Without the approved box enclosure there is no legal ground and no way to contain an electrical incident if there ever was one. Also, there was no way to use the appropriate mounting screws for an approved 70 lb rated Ceiling Fan box. Instead, long sheet rock style screws were used. I have found similar occurrences with ceiling fixtures in older homes, however it was quite a surprise to find this violation and several more in a home which had recently been "remodeled", complete with a total kitchen makeover - all installed by an alleged "licensed general contractor", and it all had to be rewired!

The following pictures have some wiring hazards violations and possible hazards. Can you pin point the problems? Go through the pictures and see how you do.
Wiring Violations Wiring Violations
This plug box was half buried when the cabinet on the right was installed. With no way to access, install or cover the receptacle the wiring had to be removed and relocated. I noticed this at a public area. Broken weather proof covers and no sign of GFCI protection. Hopefully there was a GFCI Breaker providing protection Upgrading old Knob and Tube wiring is great, just don't forget to either remove the old wire or terminate it in a junction box.
Wiring Violations Wiring Violations Wiring Violations
Oops - looks like a noninsulated wire that was run inside the wall to a outside fixture. Make sure the integrity of the sheath is maintained. Two problems: 14/2 mixed with 12/2 and unbonded ground to the metal box. Never mix wire gages and always bond the ground wire together and to the metal box with a Ground Screw. Another Ground issue. The cable clamp in this box is not approved for bonding the ground and it is not necessary because the box is not metal. Always join the grounds.
Wiring Violations Wiring Violations Wiring Violations
This panel needed some attention especially because there were several ground wire that were cut off and not terminated to the ground bar. Illegal grounding method using the cover screw instead of using a ground screw in the pre-tapped hole. This is what happens when a back hoe pulls up the well pump conduit. Also notice the water PVC entering this control box which supplies the power. It is not entering through a provided knock-out.
Wiring Violations    
This was really bad. Here we have two circuits of 12/2 ungrounded cables feeding a 220 volt 30 amp dryer receptacle AND a 120 volt circuit that is tapped on with the red wire to the dryer.    

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