Is that a grounded conductor?

is that a grounded picture

Section 200.6(B) of the 2014 National Electrical Code allows the use of white tape for the identification of grounded conductors larger than 6 AWG. However, the code does not allow white tape for the support of junction boxes as shown in the picture above.


The 2014 N.E.C. addresses this poor installation in section 314.23. The text reads: Enclosures within the scope of this article shall be supported in accordance with one or more of the provisions in 314.23(A) through (H). The scope of Article 314 can be found in 314.1 and it reads: This article covers the installation and use of all boxes and conduit bodies used as outlet, device, junction, or pull boxes, depending on their use, and handhole enclosures. Cast, sheet metal, nonmetallic, and other boxes such as FS, FD, and larger boxes are not classified as conduit bodies. This article also includes installation requirements for fittings used to join raceways and to connect raceways and cables to boxes and conduit bodies. The standard 4 in. x 4 in. metal junction box shown in this picture is definitely covered by Article 314.


Section 314.23(A) more specifically addresses our code violation. This section states that an enclosure mounted on a building or other surface shall be rigidly and securely fastened in place. If the surface does not provide rigid and secure support, additional support in accordance with other provisions of this section shall be provided. In this case, the rigidity of the structure is not in question but the fastening means is.


Article 100 of the N.E.C. gives us definitions that apply to the entire code. The term rigid is not found in this article but we can turn to Webster’s dictionary for guidance. Webster’s dictionary defines rigid as: not able to bent easily or not easily changed. White electrical tape does not meet either of these definitions.

We can also turn to section 110.13 of the code to find additional language to back up the stance that tape cannot be used for the support of boxes. 110.13(A) requires that electrical equipment be firmly secured to the surface on which it is mounted.


Although this installation does not pose an immediate hazard, it could create problems in the future. The electrical tape will surely fail over a period of time and cause the box to then be supported by the cables. Under the right circumstances, the pressure exerted on the cables could cause the connections to loosen or create a short-circuit or ground-fault.


Although sometimes entertaining, the code violations, shown in “Right or Wrong” section, are serious and could create dangerous situations. Keeping you up to date on code requirements is what we do best. Please visit our electrical practice questions sections and see how well you can navigate the N.E.C. We also offer electrical continuing education, reference books through, and electrical exam preparation. Email us at with your interesting photos and you will be entered into a drawing to win one of many great prizes.

7 Comments on “Is that a grounded conductor?”

  1. The cables entering the box, on one side, are protected by a bushing. No bushing on the other side. Still, the cables look to be the type used for fire alarm system installations and would have a voltage of 12 through 24 volts. My point is that a fire alarm system tech, instead of an electrician did this installation. Do the same regulations and standards apply in this low voltage splice box as for a typical 120 volt and above installation?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.