Installing Communications Systems in Accordance with the NEC

Dear Mike,

Thank you for your E-newsletter. As an electrician, I constantly am dealing with communication equipment grounds that have been connected to the electrical service mast, as permitted by the NEC [800.40(B)(1)(4), 810.21(F)(1)(d), and 820.40(B)(1)(4)]. But, it would seem far better for these communication technicians to be attaching their grounds to the grounding electrode conduct or to the grounding electrode. Quite often I am replacing an old service with a 1 1/4 inch mast with a new 2" mast and the existing grounding strap will not circumvent the 2" mast. Now their poor workmanship is my problem, and I don't stock this type ground strap as electricians don't normally need them.

I have also had to deal with communication overhead drops tied to the service drop point of attachment, which is a violation of the NEC [230.28]. Also not a good situation.

Also, it seems to me in many new construction housing developments, these communication technicians are mounting their "service boxes" immediately beneath the electrical equipment in violation of 110.26(F)(1)(a)]. Most additional circuits run from these panelboard must come out the bottom of the enclosure and these communication service boxes are unnecessarily blocking this access. Usually the wires are too short to be able to move them out of the way. Additionally, it takes tools I don't have to open these boxes for moving.

Maybe you could send out my comments so that the inspectors will ensure that the installations of communications systems are NEC compliant.

Thank you, Joe Watson

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