Wire to outside light

My inspection today had a wire running down the siding from the porch roof area to outside light near the entrance door. It did not pop out the siding like it should. They just ran a wire down the siding and then into the light. Now, how do i tell if it is exterior rated insulated cover? I usually see them as gray and this was white? How would you call this out other than not right?

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The issue you have here is a typical DIYer or Home Owner attempt to add much needed light to a location someone forgot to add proper illumination.

The use of UF and NM Cable still would not relegate the person from the protection from physical damage when running BOTH wiring methods on the surface of a wall.

In this case you have what I believe to be NM Cable, if the overhang ( which i can't see it all ) is subject to moisture or even less to excessive moisture then it is at best a damp location and NM cable would not be allowed in this location.

Typically you can determine the wire type by the markings on the jacket shield covering. It can also be embedded into the jacket so look close but again if it is NM cable.......it depends on the location......and based on what i see it is a damp location.

however these are only my opinions and not Gospel…:slight_smile:

Thanks Paul
It had a 12 foot porch roof. I mentioned it to the buyers and told them i would review it with my BUDS at NACHI!


A good argument could be also made that it is subject to physical damage, it may not terminate into the enclosure correctly and as stated could be subject to dampness thus all making NM Cable a bad choice for this application.

The otherside of the coin is this…they could have slipped it under the siding and in my mind a WORSE case issues…atleast anyone who intends on damaging it can SEE if now before they do…lol

All in all…would I note it down in the report…YES, simply because it could indeed be subject to physical damage and should be protected as such…and is it possible it is in a damp location…well…quite possibly…but the 12’ overhang handles that fairly well…

I just never like seeing ANY NM Cable on the outside of the house…but again note it…and suggest they might be BETTER served to sleeve it in some PVC no doubt…:slight_smile:

I don’t have as much of an issue with the NM cable in this area (in fairness, it could be UF, but I doubt it, since this is a handyman job), but I do have an issue with what I can’t see. I know that makes no sense, but experience tells me that there will be no box behind that light J-block, and the fixture conductors will terminate right onto the cable with no box. Referring this one for further investigation would be prudent, because if what you can see if done half-shod, what you can’t see is surely worse.

NO doubt no wirenuts on it either…lol…probably wrapped with DUCT TAPE…lol

I always wright this up as unprotected wiring. In my mind I do not care if it is UF, if it is within the reach of kids 7’ then I jack it up, but that’s just me.

UF would need protection in just the same way NM Cable would need it.

“Subject to physical damage” is always a local call and it varies widely from state to state, city to city. Usually if it is above 6’ 6" they say it is OK with no other hazards present. In Maryland NM on running boards in garages and utility areas is normal, at any height.

In this case I would look for the UF and look at the way it enters the housing for a listed connector. This is a damp location so it can’t be NM.

Hey, at least it is well supported and it does closely follow building finish :wink:

I think that picture is from an inspection of mine back in 2002. I approved the installation based on my research in the NEC 2002 (wire was painted and thus protected from UV; it was also under a wide eave. It also was at exactly the 7’ level). Client had the electrical upgraded from 60A to 200A and his electrician did not approve the exterior wiring. Client called me wanting me to pay $780 for electrical repairs. I declined. We agreed to let the AHJ resolve the dispute. AHJ sided with me. Case closed. Client has used me several times since then on his investment properties. I posted my letter here at NACHI back in late 2003.