IPVMU Certified | 07/30/14 07:53pm
Looks fine to me. No worse than my old job...
I can't speak to the splices, but you are correct in saying the ceiling grid should not be used for support of any cabling.
The NATIONAL ELECTRICAL CODE (NFPA 70)
300-11. Securing & Supporting
A) Raceways, cable assemblies, boxes, cabinets, and fittings shall be securely fastened in place. Support wires that do not provide secure support shall not be permitted as the sole support.
1) Wiring located above a fire-rated floor/ceiling or roof/ceiling assembly shall not be secured to, or supported by, the ceiling assembly, including the ceiling support wires. An independent means of secure support shall be provided.
2) Wiring located above a non-fire-rated floor/ ceiling or roof/ceiling assembly shall not be secured to, or supported by, the ceiling assembly, including the ceiling support wires. An independent means of secure support shall be provided. Cables and raceways shall not be permitted to be supported by ceiling grids.
Also, contrary to popular belief, fire alarm cables do not have to be red, only that they be readily identified. (NFPA 70:760.30)
In fact, here's some in BLUE.
This is from the standpoint of the NFPA Standards when referenced by state and local codes. If the state or local jurisdiction does not reference NFPA 70 (the National Electrical Code) or amends it, your mileage may vary.
Finally, some AHJs (Authorities Having Jurisdiction) may enforce local "customs" as if they were legislative codes when they are not.
IPVMU Certified | 07/30/14 08:54pm
Since we're comparing war stories, here's one of the worst MDFs I ever worked in:
I've got a similar situation, but it is lazy electrician hell!!
I'll have to get a pic of this attic space I'm working in at the moment. The friggin' wiring is everywhere....on top of the ceiling joists so I have to step directly on top of the wires and diagonally in every direction across the void so I have to crawl through it like a spider web. It's a labyrinth of 120v, 220v, phone, and previous CAT5 cabling all snaked together. Not even gonna get into the open junction boxes right where you have to crawl. It's a workout just getting back and forth, let alone doing my work.
....and they call me a newbie?!!
I've seen worse.... as Luis says, it's usually the result of gradual growth over time, a bit of laziness here and there, eventually morphing into "f*** it" for late-comers when it becomes clear there's no point in trying to untangle the mess.
We've fixed a few of these, too... usually involves a full shutdown and overnight shift for at least two guys, for just the smallest jobs. I wouldn't even want to think about what it would take to fix Luis' picture.
As for the first pic, that looks like gear was moved sometime well after the original installation (the blue cables, based on how they split out in different directions) and the white cables extended to reach the new location... there are certainly cleaner ways to do it, but my bet is this second installer was in a time crunch and just had to get it done "by any means necessary".