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Electrical Outlet Receptacle requirements

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Are there any regulations concerning placement of recepticals?

Here are some general guides: (heights pertain to electrical receptacles mounted in walls except where we note switches or other devices)

  • 0 min receptacle height above floors indoors
  • Min 6-1/2" above grade outdoors
  • 9" low side reach minimum height above floor for ADA
  • 14" to center of receptacle, above floor, in Canada, higher allowed.
  • 15" minimum receptacle height to bottom of outlet box - California
  • 15" minimum receptacle height above floor for ADA
  • 16" to top of box - common install height above floor but see 18" below
  • 18" (max?) above countertops
  • 18" above floor to top of outlet box - standard practice among many electricians
  • 40" maximum height above finished floor to switch for HUD Section 8 housing
  • 42" floor to bottom of light switch box - some installers use 48" to the top of the box,
  • 44" to top of box for bath vanity receptacles
  • 44" to 46" - most electrical switches above floor to bottom of box
  • 48" floor to center of light switch (max per NFPA)
  • 48" maximum high forward reach for ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)
  • 48" maximum height to top of outlet box - California
  • 54" maximum high side reach (ADA)
  • 5'6" maximum above floor level for receptacles meeting the 6' horizontal spacing rule (NEC 210-52)

Written by Scott Rosenbaum
Posted on
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