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Thread: What is proper electrical switch and outlet height?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Lafayette, Indiana
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    2,380

    What is proper electrical switch and outlet height?

    So now that my new shop building is in place, I need to get it wired up. I went out and purchased switches, outlets and boxes. When researching online tonight about the proper height to mount everything I was surprised to find out that there really is no "standard" height. I want my wall outlets to be about mid way up the wall but have found heights mentioned anywhere between 32 and 56 inches. I thought there would be more of a standard.
    It's not what you achieve in life...It's what you overcome!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indianola, Ia about 12 miles south of Des Moines
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    440
    Most of mine are 48" to the top of the box.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
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    Light switches are 48" to the top of the box. Plugs are normally minimum 12" to to bottom of the box (15" for ADA), but 40" (counter height if upper cabinets installed) and 48" are also common. For a shop I'd probably do the 48" height all around.

    Don't think you have any sinks, but within 6' of water need to be GFIC. Any circuits on the outside need to be tied to GFIC also.
    Darren

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  4. #4
    Tom,

    If you have a building code to meet, call the inspection office.

    When I built my shop, because it's a stand alone shop there were no requirments so I placed my outlets 52" above the floor. I can stand a sheet of plywood against the wall without blocking access to my outlets.
    Ken
    ------



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
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    6,098
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fitzgerald View Post
    Tom,

    If you have a building code to meet, call the inspection office.

    When I built my shop, because it's a stand alone shop there were no requirments so I placed my outlets 52" above the floor. I can stand a sheet of plywood against the wall without blocking access to my outlets.
    Now that is a great idea!
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
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    30,014
    Ken beat me to it, but for a shop, I've seen it recommended that you put at least some of the outlets high enough that you can lean a sheet of plywood horizontally under the outlet.

    But if your're building to a specific code, he's also right about checking with any local code enforcement folks to see if they have any hard and fast rules.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
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    5,992
    I placed most of my duplex outlets at a height of 50" to the bottom of the box, so sheet goods can be placed beneath them.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Apache Junction, AZ
    Posts
    26
    I also put several in the ceiling,

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Deming, NM
    Posts
    42
    Tom,

    The proper place is wherever you think they should be. I just finished up a new workshop that we are getting ready to move into, and mine are 42" to the bottom of the box. My shop cabinets and workbenches are between 34 and 36" high, and I wanted the outlets just higher than them, so it is easy to plug things into without bending down to the floor or finding them behind a cabinet. My inspector never even mentioned it…
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
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    4,944
    I have been very thankful that I have several outlets in the ceiling.

    Enjoy,

    JimB
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

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