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I am installing outlets in my patio room. What is the standard height recommended above the ground for these to be installed?

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While there is a "standard height" between 12" and 18" to center (or 16" to the top), I would measure your existing outlets and match them. –  Matthew Sep 10 '12 at 23:02
I'd also think about even higher. If I ever build a house, I think most will be a waist/desk height. Just seems odd to always be bending over to plug/unplug everything. ;) –  DA01 Sep 10 '12 at 23:18
Lower makes sense for items on the floor, like floor lamps and old cabinet televisions. Today, we're charging phones and laptops on tables. –  Jay Bazuzi Sep 11 '12 at 2:49
The standards are designed for the "living room" situation. they have provisions for plugs above counters like in the kitchen as well. per standard every 6' along a wall there should be an outlet unless there is a door and or surface area of the wall is less then 3' I believe. I would have to dig up my rule book to be sure though. afci just got added to the list of requirements to due to pets chewing on power cords etc. –  Kendrick Sep 11 '12 at 3:15
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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The direct answer to your question is "There is no standard". Outlets can be installed at whatever height is comfortable for the intended use. The only NEC requirement is that you must be within 8 foot of an outlet along any wall. Outlets may no longer be located directly under a window. A common height for a wall outlet is between 12 to 16 inches to the bottom of the device. In rare instances, outlets are still installed in baseboards and in the floor with proper box/covers.

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Floor outlets suck. The covers are often broken or lost, so they fill with dirt. A plugged-in cable will get pinched / badly worn by traffic. But if you need 'em, you need 'em. Ceiling outlets are sometimes an option, too. –  Jay Bazuzi Sep 11 '12 at 19:01
(My space is a 30'-diameter room, so I'm never close enough to an outlet!) –  Jay Bazuzi Sep 11 '12 at 19:01
floor outlets are ok when they have a metal cover and are recessed but usually end up being a pain as you said. celing outlets are awesome as are using builtin spaces like cabinates etc. –  Kendrick Sep 16 '12 at 1:01
interesting.. I had my new room built onto my house 2 years ago to code and the inspectors said no problem if the outlets were underneath the windows. –  staticx Sep 17 '12 at 17:22
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When I had my new room built onto my house, the electrician used a standard claw hammer for the height. The electrician stated that this is a general rule of thumb that many electricians use. In fact, a simple google search revealed that someone at the DoItYourself.com forums, recommended a standard 16 oz hammer standing on its end as a reference height. The eHow.com site recommends using an "electrician's hammer" as the point of reference. A forum post a the DIYChatroom recommends also to use a 16 oz hammer that gets you about 18 inches off the floor.

So, I would use the hammer as a guide.

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I thought "electrician's hammer" was an alternate term for lineman's pliers. –  The Photon Sep 18 '12 at 23:53
@ThePhoton: Nope: tools-plus.com/klein-807-18.html –  staticx Sep 19 '12 at 12:14
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