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Wall mounted televisions are supposed to be at a comfortable viewing height when sitting down, according to most television and wall mount manufacturers (standard -- 42"). Now I'm working on new construction and the electrical contractors installed wiring boxes 5' off the floor. It's ugly as hell, and mounted visibly ABOVE the 55" flat screen.

My question: Why would they mount boxes 5' off the floor when they should be only 3' or 4' off the floor? Is there an NEC code that justifies this or is it some convention?

NOTE: Realizing wall-mounted TVs are set at different heights, especially in bedrooms, a higher height could make sense, but 4' mounts would cover all bases better, I think, so it's still confusing.

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  • Are you in an area prone to severe flooding? – DavidPostill Jan 30 at 17:34
  • No, it's Southern California. This is just for the entertainment center TV outlet. All others are standard 12" off the floor. – ingyhere Jan 30 at 17:38
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    Will you be watching from office chairs? Or will you have typical living room fare, couch, sofa, etc. with some recline angle? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 30 at 18:21
  • 42" is not standard for me, i like mine higher. "Why would they mount boxes 5' off the floor when they should be only 3' or 4' off the floor?" Just because some manufacturers say that it is standard it does not mean that 42" is what is should be. – Alaska Man Jan 30 at 19:16
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    So you won't be sitting bolt-up with workspace ergonomic posture, you'll be reclined. TV needs to be higher then, or you'll be looking down your nose at it. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 30 at 21:06
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The height location of your entertainment system power outlets is not regulated by code with the exception if they are above 5-1/2’ they do not count to the required receptacles in the room. If you want them located in some fancy base board molding they can be there up to 5-1/2’ or height in between. If higher additional receptacles may be needed depending on the others in the room.

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    I figured since you asked for code reasons I could direct you to NEC 210.52. This section of code created the requirements for receptacles. 210.52.4 states the 5-1/2’ rule 210.52.A.1 & A.2 provide the general and spacing requirements and to make it easy a good visual on exhibit 210.26. – Ed Beal Mar 2 at 23:13
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To answer your question, why did they make them 5 feet high: If you didn't specify the height they did whatever makes most of their customers happy.

Most TVs are in my opinion mounted too high for ideal viewing angle and neck posture. Many are mounted above fire places, way too high ..... for ideal viewing angle and neck posture. But most people want their TVs above their fire places, or comfortably above a side table with a vase (or whatever) on it. Like it or not, most people mount TVs quite high ... and so lacking specific instructions, the installers put the outlets where most people would be happy with them.

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  • Thanks, I assumed that the position of the TV would be the same as if it were put on its included stand on top of an entertainment center. That agrees with recommendations from the wall-mount manufacturer, so I wall-mounted it there. I don't have one of those cushy couches where I can recline. – ingyhere Mar 2 at 22:46
  • Also, it looks like if they put it just a foot lower it would be concealed by my TV or any other that is mounted higher. So I understand the logic of catering to the customer, but it just doesn't seem to work out for all situations. – ingyhere Mar 2 at 22:49
  • Get a flat plug extension cord and paintable plastic channel. Paint it. You'll still notice it but nobody else will. – jay613 Mar 3 at 2:11

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