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Height of outlets in garage? Brian?

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[#1] Posted: 01/03/2005 - 1:21:01 PM
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I remember reading somewhere that the receptacles need to be either a maximum or minimum distance above the garage floor. GFCI,18" for water heaters, but refrigerators are never placed upon a pedestal and their motors are on the bottom (usually)(dryers are usually operated manually so the thinking is you would smell any gas fumes prior to operating the device). I digress...My question is about the height of the outlets in the garage..Anyone??? Bueler?
Thanks,
Ron

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Height of outlets in garage? Brian?
[#2] Posted: 01/03/2005 - 5:15:20 PM
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Quote:Originally posted by Renron

I remember reading somewhere that the receptacles need to be either a maximum or minimum distance above the garage floor. GFCI,18" for water heaters, but refrigerators are never placed upon a pedestal and their motors are on the bottom (usually)(dryers are usually operated manually so the thinking is you would smell any gas fumes prior to operating the device). I digress...My question is about the height of the outlets in the garage..Anyone??? Bueler?
Thanks,
Ron


No specific height that I can find in the IRC:

E3802.2Garage receptacles. All 125-volt, single-phase, 15 or 20-ampere receptacles installed in garages and grade-level portions of unfinished accessory buildings used for storage or work areas shall have ground fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.
Exceptions:
1. Receptacles that are not readily accessible.
2. A single receptacle or a duplex receptacle for two appliances located within dedicated space for each appliance that in normal use is not easily moved from one place to another, and that is cord and plug connected.

But I guess the fan motor or thermostat of a refrigerator could cause a spark, but I don't see it as an issue.

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Height of outlets in garage? Brian?
[#3] Posted: 01/03/2005 - 5:28:19 PM
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I've never seen a Code reference, but I think Brian's about 6'.
Jimmy

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Height of outlets in garage? Brian?
[#4] Posted: 01/04/2005 - 12:53:02 AM
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Quote:Originally posted by Renron

I remember reading somewhere that the receptacles need to be either a maximum or minimum distance above the garage floor. GFCI,18" for water heaters, but refrigerators are never placed upon a pedestal and their motors are on the bottom (usually)(dryers are usually operated manually so the thinking is you would smell any gas fumes prior to operating the device). I digress...My question is about the height of the outlets in the garage..Anyone??? Bueler?
Thanks,
Ron


I'm not aware of any rule that specifically addresses the height of receptacles in garages. If anyone has a searchable NEC, I'd love to know if there really is one or if it's just folklore.

As for the other, you may be thinking of M1307, "Appliances having an ignition source shall be elevated such that the source of ignition is not less than 18 inches above the floor in garages. . ."

The motor on a refrigerator is sealed. It produces no sparks that can ignite the atmosphere around it no matter how inflammable. Of course there may be relays or switches down there that could ignite gasoline vapors. More to the point, you don't see refrigerators placed on pedestals because most people don't need a permit to install a refrigerator.

Same goes for washers & dryers.

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Height of outlets in garage? Brian?
[#5] Posted: 01/04/2005 - 06:59:24 AM
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I tried to run a search on my older NEC program last night, but it hung my computer and kept me down until this morning. I'd like to help, but I'm not doing that again.

Brother Morrison is selling me a little short, I'm actually 6' 3".

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Height of outlets in garage? Brian?
[#6] Posted: 01/04/2005 - 09:49:53 AM
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Hi,

I dug through about 12 different texts and couldn't find any code reference to receptacle height for anywhere other than over kitchen counters. However, I did find this:

1. Amateur Builder's Handbook - Hubbard Cobb, 1950, Garage, Page 289-290:
Quote: Lighting Outlets. One interior outlet, wall switch controlled, for a one- or two-car garage; and sufficient additional wall switched outlets to provide one for each additional two-car storage area. If garage is detached from residence, provide one exterior outlet, multiple switch controlled from garage and residence.

Where garage is attached to the residence, an exterior lighting outlet, wall switch controlled, is recommended.

Convenience Outlets. One outlet for a one- or two-car garage; and sufficient additional outlets to provide one for each additional two-car storage area.

Outlet to be located approximately 48 inches above the floor. If a work bench is to be used in the garage, it is recommended that both a lighting outlet and a convenience receptacle outlet be installed at the chosen location.
2. From Ortho's Basic Home Building - An Illustrated Guide, 1991, Planning The Wiring, Page 166:
Quote:Electrical Equipment

Codes don't usually specify the heights of boxes from the floor, but the list that follows present typical heights for most areas.

- Switches: 44 to 48 inches above the floor.

- Receptacles: 12 inches above the floor, 44 inches over counters.
I've always interpreted counters to also mean workbenches in garages and basements.

Here is a question and Rex Cauldwell's answer from the February 2003 Journal of Light Construction:
Quote:Placing Wall Receptacles

Q.
An old house I'm working on has too few wall outlets to meet code. What are the rules for spacing and positioning of new outlets? Can I place them in the baseboard trim? And do some of them also have to be switch controlled?

A. Master Electrician Rex Cauldwell responds: Most old houses have too few receptacles to meet current code requirements. Any wall section 2 feet wide or wider requires a receptacle, and every point along any wall must be within 6 feet of a receptacle. Doors and fireplaces don't count as part of the wall, but fixed-glass panels (like the nonsliding half of a glass slider) do. So starting at a door frame or corner, you must place a receptacle within 6 feet, and one at least every 12 feet thereafter.

Receptacles dedicated to one specific appliance, floor receptacles more than 18 inches away from the wall, and receptacles more than 5 1/2 feet from the floor do not count as required receptacles.

This is code minimum. For a premium job, I suggest going beyond code and adding one receptacle on each wall within 3 feet of a room corner, one on each side of any window 3 feet wide or wider, and one on each side of the bed (assuming the bed never moves).

Receptacle height is not specified as long as you don't exceed 5 1/2 feet from the floor. Receptacles can be installed above that height, but they are not counted as part of the required minimum.

And yes, receptacle outlets can be placed in the wood trim. I do this quite often in log cabins and renovations. However, be careful if you try to remove outlets from or place them in antique wood trim -- the wood is easy to damage and hard to replace.

No receptacle is required to be switch controlled. However, you are required to have switched lighting in most habitable rooms. This is usually done with an overhead light in the ceiling, but a floor lamp plugged into a switched receptacle also satisfies the requirement.
I think this essentially boils down to what is a custom of the electricians profession and height must be relatively subjective - depending on area, because none of the references that I looked at that were written by electricians (Cauldwell, Kittle. Richter & Schwan) specifically addresses receptacle height.

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Height of outlets in garage? Brian?
[#7] Posted: 01/04/2005 - 12:21:36 PM
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Thank you all for your help, I guess I was taken in by "folklore" or "urban legend" on that one. Some day I hope to be 1/4 as good as you guys.

Thank you very much for the help.
Ron

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Height of outlets in garage? Brian?
[#8] Posted: 01/04/2005 - 4:14:20 PM
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In the past, I too suscribed to that theory Ron. It is urban legend. I had an opportunity to ask Douglas Hansen last week. Residentially, no height requirement. In comercially hazardous locations they must be higher, unless the area is sufficiently ventilated.
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Height of outlets in garage? Brian?
[#9] Posted: 01/04/2005 - 8:34:52 PM
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Hi to all,

the 18 inch rule is in the US an "urban legend" perpitrated on many of us by Carson Dunlap, the show a slide in their illustrated home series that only relates to Canadian code, I have seen this information in at least 3 different electrical courses in the US, and in terms of the NEC it is just wrong.

Regards

Gerry

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Height of outlets in garage? Brian?
[#10] Posted: 01/04/2005 - 9:20:20 PM
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Perpetrate suggests an intentional misrepresentation IMO Gerry. I'm sure there was no malicious intention. I have a lot of respect for the organization.
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Height of outlets in garage? Brian?
[#11] Posted: 01/05/2005 - 05:23:59 AM
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Perpetrate means "to be responsible for"; there is no malicious intent associated w/ the term, at least not in the dictionary.
Kurt in Chicago

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Height of outlets in garage? Brian?
[#12] Posted: 01/05/2005 - 07:49:14 AM
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Quote:Originally posted by Kurt

Perpetrate means "to be responsible for"; there is no malicious intent associated w/ the term, at least not in the dictionary.


My bad then. In my alleged mind (a seemingly dangerous place to be) it has always carried with it the connotation of having a conscious knowledge of what one is doing and the effect of the performance of said action with intent and no allowance for accidental ramifications of said action. In this case synonymous with purposefully disseminating misinformation to my (mis)understanding.

Sorry my for misunderstanding. Thanks Kurt. I'm glad we had this little talk

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Height of outlets in garage? Brian?
[#13] Posted: 01/05/2005 - 08:18:26 AM
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Back in the day when I was a young electrician wiring homes we had a simple rule of thumb when roughing in the house. Plug boxes were nailed "hammer" handle high in the house. Bathrooms, kitchens and garages were nailed at 42 inches and switches were at 52 inches. These measurements were pretty standard for my area. I know that a hammer handle can have different lengths but it was normally 12 inches for a hammer used in electrical. I have had some framing hammers that had a considerably longer handle. If that was the case we would mark the handle at 12 inches and use this for plug boxes.
I never remembered any code for height. If plans called for something different height-wise we would follow the architects requirements.
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Height of outlets in garage? Brian?
[#14] Posted: 01/07/2005 - 11:36:14 AM
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NEC Program? Where can I find this?

Quote:Originally posted by Brian G.

I tried to run a search on my older NEC program last night, but it hung my computer and kept me down until this morning. I'd like to help, but I'm not doing that again.

Brother Morrison is selling me a little short, I'm actually 6' 3".

Brian G.
Yes, They Can Pile It That High

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Height of outlets in garage? Brian?
[#15] Posted: 01/07/2005 - 11:59:08 AM
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www.iccsafe.org

The I Quest version of the handbook has incredible search capabilities.

   
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