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Thread: Outlet Height

  1. #1

    Outlet Height

    We are building a new home and I am wondering what the ADA height for electrical outlets is.

  2. #2
    Senior Member jschism's Avatar
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    who cares about what ADA says, best to put them where you want them. I pit mine 20" to center of the box, works great. Also, make sure you put in plenty of them where you can reach them without obstructions. Make sure light switches are lowered for a wheelchair,too.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    +1 what he said

  4. #4
    I agree with "jschism." In your own home, place the outlets where they are most practical for you, keeping in mind, of course, that your local building codes may have specific minimum and maximum requirements and ranges that must be met. That said, the ADA specifications for outlet height is determined by combining the height of the outlet with the way in which the outlet will be approached.

    ADA Switch & Outlet Height Specifications
    The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, specifies how buildings should be constructed and arranged so that handicapped individuals can access all areas and controls. Electrical outlets, switches and controls are included in the ADA guidelines. In addition to height limitations, controls must have clearance so that wheelchair occupants can approach them. The minimum clearance is 30 inches by 48 inches and can provide either a forward or parallel wheelchair approach. This clearance may be included in the knee space requirement that applies to fixtures such as sinks.
    *Forward Approach
    If access is by a forward approach and the controls can be accessed with a forward reach, the outlet or switch must be at least 15 inches above floor level. If the user does not need to reach over any obstruction or if the depth of the obstruction is no more than 20 inches, the maximum height is 48 inches above floor level. Should an obstruction have a depth of more than 20 inches but less than 25 inches, the maximum height is 44 inches above floor level.
    *Parallel Approach
    A parallel approach is one that requires the occupant of the wheelchair to reach to his side to access the switch or outlet. The controls must be at least nine inches above floor level and no more than 54 inches above floor level. If the user must reach across an obstruction, which can be no more than 24 inches deep and 34 inches high, the maximum height of the control is 46 inches.
    *Exceptions
    ADA guidelines provide for exceptions to the height requirements if the controls are not intended for normal use or if special equipment requires a different configuration. Outlets that do not receive regular, frequent use, such as those dedicated to wall clocks, are exempt from the guidelines. Receptacles for appliances such as refrigerators or kitchen ranges are also exempt.


    All the best,
    GJ

  5. #5
    I agree with "jschism." In your own home, place the outlets where they are most practical for you, keeping in mind, of course, that your local building codes may have specific minimum and maximum requirements and ranges that must be met. That said, the ADA specifications for outlet height is determined by the way in which the outlet will be approached.

    ADA Switch & Outlet Height Specifications
    The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, specifies how buildings should be constructed and arranged so that handicapped individuals can access all areas and controls. Electrical outlets, switches and controls are included in the ADA guidelines. In addition to height limitations, controls must have clearance so that wheelchair occupants can approach them. The minimum clearance is 30 inches by 48 inches and can provide either a forward or parallel wheelchair approach. This clearance may be included in the knee space requirement that applies to fixtures such as sinks.
    *Forward Approach
    If access is by a forward approach and the controls can be accessed with a forward reach, the outlet or switch must be at least 15 inches above floor level. If the user does not need to reach over any obstruction or if the depth of the obstruction is no more than 20 inches, the maximum height is 48 inches above floor level. Should an obstruction have a depth of more than 20 inches but less than 25 inches, the maximum height is 44 inches above floor level.
    *Parallel Approach
    A parallel approach is one that requires the occupant of the wheelchair to reach to his side to access the switch or outlet. The controls must be at least nine inches above floor level and no more than 54 inches above floor level. If the user must reach across an obstruction, which can be no more than 24 inches deep and 34 inches high, the maximum height of the control is 46 inches.
    *Exceptions
    ADA guidelines provide for exceptions to the height requirements if the controls are not intended for normal use or if special equipment requires a different configuration. Outlets that do not receive regular, frequent use, such as those dedicated to wall clocks, are exempt from the guidelines. Receptacles for appliances such as refrigerators or kitchen ranges are also exempt.


    All the best,
    GJ

  6. #6
    Senior Member beecee's Avatar
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    you might keep in mind that the ADA is for public spaces

    it's your house put them where you want
    in the kitchen and baths use gfci outlets, outdoors use wp, and max 12' apart in all rooms

  7. #7
    We have higher outlets in parts of the house we renovated. They kind of jump out at you especially when you have elecrtric cords dangling from them. If I had it to do over I would place them at regular height because my wife and I can both bend to reach them unless they are blocked by furniture. I think the higher outlets could be a minus for resale.

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