Placement Of Electrical Sockets

Discussion in 'Home Improvement' started by Ken Anderson, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Why was it decided to place electrical sockets a few inches off the floor? In the standard position, they are generally inaccessible without moving furniture and anything you plug into them is vulnerable to being bashed by moving furniture. It would have made more sense to put them about four feet from the floor.

    The one plugin per room thing I can understand since all anyone seemed to need was a place to plug in a lamp, but the location is inconvenient. We have had a couple of ours moved to four feet from the floor, and have had electrical strips installed to replace plugins in a few rooms now. In my office along, I have about fifteen things plugged in.
     
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  2. Beth Gallagher

    Beth Gallagher Veteran Member
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    Hmmm. Maybe to be out of minor flooding? Use less wire in construction? Just because? :D
     
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  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    I think that placing the electrical wiring higher be beneficial in the case of minor flooding, although I don't think that's much of a concern in most places.
     
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  4. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    @Ken Anderson , I just looked. Mine in most rooms are about 18-20 inches from the floor. The one for the fridge is about shoulder height. The ones in the bathrooms and kitchen are above the counter. I think the ones for the bathrooms, kitchen, and fridge are placed for convenience. I think the others are placed to be less visible, i.e. below the furniture. Make sense?
     
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  5. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    aside from a few in the livingroom and the halls which are about 8 inches above the floor and above the skirting board .. most of mine are counter high !!
     
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  6. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    The electrical layout in our home has been a challenge too. I was trying to figure out why one bedroom has four outlets and the others one or two and every single one of them were sockets without the grounding slot. They are all about five or six inches from the floor. I had several replaced but I still use surge protectors for areas with my computers and such.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
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  7. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    When we bought our house, there wasn't more than one outlet per room, except for the kitchens (we had three kitchens because it was a 3-unit apartment building), and they were all two-prong. When we had them replaced with three-prong outlets, I wish I'd thought of having them moved higher on the wall.
     
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  8. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    Reminds me, in the "guest house" where I stayed when I was in India once, the sockets on the first floor were about shoulder height. I asked them why and they said because of flooding. :confused:
     
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  9. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Ken Anderson
    A very valid thought for consideration! The National Electrical Code, NEC as it's usually called, specifies location requirements for house-hold voltage residential electrical outlets. First, though:

    "In the United States, anyone, including the city issuing building permits, may face a civil liability lawsuit for negligently creating a situation that results in loss of life or property. Those who fail to adhere to well known best practices for safety have been held negligent. This liability and the desire to protect residents has motivated cities to adopt and enforce building codes that specify standards and practices for electrical systems (as well as other departments such as water and fuel-gas systems). This creates a system whereby a city can best avoid lawsuits by adopting a single, standard set of building code laws. This has led to the NEC becoming the de facto standard set of electrical requirements.[6] A licensed electrician will have spent years of apprenticeship studying and practicing the NEC requirements prior to obtaining their license."
    See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Electrical_Code

    The code states that room outlets must be AT LEAST 12 inches above the floor, and must be spaced in every livable room (namely living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, and the like) no further apart than may be reached using a six-foot long cord. This became comically-known as the "12-foot rule", 12 foot maximum spacing between outlets. No specification is made for height; however, if ceiling mounted, a "strain-relief" means must be employed. Of course, homes built before the institution of this rule were exempted and "grandfathered". However, remodeling and added work must conform.

    I've always heard the "flooding" argument, too. However, if you carouse about in any modern large store such as Sears, you will see, if perceptive, that outlets are located flush with the floor, right IN the floor.

    Ground Fault protection legislation is beyond doubt the most important, and often ignored and misunderstood of much of the residential gobbledygook. Kitchens, bathrooms, garages, swimming pools, and all outdoor areas must have Ground Fault protection, which is life-saving and beyond arguable doubt. From day one, I was told by my folks, who instinctively knew without legislation to protect them, no plugged-in appliances allowed anywhere near the bathtub, sinks, or anywhere water could be present. Water, of course, was conveyed via metallic piping, which if electrified, conducted the current back to "ground". If that current passed through yer body, you were likely to be killed.

    This little pic nicely illustrates how it can happen. The most-popular inference, though, is the classical "radio fell into the bathtub" death scenario.
    [​IMG]

    "When electricity travels through your human body looking for the floor or some other surface for grounding, the current will move directly through your heart. That's all sorts of bad news. Your heart is a muscle, and as with other muscles, the movement of electrons causes it to freak out. If you're lucky, you'll feel it jump or spasm. If not, you may feel it stop altogether."
    See: https://www.ranker.com/list/what-being-electrocuted-feels-like/laura-allan
     
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  10. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    And I believe all sinks must have a GFCI outlet within 6 feet of the sink, again with no height requirement.
     
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  11. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Don Alaska
    Most modern GFCI receptacles have an additional lug which allows the fault protected conductor to be run to another standard outlet, or a series of standard outlets, I forget the limitation numbers, thus allowing use of less actual GFCI outlets. Problem with this is if a guy causes a "fault", say, as I have in my bathroom, the outlet looking like a standard one, unless he knows a GFCI was tripped somewhere, plus, which one and where, he may be confounded for awhile. Our factory-built is like this. The GFCI feeding my bathroom is located in the master bedroom bathroom, my wife's bathroom, clear at the other end of the house! Taken even more ridiculously, that GFCI feeds the outdoor outlet on the patio, 80 feet away from her bathroom. To save wire, I suppose, but I would never do it that way. I prefer GFCI Circuit Breakers, located in the main breaker panel serving the house. Those provide BOTH Ground Fault protection and over-current protection, but are more expensive than GFCI outlets.
    Frank
     
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  12. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    I don't know about the breakers, but the outlets come with stickers that can be used to label protected outlets.
     
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  13. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    In the UK, the power sockets in a house are connected by means of ring circuits, which are protected by 32 A circuit breakers. 230 V - 50 Hz power ...

    This type of wiring is rarely used outside the UK and requires the use of fused plugs. Small appliances, like mobile phone chargers, usually have a 3 A cartridge fuse inside the plug; heavy duty appliances, such as coffee makers, have a plug with a 13 amp cartridge fuse. Almost everywhere else in the world radial circuits are used. In this system each wall socket, or group of sockets, has a circuit breaker at the main switchboard, so there is no need for plugs to be fused. UK plugs are no doubt among the safest in the world

    We have switches on all our wall sockets and for some unknown reason we are only permitted shaver sockets in the bathrooms!


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
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  14. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Makes sense in areas prone to flooding
    Our sockets are high here also which is better for people with back problems, just makes sense to have them higher for many reasons :)
     
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  15. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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