The Height for Installing Outlets and Switches

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Install Light Switches and Outlets: How High Should Outlets and Switches Be From the Floor, Remodeling and Upgrading Home Electrical Wiring.

Guide for Installing Boxes for Outlets and Switches

Electrical Question: How High Should Outlets and Switches Be From the Floor?

  • I am installing electrical wiring in my home for the living room and bedroom.
  • How far are Light switches off of the floor?
  • The same for wall plugs, how far up should they be?

This electrical wiring question came from: Debbie, a Homeowner from Coffman Cove, Alaska.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wring question Debbie.

How to Install Light Switches and Outlets

Application: Installing Home Electrical Wiring.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced.
Tools Required: Electricians Pouch of Hand Tools for Rough-In Wiring, Electric Drill and Auger Bits, Extension Cords, and a Ladder as needed.
Safety: All personal safety measures must be taken when performing electrical wiring projects. Estimated Time: Depends on the extent of the project, the extent of the project and available access to the project area.
Precaution: Any existing wiring in the immediate area that may interfere with the installation should be identified and turned OFF and Tagged.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring or upgrading existing electrical circuits and wiring should always be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

Installing Electrical Boxes for Light Switches and Wall Outlets

  • Installing Electrical Boxes for Light Switches
  • The average height for light switches is 46 inches from the floor to the center of the switch box.
  • Installing Electrical Boxes for Outlets
  • The average height for outlets is 12 inches from the floor to the center of the outlet box.
  • Remodeling and Upgrading Home Electrical Wiring
  • When upgrading home electrical wiring or remodeling the actual height can be adjusted so the elevations of the switches and outlets will match other existing outlets and switches.
  • Local and national electrical codes must be applied as required for the project.
  • ADA, American Disability Act: Disability Codes and Standards
  • Ensuring access to light switches and outlets:
  • Where ADA and Disability codes will apply to a project, specific locations and elevations will be described on the set of plans or the set of blueprints.

More about Installing Light Switches and Outlets

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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.

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