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.

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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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Wiring Electrical Outlets for the Home

Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.
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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.

FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “The Height for Installing Outlets and Switches”
  1. Allen young says:

    Rewiring a Fire Damaged Home

    I am rewiring a home after a fire and there are no blueprints. The fire permit says to build to likeness. I am bringing a 1957 duplex up to code. What is the easiest way to make a wiring diagram for my self. I have a plan in mind and I will get the job done. I have someone who will check all the work. I just want to be able to have a diagram to work from.

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Allen,
      The local building department in your jurisdiction adopts electrical codes based upon the National Electrical Code. The electrical codes are always the guide for wiring a home. If a set of plans are not required by the building department then we refer to the local codes which will apply to the wiring project. The wiring is then installed as it is required by the local code for specific circuits and devices. Please refer to the wiring diagrams and electrical code information found on this website which will assist you for this project. Be sure to consult with your local building department inspector who will help you understand the areas of the home which will require upgrading to the current adopted codes. The extent of the rewiring project will be based on the area affected by the fire damage, however typical code upgrades may be required such as installing smoke detectors throughout the home.
      Thank you for sharing your electrical question with us,


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