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code, New Orleans, La ,for receptacle height

Posted by richard_schmidt (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 10, 13 at 15:29

I have a two story home that has a basement, not subterranean , and would like to know height requirements for receptacles?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: code, New Orleans, La ,for receptacle height

There are no requirements in the NEC (they may be mounted flush with the floor or ceiling), but there may be some standards for spaces used by handicapped persons. The lowest may be 15" from the floor in that case.


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RE: code, New Orleans, La ,for receptacle height

For a required wall receptacle the maximum height is 5-1/2'. Other than that you can have them anywhere you like.


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RE: code, New Orleans, La ,for receptacle height

Geez, I'd want my outlets higher than 5 1/2 in a raised basement almost everywhere in Orleans Parish. Tell the inspector that someone with osteoarthritis with considerable back involvement will be occupying the space.


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thanks re: code, new orleans, la ,for receptacle height

Thank all you, Y'all, for the positive input.

Very much appreciated.
From New Orleans, La.

P.S. My house has a sea level elevation of 1' +, but a 30' wave of water surge came in from The Mississippi River Gulf Outlet* please go to Wikipedia,2005 Hurricane Katrina, and caused severe damage to all of us -80% New Orleans. Yes, we also have the highest crime rate in the USA and even with a new mayor( circa 2010, and chief of police 2010), we still have more and more problems. For example, my house is located across the street from a city street light that has been out for over a year. When I dial 311, the emergency phone number for " the city to take action"the operator says, call Public Works Department and when I do that, the lady at that department says hold on---and then,an automated voice message says call 311. Ring- around -the -rosey. I had a security light installed,300 wts. and that keeps the front of my house bright -that cost me $14.00 per month for electricity..
*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Katrina


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RE: code, New Orleans, La ,for receptacle height

Geez, I'd want my outlets higher than 5 1/2 ...

You do realize that petey said 5.5 FEET not inches, right?


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RE: code, New Orleans, La ,for receptacle height

I missd that. Thanks for pointing it out.


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RE: code, New Orleans, La ,for receptacle height

The 5 1/2 feet is the height limit for receptacles to be considered as meeting requirements for horizontal spacing and the like in residences. Receptacles can be at greater heights-- for garage door operators, seasonal lighting, etc.-- but those cannot be included as satisfying the minimum number of receptacles.
I have a receptacle in the ceiling of my porch controlled by a wall switch inside that is used for temporary lighting as desired.

This post was edited by bus_driver on Fri, Apr 12, 13 at 9:40


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RE: code, New Orleans, La ,for receptacle height

I put my boxes at 48 feet to center of the box in the basements when I do residential work. It is a great height to plug things in easy. Now here is your problem if your basement is not finished you are required by code to use GFCI protection. If you have a sump pump it is not required. But you must use a single outlet on the yoke in other words only one plug in dedicated to that circuit.If your basement is finish I put my boxes 12 inches to center. You may want to bring them up some if your fear a flooding issue. Look up the uniform building code It states 15 inches to a max of 54 inches.If in doubt check the building codes in your area good luck.


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RE: code, New Orleans, La ,for receptacle height

48 feet should be good for minor flooding.


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RE: code, New Orleans, La ,for receptacle height

"If you have a sump pump it is not required. But you must use a single outlet on the yoke in other words only one plug in dedicated to that circuit."

Not any more my friend. All 120v receptacles in un finished basements are required to be GFCI protected. The only exception is if it feeds power to a permanently installed burglar alarm.


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RE: code, New Orleans, La ,for receptacle height

Weird distinction. If I paint the walls and put curtains on the walls, is that a "finished basement"?


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RE: code, New Orleans, La ,for receptacle height

Of course, unless you want to call your finished basement a giant closet, you'll probably have to put a lot more outlets in than just a single GFCI receptacle.

"finished" isn't defined in the electrical code, so you will have to figure out what definition your local jurisdiction will apply there.


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RE: code, New Orleans, La ,for receptacle height

That what I guessed. I might call it anything that would convince the inspector leave the GFI off of the sump pump outlet.

My father may have to deal with this issue with some changes so this is a related question. If part of the subterranean basement is not finished, can that sump pump have be left sans GFI? He is contemplating installing a genet. There are multiple pumps in the basement, two in finished areas and two in unfinished areas.

Lastly, are you great, code-knowlegable guys sure that a raised (not under grade) basement needs GFI if finished? This is really like a first-floor slab. Lots of homes in the area, possibly including Richard's, may have been built raise up to a height that can be walked under, but the crawl space is enclosed and it is called a "raised basement".

As pumping was improved, they no longer flooded with heavy rains and some people built them out. A lot of them that were not flooded in a lifetime got flooded after Katrina.


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RE: code, New Orleans, La ,for receptacle height

I don't think it's advisable to not GFCI the basement sump pump receptacle. It's certainly not permitted under the NEC. If you're concerned about not detecting the tripping, I suspect there are other issues as well. I would recommend a battery operated level alarm. Believe me I just went through this. I had a pump motor suddenly start drawing 55A (it was only a 1/2 HP motor) and tripped the breaker. Not only did it mean the sump wasn't pumped, but it also took out the redundant pump and associated level alarm at the same time (whoops...bad design, all on the same breaker).

Again "basement" is NOT defined by the electrical code, so you'll have to fight that with the local AHJ. However, the requirement for GFCI also covers crawl spaces at or below grade.

I've got perhaps a similar situation to yours. I have an ON GRADE space that while in the original plans was a crawl space, in fact has enough headroom to stand in. Visiting the site I looked at the foundation walls and wanted to know where this "door" went and then I found the whole thing was standing a bit higher upon grade that the thing appeared in the plans. Is this a crawl space or just a on grade utility room. In fact we had some discussion with the (non-electrical) guys. Since I put the interior parts of the heat pump (as well as the pumps for the radiant floor heat, the water conditioners and the fire tank/pumps, they deemed it to just be interior space. All the vents to the outside were sealed up. Oddly, I'm pretty sure the receptacle in there isn't a GFCI though the inspector may have just missed that.

There's only an exception for alarms from GFCI, not for sump pumps. Your only way around this is to either hard wire it or put it on a non 15/20A 120V circuit.


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RE: code, New Orleans, La ,for receptacle height

By the way, the whole sump pump issue is pretty much beat to death over on the MikeHolt forum. That's where all the real "code lawyers" hang out.

Earlier versions of the code allowed an escape for GFCI on sump pumps. Even here in NC we had for a while an amendment for sump pumps being exempt, but that has gone. The only one remaining is for sewage lift pumps (talk about being in deep s--t if that one fails).


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