I am finishing my garage and rerunning my electrical outlets because
most of them were run and just nailed to the side of the top plates of
the walls. I'm assuming that a previouus owner installed them after
the garage was built. Unfortunately in order to put up drywall, I
need to have them ran above the top plates instead. Whoever installed
the outlet boxes put them at various heights around the garages. I'm
curious if there is a code height that dictates how high off the floor
they should be. My other question is regarding the fact that my
gargage floor is approx. 10" below my perimeter wall footings. The
exterior walls sit on the footing, so is the height requirement
distance based on how high above the floor, or the bottom of the wall,
which is 10" above the floor?
Call your LOCAL inspections department. I installed some in a garage once
long ago and was told they had to be a min xx" off the floor for multiple
reasons. One of them was garages often have flamables stored and that
some vapors tended to collect at floorlevel. Sparks from plugs could
cause a fire in rare cases. Guess you could get a lot of vapor from a
leaky gas tank, spilled gas fueling yard machines, mixing gas, mowers,
What Red is talking about is in a commercial garage the area from the
floor up to 18" is a class 1 division 2 hazardous location (flammable
vapors). To be exempt from the "explosion proof" rules you have to
have electrical equipment 12" above that. That means 30" above the
Some local AHJs also extend that to a residential garage..
I'd be less concerned about the minimum and more concerned about the use.
If the garage is going to be more of a shop, you want the outlets to be
about 48" so they are above any work benches or tables.
You might want to consider 2 circuits, one for lthe lights and another
for the receptacles.
Similar to shop wiring, you don't want a power tool taking out your
lights when it trips the breaker, especially since you should have
GFCI protection in the garage. A minor nuisance trip becomes a major
nuisance when you're suddenly plunged into darkness.
Yup. Relative added new a new run of 115/230 volt outlets in his
garage. Placing them above work bench height. Original outlets
(previous owners) are in useless locations and tend to be behind all
the normal things one has in a garage in addition to two vehicles! He
has separate breakers and a separate welder outlet.
If I ever re-wire our basement work shop, in addition to outlets at
the wok benches themseleves, intend to put other wall outlets at mid
wall height. Lights are separate circuits in all cases.
"I am finishing my garage and rerunning my electrical outlets because
*There is no height requirement in the National Electrical Code for
residential garages. Your area may have their own code requirements. I
usually put them around 4' for convenience and because gasoline vapors stay
My preference is 49" to the bottom of the box. That way if I store a
4' wide sheet of plywood or whatever sideways to the wall the outlet
won't be blocked. I've done that because of the inconvenience the
first time it happened to me. Seems to look just fine as installed.
Using that height for switches worked out well to keep 2 year olds
from playing with them, too.
In mine, they are all at ~4 feet level from the floor on three walls.
At work bench, built-in vacuum for the house, compressor, sprinker,
freezer, etc. are plugged in. GDO outlet is right on the ceiling near
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