My neighbor is undergoing a major home renovation. His electrician is
installing all wall switch boxes at 56" above the floor. This seems
Since I too will soon need some new wall switches installed, I would
like to know if there is a code regulation as to wall switch mounting
height. Can anyone direct me to an answer or resource for this
48" o.c.? damn, i got ripped off!!! I have three switches in one
receptacle box in one location, so they should have each been spaced
about 4' apart instead? Who do I call to report this?!
RBM (remove this) wrote:
I am not sure about codes, but houses used to be built (maybe still are) on
the dementions of the standard American male in the army. Some newer and
smarter people are having the houses built with things like switches lower
and receptcals higher. Door knobs are being place differant to make them
easier to reach. If you are much taller or shorter than the 'standard male'
then you may want to build a house with things at differant heigths if you
plan on keeping the house for a long time.
It is easier to have a few recepticals around 4 feet or more off the floor.
If I want to run a vacuum cleaner and need to move the cord from one room to
the next, I don't have to bend down to get it. Just stand up and reach out
Put the switches 36" off the floor. Able-bodied folks as well as those
in walkers and wheelchairs can access them equally well. I agree with
raising the receptacles to 12-18" off the floor except where they are
behind and above a countertop. If there are some locations where a
36-48" receptacle can be placed with good design, then do that too.
It is not a viable issue for residential customers as they are charged
for actual power used (kWh).
Industrial users tend to have heavy motor loads that create a lagging
power factor. With a power factor of 1, kVA is equal to kW, so the
facilities needed to deliver 1000 kWh only has to be able to carry
1000 kVAh, and the losses due to heating that equipment is at its minimum.
If the customer's power factor was 0.5, then the equiment need to deliver
that same 1000 kWh needs to support 2000 kVAh! This means twice the current
for the same power. Since heat losses are proportional to the SQUARE of the
current, you lose FOUR times the power just heating the infrastructure.
Industrial customers are charged for kVAh if they exceed a certain
threshold, so it is in their interest to keep the power factor close to
1. They maintian large capacitor banks to do so.
Residential customers do not generally run at a lagging power factor. In
fact, it is likely they have a slightly LEADING power factor resulting
from the combined capacitance of all the wiring in the home. I know this
from when I used to work as a watchman in a plastics moulding plant. During
the weekends when the plant was shut down, it was not unusual for the
power factor to be about 0.9 on the leadinig side (there was a PF meter at
the service entrance).
As the plant was started up and various motorized equipment was started,
the power factor would shift towards the lagging side and capacitor banks
would be switched in.
"I really think Canada should get over to Iraq as quickly as possible"
Too far off the floor means my feet do not touch the floor if my back is
firmly pressed in the seat back. The only way to put feet flat on the
floor is to slump in the chair.
Sorry if I was unclear.
Chairs/sofas are built for people that are significantly taller than we
are so we are uncomfortable unless it is a recliner.
Just a mention that there may be a local
code on this. In Bolingbrook, Illinois
(30 miles southwest of downtown Chicago)
there is a code for height of switches
and outlets. This was enacted to make
them usable and visitable by people in
wheel chairs and scooters. There are
also codes for accessability from the
driveway to the main living space, i.e.
no 4-5" step at the front door.
Robert Gammon wrote:
Your realtor friend is behind the times. Houses that are adaptable for
elderly and/or wheelchair using people are quite marketable, almost trendy.
It is called 'aging in place'. Your being shorter than average means that
most of the custom features you want also apply for down the road when
mobility may be a problem. If you are getting professional design help, they
have access to all sorts of books and standards on the subject, but most of
them are pretty common-sense. Wide halls and doors, especially in the
bathroom. Space to add or switch to a walk-in shower, maybe a vanity with
knee space underneath. A 'no step' front entry and garage to kitchen
transition. (Designed in, you don't even notice it. Added later, it screams
'target' to people that want to rob you.) You don't have to put all the
features in now, just design the place to make them easy to add later.
On Thu, 11 May 2006 22:29:10 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org (Neill
I have one 2-gang switch box that I put a receptacle in (this box DOES
have a neutral wire). I got a device that has 2 switches in the space
of one and used the other side of the box for a receptacle. It makes a
good place for a night light, as well as for temporary use (as for a
On Fri, 12 May 2006 00:41:27 GMT, "Steve Barker LT"
My house is up to code, then.
After I had a (verbal) fight with someone, I put in a peephole. I
thought I put it several inches lower than my eye, and I'm only 5'8",
and lower than all the other peepholes I've seen, but when I look at
it now, it seems too short for a lot of short girls.
What height is recommended for them?
When I put a peephole in my front door, I put it at eye height. A
later measurement showed it to be 64 inches off the floor.
While measuring things, I measures the light switch in here. The
bottom of the cover plate was 50.5 inches off the floor.
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