Min exterior receptacle height

Ladies and Gents,

What is the minimum height above grade for an exterior receptacle?

Found one today at grade level.

Thanks, TG

was it atleast GFCI? i think i read somewhere that under 18 inches is no good. but i’m not sure. Just hang on and the codies will chime in soon, 3…2…1…and.

This has been kicked around a couple of times on the old board with no clear definition. It would seem that the NEC does not address minimum height.

The following is a quote from Code Check - Electrical: In most cases, the NEC does not have requirements for switch or receptacle height. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides requirements for accessibility. Local building departments often serve as the ADA compliance officers, and when a building or unit requires accessibility, the receptacles must be at least 15" above the floor and switches 48" from the center of the switch to the floor.

See also http://www.nachi.org/bbsystem/viewtopic.php?t=3537&highlight=outlet+heighth+height and


What he said :wink:

Thanks guys,

Here’s what I found, what prompted the question:


Of course, I noted the exposed wiring and the fact that the dryer vent is directly above the receptacle :roll: as a poor location for it - not to mention - no GFI protection. :shock:

P.S. The wiring does not run in or through the vent - along side it in it’s own penetration hole. And the pvc pipe is the basement sump pump discharge - but to where? don’t know.


I like to see them above the waterlines on the homes…

Usually I see the sprinkler wires going through the dryer vent…not sprinkler mainline! Yikes…what is that white pvc pipe?

The Code itself really only gets into heights in certain areas like maximum heights and clearances and what not…it really does not address a minimum height in this example.

Now, being practicle if it is in an area that floods…they will be sorry but for the most part as long as it is GFCI protected they are fine.

Of course as Greg Said…which is…What He Said also applies…lol

The height of that receptacle is not a problem, everything else is.

lol…oh yes…we can name many other issues other than height being one of them in that picture…lol

Just close your eyes and grit your teeth when you plug something in. lol

lol…and you know…MANY people do just that…lol…

Try FEMA pamphlet 348 as the DFE, (design flood elevation), and BFE, (base flood elevation), may come into play.

:stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:


These height questions remind me of too many things.

Receptacles for years were at 16" on center, switches were installed at 36" on center.
Door knobs were installed at 30", and kitchen counters were only 32" high.

Times have changed, I guess, we have to adapt. Actually, I like the receptacle out of the water and up at 18" high so I don’t have to bend down so much. An other ten years, I might prefer 36". ha. ha.

Wall switches are now at 48" and that poses problems when ceramic tile wainscot is installed in the bathrooms. Most Architectects miss that one.

Door knobs are now at 36" for residential and 41 & 1/2" for commercial. I guess people have grown taller since the 1875 era houses I have worked on where the door knobs were at 30". ha,.

Besides the ADA requirements that we have to follow, do you think the something else is evolving here. Commen Sense, Change, ???

Interesting post.


:stuck_out_tongue: :slight_smile: :stuck_out_tongue: :slight_smile: