Receptacle 16" above Electric Baseboard

I’ve seen plenty of situations (and pics on this forum) where the receptacle was either covered by the electric baseboard heater or immediately above it.

Here are pictures of a home built in 2004 with a finished basement. The receptacles are 16" above the baseboard heaters. This occurs above all 3 heaters in this bonus room and one more time in the basement “office”. I say no good, but is there anything to back this up?



You would need to check with the baseboard manufacturer to see if they prohibit receptacles above electric baseboard. Almost all manufacturers do prohibit this type of installation.

Interior: Electric Baseboard heaters/outlets
LOCATION(S): Interior rooms.
Outlets installed above electric baseboard heaters in one or more areas–not a recommended and a potentially unsafe practice.All manufacturers of electric baseboard heaters prohibit the installation of electrical outlets above the heaters. Electric baseboard heaters work by turning a heating element on and off; it’s either hot or it’s not, nothing in-between. Because they get so hot, an electric wire draped in front of a baseboard heater could potential melt or start a fire- recommend corrective action as necessary by relocating outlets or use caution when using outlets or don’t use at all.

Note that no mention is made for hydronic baseboard, only electric baseboard.

I’m curious as too how the cold areas of the Country deal with this issue and also meet the N.E.C. for required outlets no more than 12’ apart and no further than 6’ from a corner. While here in Florida, I have never seen base board heating I would think that the areas that use this method would have difficulty meeting the requirement for outlet spacing, clearance, and minimum temperature adjustment

They make receptacles that replace the blank cover on the end of the heater section. Here’s an example:

The nameplate was not visible and I’m not going to act like Mr. Holmes and start tearing things apart. The property was vacant and I’m making an assumption that the basement was finished by a previous owner with without permits or without inspections… Just a normal day in the neighborhood even though I know what the meaning of “ASSuME” is. The report will be published tomorrow.

I saw this picture in a previous post. This is why this post exists. It isn’t relevant to the situation observed and this device would cause me to ask many more questions…Good picture, though.

The baseboard heaters were approximately 5 to 6 feet long. I believe the requirements are to have a receptacle within 6 feet of each other on open wall space so it would work depending on the geometry of the room. Good question to spur more thought. What takes precedent? Heat or Power?

In Minnesota, typically the only baseboard heaters we have here are hydronic. Very rarely do I find electric baseboards in any location. The homes with baseboards are older homes that originally had radiators and were converted to baseboards, or homes converted to apartments (very common). As for outlets, new construction is no issue, as most every home has HE HVAC. Older homes, do not need to meet the newer standards until reno’d. Usually, they get it right, but not always. I only need to write this up probably 2 or 3 times a year.

As my neighbor to the East, you know that a person can live without power, but would never survive our winter’s without heat.

Greg there are certain clearance requirements for anything attached to that outlet,Appliance cords,etc.

Go here for help…

The NEC requirement is within 6’ of entering the room and no more than 12’ foot between thereafter. Also any wall 2’ of more get a receptacle, like behind a door or between cloosets.

Mark asked about receptacle compliance so I posted the photo. This is one way that you can comply with the NEC regarding having receptacles installed in a room and not have them above the electric baseboard. If you had a room with continuous or long runs of baseboard you could have the receptacles in the baseboard for NEC compliance.