Nowadays, garages aren’t used only for parking cars. They’re used as working stations, dens, laundry rooms, and so on.
Any room needs outlets to be present. While installing outlets in a garage has specific codes and regulations, the choice of the house members is of more importance here.
One might want to create an office in their garage, for which they might need outlets closer to the floor. On the other hand, someone might use their garage for doing woodwork, which needs outlets closer to workstations so the wires don’t create a mess.
Now, let us know exactly how high the outlets in a garage should be and learn some more interesting facts about garage outlets.
How high should garage outlets be?
The maximum height of outlets is 48-inches while 15-inches is the minimum. Outlets are typically installed 12 to 18 inches above the finished floor. As the height of garage outlets is not governed by any specific standards, the owner is free to put the outlets at whatever height they see fit.
Electrical outlets are simple devices that create the opportunity for electrical equipment to connect to electrical grids. They’re present in every room in a house and at strategic positions so that they don’t intersect with other vital points like pipes, or studs.
Garages these days are used for many purposes other than just parking cars. As a result, every member of the family uses it.
That being said, the American Disabilities Act suggests installing outlets at least 15-inches above the floor. This doesn’t let inconveniences arise for the disabled.
However, the height and number of outlets completely depend on the owner and the people living in the house. If there’s no one with special needs, then there’s no reason for them to follow the act and have their outlets installed anywhere they like.
Simply put, outlets should be positioned at a height that the household members will be comfortable with (which is 18-inches). It also heavily depends on the purpose of the garage.
For instance, if someone wants the garage to work as the laundry room or entertainment room, the outlets should be placed low.
This is because washing machine plugs are at the lower end of the spectrum, whereas plugs used to set up devices such as TVs, Play Stations, sound systems, and so on are numerous and frequently heavy.
On the other hand, if someone wants to use the garage for carpentry, the outlets should be installed a bit higher so they match the heights of the workstations and countertops. Then again, the decision completely lies in the hands of the one who’ll be using the garage.
Another fact to keep in mind is that it should be checked if there’s any local code for the height of the outlets in the house.
Is there a minimum or maximum height for garage outlets?
Electrical outlets shouldn’t cross 48-inches (measured from the top of the outlet) from the floor and not be below 15-inches (measured from the bottom of the outlet).
However, the height of outlets in a garage completely depends on the owner and the user of the garage. A disabled person won’t be convenient with the comfort of an able person and vice-versa.
Another variable that decides the height of outlets in a garage is the reason behind the outlet’s use.
If the person wants to use the garage as a workstation, the outlets need to be installed at the height of the countertops, whereas, an entertainment room would need the outlets to be closer to the floor to avoid the wires trailing on the floor, which can often be accident-prone.
What is code for outlets in garage?
There are specific codes for the safe installation and use of electric wires in different countries. These codes are important and needed for the safety of the citizens and properties. They are there to protect people and properties from electrical shocks and fire hazards.
The National Electrical Code (NEC) sets standard rules and regulations for the safe installation of wiring in the United States.
According to the 2020 NEC, if one outlet follows section 210.52(G)(1), garages, which states that each car bay in an attached garage or a detached garage with electricity needs to have at least one outlet.
Located no higher than 1.7 meters (5.5 feet) above the floor. But there are exceptions as well.
A garage has specific bays for cars. A bay is a space in a garage that is supposed to be big enough to contain or park one vehicle.
According to the NEC of 2020, each garage needs as many outlets as it has bays. For instance, if a garage has three bays, the walls in the garage need to have three outlets. One should make sure the outlets are on the right wall.
After deciding the area of the wall to be used for installing an outlet, the height is a crucial point. NEC 2020 says the height of the outlet should not be higher than 66-inches.
A garage attached to a house belonging to a multi-family might need an outlet for each bay, but a garage that isn’t owned by a multi-family might not need an outlet in each bay.
According to the 2020 NEC, a minimum of one 120-volt, 20-ampere branch circuit must be provided apart from the number of branch circuits mandated by other sections of this section.
In order to provide power for the receptacle outlets required by 210.52 (G) (1) in attached garages and detached garages.
There may be no other outlets on this circuit. Although, an exception says that this circuit is permitted to provide readily accessible outdoor outlets.
Where to put outlets in garage?
According to the NEC (national electrical code,), the standard place for outlets to be placed in a garage is one in every bay and not more than 66-inches from the floor.
Bays are spaces in a garage that’s spacious enough to fit or park one vehicle. The basic rule is to install an outlet in every bay and not to cross 66-inches from the floor.
Outlets in a garage can be installed where the members of the household see fit. According to the ADA (American Disabilities Act), outlets shouldn’t be placed above 15-inches from the floor.
But, if a family doesn’t have a member who is disabled, they need not install an outlet according to that act.
The height and number of the outlets also depend on the purpose of the garage and one’s local codes. Higher sockets are needed for workstations in garages, while entertainment dens need lower sockets.
How to put outlets in the garage?
If adding outlets to the garage simply requires replacing a few existing plugs, it may be quite simple.
However, if you lack the necessary expertise and skills, extending the current outlet or establishing a new circuit through the service panel may seem like a challenging undertaking to you.
Let’s now discuss how to install outlets in the garage. The step-by-step guide is as follows:
Turning the power off:
After locating the desired outlet, locate the circuit box. It is time to turn on the power of the specific room. It is the most crucial of all steps.
Type of plug:
While turning off the switches, they’ll have little numbers—they decide the type of plug one needs to buy. Most garages use 20-amp circuits.
Figuring out the wires:
After removing the socket, there will be some wires that will be marked “homerun” in yellow encasing. These are directly connected to the circuit breaker.
Since we have access to the home run wire, we will put our junction box in that specific location.
Markings for conduit:
After our junction box is mounted on the wall, we have to mark where the conduit will go. Make sure to mark where the studs are.
Once we are done with marking, there needs to be holes drilled in the conduit tracks so that we can screw them to the studs.
They are slid into the crease on the junction box, which will hold the track in place, keep the track level and secure them to the wall with construction screws.
Placing the outlets:
Place the outlets on the track and secure them. We have to make sure we have the right amperage plug.
This is where one might need professional electricians, but if one has the experience, they can manage the wires and connect them.
The last step is to cover everything so the wires aren’t exposed.
The outlets’ maximum height is 48-inches, while the minimum is 15-inches. Normal installation heights for outlets are 12 to 18 inches above the completed floor. The owner can install the outlets at any height they want as there is no fixed numerical figure regarding the height of garage outlets.
I am an architect with over 5 years of experience in the design and installation of interior and exterior design projects. I have also been a home improvement expert for many years, so I know how to improve your home’s look and feel. I would love to help you build the perfect home for your family!
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