In order to help clear up some confusion with the new code wording change, with regards to the receptacle requirements of a balcony and porch, please find the following interpretation.
Consider the following points.
1 - the balcony receptacle can be fed off a general circuit from one of the existing branch circuits if there is at least one separate outdoor circuit elsewhere.
2 - the Porch or Balcony receptacle has to be in a readily accessible area (protected with appropriate cover if in outside location) to meet the intent of the rule change. Therefore putting a receptacle in the Ceiling or soffit location would not satisfy the intent of this rule.
3 - If this receptacle mentioned above, is within 2.5m of grade (not necessarily the raised porch area) it requires GFCI protection.
© Electrical Safety Authority - 2002
Receptacles Required for a Porch or Balcony
The 2002 edition of the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, which came into effect April 25, 2002,
requires that at least one duplex receptacle be provided in each area of a residential property,
including balconies and porches.
The word “enclosed” has been deleted from Rule 26-712(b), in the 2002 edition of the Code, so
it now reads “At least one duplex receptacle shall be provided in each area, such as a balcony or
porch, that is not classified as a finished room or area.
Many dwelling units have attached balconies or porches that may or may not be enclosed from
the outside elements. The word "enclosed" was deleted to require that a receptacle be installed in
any balcony or porch to eliminate running appliance or extension cords through windows or
doorways for various portable electrical equipment, such as rotisseries, radios, TV, etc.
The Electrical Safety Authority is committed to ensuring proper interpretation and application of
this rule. To support this goal, the following guidelines shall be used for consistent interpretation
· Receptacle(s) shall be located in a readily accessible location and may be fed from any
branch circuit if the requirements of Rule 26-714(a) and 26-724 (a) have been met
· Rule 26-714 (b) requires the receptacle to be GFCI protected if less then 2.5m above
grade and if exposed to the weather a weatherproof cover shall be installed to comply
A porch is “a covered area adjoining an entrance to a building and usually having a
separate roof”, and
A balcony is “a platform that projects from the wall of a building and is enclosed by a
parapet or railing”.
If you have any questions regarding this directive, please contact your local Technical Advisor
(whose name and number is listed in your bulletins).
Ted Olechna, P.Eng
Provincial Code Engineer See over
© Electrical Safety Authority - 2002
26-702 Receptacles Exposed to the Weather
(1) Receptacles exposed to the weather shall be provided with weatherproof cover plates, except that,
when these receptacles are installed facing downward, at an angle of 45° or less from the horizontal,
standard metallic cover plates may be used.
(2) Where receptacles exposed to the weather are installed in surface-mounted outlet boxes, the cover
plates shall be held in place by four screws or by some other equivalent means.
(3) Where receptacles exposed to the weather are installed in flush-mounted outlet boxes, the boxes shall
be installed in accordance with Rule 12-3018 and the cover plates shall be fitted so as to make a proper
26-712 Receptacles in Dwelling Units
This Rule applies to receptacles in dwelling units (including single dwellings) as follows:
(a) Except as otherwise provided for in this Code, in dwelling units, duplex receptacles shall be installed
in the finished walls of every room or area, other than kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, laundry rooms,
water closet rooms, utility rooms, or closets, so that no point along the floor line of any usable wall space
is more than 1.8 m horizontally from a receptacle in that or an adjoining space, such distance being
measured along the floor line of the wall spaces involved; and
(b) At least one duplex receptacle shall be provided in each area, such as a balcony or porch, that is not
classified as a finished room or area in accordance with Paragraph (a); and
26-714 Receptacles in Single Dwellings
This Rule applies to receptacles only in single dwellings as follows:
(a) For each single dwelling, at least one duplex receptacle shall be installed outdoors so as to be readily
accessible from ground or grade level for the use of appliances which, of necessity, are used outdoors;
(b) All receptacles installed outdoors of single dwellings and located within 2.5 m of ground or grade level
shall be protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter of the Class A Type; and
26-724 Branch Circuits in Single Dwellings
This Rule applies to branch circuits in single dwellings only as follows:
(a) In a single dwelling, at least one branch circuit shall be provided solely for receptacles that are located