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#123634 - 04/18/06 01:10 PM Receptacle Placement
Webmaster Offline


Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3142
Loc: NY, USA
This bedroom has far more than the minimum required number of receptacles, yet, old habits die hard....

The first pic shows a receptacle placed right next to the closet door, in the path of other doors. It appears that the guy measured 12 ft from the previous receptacle... and ran out of space, so next to the door it went! I think we can agree that placing it on that blank wall would have been a better choice.
The second pic shows receptacles - and phone jacks- placed on either side of where the bed is certain to go. I do tire of finding receptacles placed dead center, behind furniture!

- renosteinke

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#123635 - 04/18/06 03:40 PM Re: Receptacle Placement
Alan Belson Offline

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 1801
Loc: Mayenne N. France
Always a dilemma in deciding where to place receptacles [sockets], especially in bedrooms, given that occupants might decide to move the furniture around someday. To a large extent the position of outlets sets the layout of most room furniture, ie tv aerial, phone socket, pull switches at a bed etc..
What is the significance of '12ft', BTW? Is this a Code requirement?

Wood work but can't!

#123636 - 04/18/06 04:45 PM Re: Receptacle Placement
kale Offline

Registered: 11/08/02
Posts: 168
At least the one near the closet won't be hidden by furniture, so there'll be someplace to plug in the vacuum cleaner.

#123637 - 04/18/06 06:27 PM Re: Receptacle Placement
Ron Offline

Registered: 03/13/02
Posts: 577
Loc: White Plains, NY
The one near the closet is almost a slam dunk for a night light.
Oooo, I stubbed my toe

#123638 - 04/18/06 06:50 PM Re: Receptacle Placement
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Alan, our code has, for a very long time, mandated that residences have the receptacles spaced so that no point along the floor, where the floor meets the wall, is more than six ft. from a receptacle.
Receptacles on the floor, within 18" of the wall, and wall receptacles 5'6" or lower are considered in meeting this requirement.

The effect of this rule all too often is poor receptacle placement. The electrician will enter the room, measure off six ft. from the door, then start placing receptacles on a 12-ft spacing. All too often, (since most rooms are 12x12. or smaller), is that the receptacles wind up in the middle of, and behind, furniture.

#123639 - 04/19/06 08:06 AM Re: Receptacle Placement
mil28094 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/30/02
Posts: 5
Loc: Jacksonville Florida

Years ago when I was first starting out in the trade, I asked my journeyman the same question. He told me that the reason for the 12 foot rule was that a table lamp has a cord that is 6' long. With the 12' rule, then a person could always be within the reach of a receptacle behind a large piece of furniture such as a couch/sofa without having to use an extension cord.

I do remember reading this later on in my career, but right now I can't recall exactly where it is located in printed word.

#123640 - 04/19/06 09:09 AM Re: Receptacle Placement
RSmike Offline

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 130
Loc: Holland, MI USA
Kale and Ron,

You guys are so on the money with this. I hate it when I have to search to find receptacles for "temporary installations" like vacuuming. The code should add a note that says to add two more above whatever amount you figured out plus one more for a nightlight. I have a couple in my house that are only there for vacuuming and nightlighting.....

Has anyone ever been called back because you put in too many receptacles. I know, I know.... they cost money.


#123641 - 04/19/06 11:02 AM Re: Receptacle Placement
ghost307 Offline

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 883
Loc: Chicago Illinois USA
RSmike, you have the same idea that I do. Even though the constant crying of "what's the absolute bare minimum that I have to have by the strict letter of the Code" has been getting on my nerves for years, I like to think that I try to consider the people LIVING in the space.

I've been told EXACTLY where the cable TV goes, but get snapped at for adding cost to the job when I try to make sure that there's a receptacle right next to it.

BTW, If the first picture in the post was of MY house, that receptacle would be right where it is...for the vacuum; I'd place another on that blank wall for whatever table or cabinet ends up at that location.

#123642 - 04/19/06 05:25 PM Re: Receptacle Placement
ShockMe77 Offline

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 823
Loc: Rahway, New Jersey
It's a poor design IMO. I understand the NEC is the bare minimum requirement, but at least have a clue about the meaning of convience outlet. But in today's world (especially new residential) it's much too cut throat and bare minimum is a must. I work as if the house I'm wiring is mine, always.

#123643 - 04/21/06 08:44 AM Re: Receptacle Placement
Texas_Ranger Offline

Registered: 12/17/01
Posts: 2332
Loc: Vienna, Austria
Regarding the vacuum cleaner issue... one possible remedy would be to invent single gang switch plates that take a toggle switch and single NEMA 5-15 receptacle along with matching devices (either single part or maybe despard style but for upright mounting) and always install one of those at each door. The receptacle is unlikely to be used permanently, being rather high above the floor, so it can be used for temp. stuff.

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