Garages are not what they used to be. Some people use them to store their vehicles and nothing else. But others use their garages as work stations, extra bedrooms, additional sitting rooms, laundry rooms, and so much more. As a result, the placement of your outlets will depend on the purpose the garage serves.
What Height Should Garage Outlets Be?
Most people position their wall outlets between 12 and 18 inches above the finished floor in most rooms. But, there is no specific height requirement for garage outlets. Technically speaking, the garage is just another room. As such, you can apply this trend to your garage without suffering any significant consequences.
What is The NEC Code For Garage Outlet Height?
The National Electric Code doesn’t have anything to say about the height of electrical outlets in a garage or any other room in a home. For that reason, you are technically free to place your garage outlets at any height that suits you.
Many contractors place outlets 12 to 18 inches above the floor because that height suits most people, not because the NEC demands it.
That being said, the American Disabilities Act expects homeowners to place wall receptacles at least 15 inches above the floor. The goal is to make the receptacles in question easier to access for disabled persons. But that only applies to spaces in a building that are intended for use by the occupants of that building.
If your garage doesn’t fit that description, you don’t have to follow the garage outlet height suggestion of the American Disabilities Act. That being said, before you mount an outlet in a garage, check your local code. It might have something to say about the height of garage outlets.
You should also consider the purpose the garage will serve. For instance, if you want to install a woodworking workstation, the height of the outlets should match the height of the countertops and workstations.
Outlet Height In Garage
|Refrigerator & Deep Freezer
|Washer & Dryer
Where Should Outlets Be Placed In the Garage?
The NEC doesn’t specify a particular location where the garage wall outlet should be mounted. Many people endeavor to place one receptacle on each sidewall.
The position of a wall outlet in a garage doesn’t matter. Or at the very least, the NEC doesn’t have anything to say on the issue. Check your local code to determine whether or not it has a regulation that governs the position of garage wall outlets. If you have countertops and workstations in the garage, the outlet should be within range of the appliances and machines you want to operate. That includes fridges, washing machines, and drills.
Types of Outlets That Should Be Used In A Garage
The type of work you want to do in your garage will determine the types of outlets you will install. For instance:
1). 15A 120V Outlets
Most garages use standard 15A, 120 Volt outlets. They are suitable for most situations, especially if you want to operate conventional devices such as televisions, speakers, and computers that do not consume a lot of power.
2). 20A 125V Outlets
20A, 125V outlets are normally paired with devices that consume more power than the standard 15A 120V outlet can handle, such as large kitchen appliances. They are perfect for garages that are supposed to double as laundry rooms. If you want your garage to house washing machines and space heaters, I expect you to install 20A 125V outlets.
3). 20A 250V Outlets
Many people think that they need 20A, 250V outlets for fridges, freezers, and washing machines. But as you now know, those appliances can run on 20A 125V outlets. 20A 250V outlets are only relevant to homeowners that want to operate high-powered tools like plasma cutters, grinders, sanders, and drills. You also need higher-gauge wiring to prevent the breaker from tripping whenever you use your tools.
4). GFCI Outlets
I want homeowners to add GFCI outlets to their garages. This is because garages are exposed to moisture. Rain can slip through the garage doors. If it comes in contact with your tools, a catastrophe could occur. This is why GFCI outlets are so important. You don’t have a choice in the matter.
The NEC expects homeowners to apply GFCI protection to all outlets in a garage. You can only ignore this regulation if your local code contradicts it. The local code supersedes the NEC. But the local code in most areas tends to agree with the NEC, at least where garage outlets are concerned.
How Many Outlets Are Required In A Garage?
The NEC expects homeowners to install a minimum of one wall outlet in a given garage. But you can install more than one if the need arises. At the end of the day, your situation will inform the number of outlets you have. For instance, you have to place a refrigerator on a dedicated circuit.
As such, if you want to add a refrigerator as well as a workstation with a power tool, you need at least two outlets; one for the refrigerator and one for the power tool.
Garage Outlet Spacing Code
According to US National Electrical Code, section 210.52 of the NEC expects homeowners to install a wall outlet every six feet in every habitable room. You can apply this code to a garage if you have any intention of using it as a living room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, pantry, and laundry room.
Otherwise, it doesn’t count as a habitable room, in which case, the NEC doesn’t have anything to say about the space between garage outlets. Your local code might address the issue, which is why you should consult it.
How Far Apart Should Outlets Be Spaced?
In a habitable room, every point along the wall should be no more than six feet from an outlet. The regulation doesn’t apply to garages. However, you can adapt it for your garage all the same because it makes sense. It ensures that you have an outlet within reach of any appliance you want to use. That way, you are less likely to use power strips and extension cords.