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Thread: ADA Device Mounting Heights

  1. #1
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    ADA Device Mounting Heights

    I know this topic has been brought up in many now closed threads but I would like to put my 2 cents worth in on the topic.

    Being in the office now and out of the field for a bit now I have not had to deal with this issue directly, but I did do some homework to make sure we are covered as a company.

    As a whole we have been mounting our switches at 48" to the top of the junction box and receptacles 18" to the top of junction box in an office environment.

    I know that the ADA guidelines set in ADA's accessible designs documents call for devices or controls to be mounted above 15" and below 48" A.F.F.

    NECA-1 on 110.12 calls for 48" for switches and 18" for receptacles measured to the center of the device.

    Well the 28 CFR part 36 ADA Standards for Accessible Design states that the measurement for these devices will be between 15" and 48" AFF to the operable part of the device.

    So if you were to use as we do 18" to the top of box for receptacle location technically the bottom of a duplex receptacle would be bellow the 15" - "operable part” of the receptacle.

    This is important because these issues spawn lawsuits and they DO get very technical.

    I think since our switch box is mounted at 48" to the top we are ok there but if you were to use the 48" to the middle of the box as set in the NECA book you could possibly have issues there too.

    I will be having a foreman’s meeting and we will be changing our general mounting heights to 20" to the top of an outlet/phone locating box to avoid any future issues. Taking into account for carpet and tile when roughing in on our jobs.

    Just checking what you guys think on the subject???

    The attached image is from NECA book
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2
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    In CA: 1117.B.6 5.1 & 5.2 of the California Building Code.

    Electrical switches: The center of the grip of the operating handle of controls or switches intended to be used by the occupant of the room or area to control lighting and receptacle outlets, appliances or cooling, heating and ventilating equipment, shall be 48 inches above the floor or working platform.

    Electrical receptacle outlets: The center of electrical receptacle outlets on branch circuits of 30 amperes or less shall be installed not more than 48 inches nor less than 15 inches above the floor or working platform
    I can build anything you want if you draw a picture of it on the back of a big enough check.

    There's no substitute for hard work....but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up trying to find one.

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  3. #3
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    Using ADA, if there is side approach to the devices it is 9" and 54"



    Figure 6(b)
    High and Low - Side Reach Limits


    The 30 by 48 inch wheelchair clear floor space is located a maximum 10 inches (255 mm) from the wall.


    Roger
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  4. #4
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    John

    Which one would superceed ADA code or CA Building code??? Im working in Santa Monica pretty liberal place hehe ) not like up there in Simi )

    Thanks for the CA building code ref. )) Ill put it in my arsenal.

  5. #5
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    Roger, have you seen the Frontal clearence iI think its 15 to 48 the side is a lot more forgiving. So if there is enough room for wheelchair to access the device from a side location that 9" measurement can be used ???? can that be correct??
    Last edited by georgeswe; 09-28-07 at 05:04 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgeswe
    Roger, have you seen the Frontal clearence i think its 15 to 48 the side is a lot more forgiving.
    If there is only front approach you are correct, but I have found in most cases the side approach is applicable.




    Figure 5a
    High Forward Reach Limit

    Forward reach range shown in profile and plan view to be 48 inches maximum and 15 inches minimum

    Roger
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgeswe
    So if there is enough room for wheelchair to access the device from a side location that 9" measurement can be used ???? can that be correct??
    Yes that is correct if you are dealing only with ADA, other codes (IBC for one) may not allow this.

    Roger
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    Since there is nothing in the ADA that really tells us when we can pick the more liberal side approach dimensions over the stricter front approach dimensions, I always pick the front approach limits. It would seem reasonable that if it's possible to approach from the side that you should be able to use the side approach limits. When I look back over time, however, conclusions that I've thought were perfectly reasonable some inspectors have frowned upon. Comply with the stricter of the two, and nobody can possibly have any objections.

  9. #9
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    I could not get the images to copy ,.. don't know why This is from Mass State Electric code


    521 CMR:
    39.3 HEIGHT
    The highest operable part of controls, dispensers, receptacles, and other operable equipment shall be placed within at least one of the reach ranges specified in 521 CMR 6.5, Forward Reach and 521 CMR 6.6, Side Reach.
    39.3.1 Electrical and communications system receptacles on walls shall be mounted between 15 inches (15" = 381mm) and 48 inches (48" = 1219mm) above the floor, measured at the centerline of the lowest receptacle.
    Exception: These requirements do not apply where the use of special equipment dictates otherwise or where electrical and communications systems receptacles are not normally intended for use by building occupants.

    39.4 LOCATION
    All such controls shall be located at least 18 inches (18" = 457mm) from an interior corner.

    6.5 FORWARD REACH
    If the clear floor space only allows forward approach to an object, the maximum high forward reach allowed shall be 48 inches (48" = 1219mm) (See Fig. 6k). The minimum low forward reach is 15 inches (15" = 381mm). If the high forward reach is over an obstruction, reach and clearances shall be as shown in Fig. 6l.



    6.6 SIDE REACH
    If the clear floor space allows parallel approach by a person in a wheelchair, the maximum high side reach allowed shall be 54 inches (54" = 1372mm) and the low side reach shall be no less than nine inches (9" = 229mm) above the floor (See Fig. 6m). If the side reach is over an obstruction, reach and clearances shall be as shown in Fig. 6n.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgeswe
    John

    Which one would superceed ADA code or CA Building code??? Im working in Santa Monica pretty liberal place hehe ) not like up there in Simi )

    Thanks for the CA building code ref. )) Ill put it in my arsenal.
    You would go with the CA Building Code which is more restrictive than the ADA. Remeber you can go more restrictive, but not less.

    I didn't get to picky like some of the pics that are being shown because I assumed that your question was pretty straight forward. There are of course outlet heights for adaptable kitchens and many other factors.

    We might have crossed paths. Were you at that solar seminar a while back? and how are things in the Kingdom of Santa Monica since Chico left.
    I can build anything you want if you draw a picture of it on the back of a big enough check.

    There's no substitute for hard work....but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up trying to find one.

    John Childress
    Electrical Inspector
    IAEI / CEI / C10
    Certified Electrical Inspector

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