Wall spacing nec 210.52 (a.1)

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inspectornick

New member
I came across a situation in residential wiring that I would appreciate your help in interpreting the code.

When raising a wall outlet to a height of 44" for a flat screen TV and the outlet is behind the TV with no other outlet below, as per NEC 210.52 (A.1) which states receptacles shall be installed so no point measured horizontally along the floor is not more than 6ft from a receptacle outlet. Is this permitted under NEC 210. 52 (Dwelling Unit Receptacle Outlets)?

Thanks for helping out. Nick
 

Dennis Alwon

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I came across a situation in residential wiring that I would appreciate your help in interpreting the code.

When raising a wall outlet to a height of 44" for a flat screen TV and the outlet is behind the TV with no other outlet below, as per NEC 210.52 (A.1) which states receptacles shall be installed so no point measured horizontally along the floor is not more than 6ft from a receptacle outlet. Is this permitted under NEC 210. 52 (Dwelling Unit Receptacle Outlets)?

Thanks for helping out. Nick
My opinion is that if the outlet is not accessible then it would not satisfy 210.52. Others will argue this one.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Nick, welocme to the forum! :smile:


If you questiuon is indeed can this receptacle be counted toward required receptacle spacing, I also say no.

Look at it like a receptacle behind a refrigerator, which would not satisfy kitchen-wall receptacle spacing.

In my opinion, the receptacle should be considered as "added," and not "raised." What could be pluged in?
 

Strahan

Senior Member
Location
Watsontown, PA
So if I put a tv in front my receptacle it can no longer be counted? lol... yeah okay...
guess I better get rid of my furniture as well.
Yea I agree!! yes some common sense must come into play but where in the code does it give height restrictions for living rooms?

Ok more than 5.5 ft above the floor I found it so keep it less than that.
 
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Dennis Alwon

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Staff member
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
So if I put a tv in front my receptacle it can no longer be counted? lol... yeah okay...
guess I better get rid of my furniture as well.
Hey Stickboy - long time no see...

By the wording of the code you are probably correct, however if the TV must be taken down to access the recep. then i would see that the same as one located within a cabinet as stated in 210.52(3). I realize the code does not say behind a TV but .... Let's just say I would install another one.
 

SEO

Senior Member
Location
Michigan
This is a very good question. As an inspector when making rough and final inspections I've seen receptacles installed for flat screen tv's that were less than 5.5' and the tv's were not installed or maybe never will be installed. It would be good practice to install an additional receptacle below but how can you write a violation when requirements of section 210.52 are met? I would leave a note on the rough questioning what the receptacle was for and recommend that they install one that could be used without taking the tv down. By definition the receptacle behind the tv is accessible. Most receptacles are not readily accessible if you have to move furniture.
 
I see no language that states the receptacle cannot be behind furniture.

I see no language that states the receptacle cannot be behind furniture.

Typically, the final inspection is made before furniture is installed. Yes, there are many times that the people may have lived in the house for weeks before the final.;)


With that said, lets look at some other "unmoveable" types of furniture that may affect the installation.

Big couchs
large bedroom furniture
large dining room furniture
large living room furniture
Stacks of 'debris' people store in their dwellings - sometimes much less accessible than furniture placed in front of receptacles. I have the pictures to prove it. :grin:

There is no language in the NEC for dwellings that states the receptacles cannot be placed behind furniture or stuff.

We do see that language for Guest rooms, so the CMP is aware of these types of situations.

With that said, I would pass the installation as long as the spacing is proper. If the consumer or EC or GC does not like it, I say it becomes a design issue, not a code issue.
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Seattle, WA
It would be good practice to install an additional receptacle below . . .
I agree.
. . . but how can you write a violation when requirements of section 210.52 are met?
I agree with this as well.


I would put another receptacle below the TV. That is, I would place other wall receptacles as though this one were not present. But that is a design choice, not an NEC requirement. The requirement does not take into account the possibility that a specific receptacle might be used by the owner for one purpose that does not leave it accessible or that prevents it from being used for another purpose. The requirement is all about giving the owner enough to cover the needs, and making them close enough to eliminate the need for extension cords. If the owner uses a certain receptacle for a certain purpose, then that particular need has been met, and there will be other receptacles around to handle other needs.
 
With that said, lets look at some other "unmoveable" types of furniture that may affect the installation.

Big couchs
large bedroom furniture
large dining room furniture
large living room furniture
I think we all agree it's a design issue.

BTW there is no such thing as "unmoveable" furniture. At my wife's whim the living room configuration seems to evolve into a new creature every 3-4 months. Our furniture is VERY movable...:D
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
My concern wouldn't be that the receptacle is behind something, or has a specific intended use.

My concern would be that the receptacle would be behind something that is bolted in place (hopefully!)
 

bayareadude

New member
Receptacle Location

Receptacle Location

I'm currently enrolled in a Electrician Program at a local Trade school. I keep reading the 2005 NEC code stating that there shall be no more than 6 feet between receptacles.

My understanding is that in a perfectly square room - that is 12 x12 - you could have a single receptacle installed on each wall because each wall is considered to be another "Wall Space" thereby there is technically 12 feet between receptacles - thereby the 6/12 rule.

but what if the walls are longer. My living room is 13 x 15 ... am I misinterpreting the 2005 nec code - or don't I have to have at least two receptacles on each wall ?

is the 12 feet between receptacles based on 2002 or 1999 - and my instructor is a little behind - or am I a complete jerk here ...

please help me out ... learning this is about as basic as it gets for residential.
 

inspector163

Member
Location
Elon, NC
210.52 (A)(1) and the 6ft mentioned is the basis of th "12ft" rule. It has been part of the NEC for years. The distance is measured along floor line at wall following the wall, so you measure around corners to make sure no point along wall is more than 6' from an outlet. The 6' starts from breaks in the wall such as described in 210.52(A)(2).
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Seattle, WA
I keep reading the 2005 NEC code stating that there shall be no more than 6 feet between receptacles.
Read it again! That is not what it says. ;) After you have another look, please come back and tell me why.
My understanding is that in a perfectly square room - that is 12 x12 - you could have a single receptacle installed on each wall because each wall is considered to be another "Wall Space"
Each wall does not constitute a separate wall space. As you measure wall space along the floor line, if you come across a corner, you keep the measurement going. For example, if there is a door three feet from a corner, and another door on the adjacent wall that is four feet from the same corner, then between the two doors there is a total of seven feet of wall space.

Suppose this 12x12 room was a sub-grade storage area accessible only by a staircase in the middle of the room. All you have is 4 walls with no doors in any wall. In this case, there is one, and only one, ?wall space,? and it is 48 feet measured along the floor line.
 

cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Simi Valley, CA
At 44" like others have said it's not a violation. At 5 1/2 feet it's a violation. And as others have said I would require you to add a receptacle as the one behind the TV is not accessible
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
At 44" like others have said it's not a violation. At 5 1/2 feet it's a violation. And as others have said I would require you to add a receptacle as the one behind the TV is not accessible
I would have a hard accepting that this is enforceable by the wording of the NEC. There's no guarantee that a TV will even be installed over the receptacle.
 

SEO

Senior Member
Location
Michigan
I would have a hard accepting that this is enforceable by the wording of the NEC. There's no guarantee that a TV will even be installed over the receptacle.
What would you do if you inspected the job without a TV installed approved the job then happen to get called back for another inspection and a TV is installed?
 
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