What Is the Standard Height for Electrical Wall Switches?

Written by john lightle
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What Is the Standard Height for Electrical Wall Switches?
Wall switchs are placed for user convenience. (light switch image by Christopher Hall from Fotolia.com)

Wall switches illuminate the source of light in every room of the house. Only one listed requirement regarding the height of the switch from the floor is mentioned in the 2008 National Electrical Code. The important condition more than height is the presence of a light switch and that it be reachable for the user without difficulty.

One specified height

Regarding the 2008 National Electric Code, only one specific measurement is given for a wall switch height. "All switches shall be located so that they may be operated from a readily accessible place, not more than 6 feet 7 inches from the floor to the centre of the switch operating handle (sec. 404.80(a)).

Practical use

Many trade professionals typically set the height of a wall switch at four feet to the centre of the switch operating handle. Exceptions do exist for specific purpose switches as some switches are cut into a wall for convenience and for ease of handicapped persons that may have difficulty reaching a four-foot range.

Placing the switch

The code height is unpractical for typical users. If a new switch is to be installed, use common sense and consider a reasonable height for the primary users of the dwelling.

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