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Spacing for electrical outlets

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Forum topic by Draeger posted 03-08-2016 11:01 PM 718 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Draeger

27 posts in 1229 days


03-08-2016 11:01 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I’ve been running extension cords to half of my tools for far too long, so I’ve decided to update my electrical scheme. I was just wondering what spacing for outlets that people found advantageous in a shop where tool placement keeps evolving. I was thinking every 4 feet maybe. Or is that overkill? Thoughts? Also, are there any reasons for changing up from the standard height of the outlets?

Thanks for your input.

-- 'Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.' - Abraham Lincoln


18 replies so far

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

979 posts in 1114 days


#1 posted 03-08-2016 11:16 PM

There are code limits on how many outlets you can run per circuit. Code on outlets is generally a minimum, not a maximum per wall.

Consult a local electrician and let him pull a permit.

M

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

View SignWave's profile

SignWave

383 posts in 2697 days


#2 posted 03-08-2016 11:20 PM

I hate using extension cords, so the more the better, IMHO. I have them every 6 feet or so. My only regret is that I put each wall on one circuit. I wish I had staggered them so that every other receptacle was on a different circuit breaker. It’s only occasionally an issue, but still…

I put mine at just over 4’ from the floor. The idea is that you could lean a sheet of plywood against the wall and not interfere with the receptacles. In reality, I don’t like to store sheet goods, but I also don’t like bending over to access the receptacles, so it’s still a good thing.

I have a low-ish ceiling in my workshop, and having receptacles in the ceiling is very convenient. I have some receptacles that I can reach, and a retractable one. They really help to minimize the need for extension cords.

-- Barry, http://BarrysWorkshop.com/

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bold1

275 posts in 1509 days


#3 posted 03-08-2016 11:20 PM

I have double rec. every 4’ giving me 4 plug ins every 4’. And at my bench I have a 6 plug in strip mounted. I still find that at times I have to unplug something to plug another tool in. Course I’m not running all those tools at once, but it would be nice to have another 2 plug ins every 4’, for me. If I ever rewire I’m going to have at least 3 doubles every 4’. All my boxes are mounted bottom of box 40” off the floor. I didn’t want to crawl around behind anything to plug in. I think I’d keep the same height if I’d rewire as that is just over the top of all my tables and bench. I’m running 4 circuits now each 15 amp on #12 wire for the small tools. And 1 circuit shared for my table saw and planer. Lighting is separate.

View DirtyMike's profile

DirtyMike

626 posts in 564 days


#4 posted 03-08-2016 11:25 PM

i installed mine every 6 feet on my shop walls, only cost 10 bucks more as opposed to 8 feet. best 10 bucks i ever spent. I Installed extra outlets in areas that get a lot of use like work benches or charging stations. I added some in the ceiling too for an air cleaner or overhead power.

View clin's profile

clin

689 posts in 658 days


#5 posted 03-08-2016 11:45 PM

About every 4 ft. But also two rows. One that would be well above workbench height. And one much lower, about 20” from the floor to be accessible under workbenches.

Only thing I’d do different is have the top row a bit higher to clear a 4ft sheet of plywood or other leaned against the wall. while I would never store sheet goods leaning against a wall, sometime you need to prop them up for a while.

-- Clin

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5439 posts in 2856 days


#6 posted 03-08-2016 11:47 PM

I have 72 wall, ceiling, and floor plugs in my shop…The wall outlets are every 4’ apart, and 5 feet up from the floor..I’m running 200 amp service to my shop, and all the electrical was done by a certified electrician when the shop was built….All of my big machines are on seperate circuits, and lights are on seperate circuits, and wall plugs on seperate circuits…..You can never have enough plugs…..Like clamps..

-- My grandpa used to say: "Y'all come back when you can....come after dinner, and leave before supper.."

View WillliamMSP's profile

WillliamMSP

1080 posts in 1266 days


#7 posted 03-09-2016 12:06 AM

In addition to what MadMark said, another reason to consult an electrician is outlet height and type. For instance, new electrical work in a garage or near a sink may require different outlet height and/or GFCI outlets.

-- Practice makes less sucky. (Bill, Minneapolis, MN)

View JeffP's profile

JeffP

573 posts in 1053 days


#8 posted 03-09-2016 12:16 AM

You know you have too many when you have to take your gloves off to reach between the plugs to pull one out.

...what? oh yeah, but of course, you’re not supposed to wear gloves in the shop, so it is impossible for them to be too close together.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

7071 posts in 1148 days


#9 posted 03-09-2016 12:30 AM

10 on a 15 and 8 on a 20a ckt. No limit to number total. Or height limit. Must be gfci protected. That’s about it. Might have local ordinances that go above and beyond code.

Put a quad in high use areas, place you leave stuff plugged in, and dedicate some receptacles for individual pieces of equipment so there’s no chance of running 2 at once.

That’s about all I got.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2522 posts in 2584 days


#10 posted 03-09-2016 12:33 AM

I install four-plexes instead of duplexes and space them every four feet and put them at about 36” just above my wall mounted benches.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

4486 posts in 1927 days


#11 posted 03-09-2016 01:02 AM

Yeah I got an opinion on this. Keep the bottom of every out a little over 48” from the floor. Why? So you don’t lean a sheet of plywood against the wall and cover your outlets. I’m not nearly the expert that WWBob is, but I always heard an old rule of thumb for outlets per circuit- 9 on a line. My suggestion is for you to contact WWBob for advice. He’s a retired electrician and really knows his stuff. He won’t steer you wrong.

View Draeger's profile

Draeger

27 posts in 1229 days


#12 posted 03-09-2016 01:56 AM

Thank you for all the great info everyone. I’ll have 4 different circuits coming into the shop. Lights will be on one, and the other three for tools. dust collection will probably get a dedicated circuit, so I should rarely if ever have an overload problem with the other two circuits. Thanks for the responses!

-- 'Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.' - Abraham Lincoln

View WillliamMSP's profile

WillliamMSP

1080 posts in 1266 days


#13 posted 03-09-2016 02:23 AM

D’oh! Wrong thread.

-- Practice makes less sucky. (Bill, Minneapolis, MN)

View McFly's profile

McFly

268 posts in 689 days


#14 posted 03-09-2016 02:24 AM

Typical height from the floor for an outlet is 16”...About the same height as a good framing hammer IIRC.

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

840 posts in 885 days


#15 posted 03-09-2016 02:35 AM



Thank you for all the great info everyone. I ll have 4 different circuits coming into the shop. Lights will be on one, and the other three for tools. dust collection will probably get a dedicated circuit, so I should rarely if ever have an overload problem with the other two circuits. Thanks for the responses!

- Draeger

I have 6 circuits. 1 for 120v tools north wall, 1 120v tools south wall, 1 each north and south for 240v tools. 1 240v for dust collector and one for lights.

Along with the lights on the same circuit, there’s a set off outlets that were originally in the shop that also have I use those for general plugs. They are my chargers, radio and outlets for hand power tools such as jigsaw, sanders, etc. I have had no problems with my lights running along with those. I believe it’s something like 6-8 fluorescent fixtures. The shop is 20’x40’ with 12 foot ceilings.

showing 1 through 15 of 18 replies

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