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# six foot rule

## six foot rule

#1
06-13-02, 08:26 AM
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six foot rule

The six foot rule for receptacles? Does it apply to walls with doorways in them? Example: 13' wall with a doorway. Require a recptacle?

#2
06-13-02, 08:37 AM
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A doorway starts a new wall segment. You are required to have a receptacle within 6 feet of the opening on both sides. Keep in mind that the corner of the room does not end a segment. So saying the wall is 13 feet means nothing unless I know where the wall goes at both ends of that 13 feet. In other words, continue your measurement around the corner as if the corner was not there.

#3
06-13-02, 09:21 AM
KevinA
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A doorway starts a new wall segment. You are required to have a receptacle within 6 feet of the opening on both sides. Keep in mind that the corner of the room does not end a segment. So saying the wall is 13 feet means nothing unless I know where the wall goes at both ends of that 13 feet. In other words, continue your measurement around the corner as if the corner was not there.
I was under the impression that at a corner, you need a receptacle 6ft from the corner along both of the adjoining walls. Isn't the idea that you should be able to plug in a lamp with a 6 foot cord into a receptacle on either wall and have the ability to place it in the corner?

Maybe I'm mistaken, I'm still learning here, but I thought that was how it worked. I need some clarification on this for my current project as well.

#4
06-13-02, 11:08 AM
FREDDYG_001
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kevin A, Article210.52. Dwelling Unit Receptacle Outlets.
(1) Spacing. Receptacles shall be installed so that no point along the floor line in any wall space is more than 6th (1.83m), measured horizontality, from an outlet in that space. Receptacle outlets shall, insofar as practicable, be spaced equal distances apart.

(2) Wall Space. As used in this section, a wall space shall include the following:
(a) Any space 2ft (610mm) or more in width (including space measured around corners) and unbroken along the floor line by doorways, fireplaces, and similar openings
(b) the space occupied by fixed panels in exterior walls excluding sliding panels
(c) The space afforded by fixed room dividers such as freestanding bar-type counters or railings

(3) Floor Receptacles. Receptacle outlets in floors shall not be counted as part of the required number of receptacle outlets unless located within 18in. (457mm) of the wall.

Also, any receptacle 5-1/2ft or higher is not counted as part of the required number of receptacle outlets.

Fred

#5
06-13-02, 12:26 PM
wyres
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Code shmode, think about Murphys law.

If you are DIYing, it is very quick and inexpensive to add outlets.

I doubt you will ever regret adding an extra outlet that seldom or never gets used.

I guarantee you you will regret not adding an extra outlet when you are looking for a place to plug something in.

Houses last a long time, and the number of electrical toys can reasonably be expected to continue it's long historical trend of exponential increase.

Personally, I would try to see how many I could cram in there.

#6
06-13-02, 12:29 PM
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KevinA,

You do not need a receptacle within 6 feet of the corner on both walls. E.g., if you have a receptacle 3 feet from the corner along one wall, the first receptacle along the other wall could be as much as 9 feet from the corner (still no more than 12 feet apart). Note that you can still put that lamp in the corner.

#7
06-13-02, 01:20 PM
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So saying the wall is 13 feet means nothing unless I know where the wall goes at both ends of that 13 feet

Recptacle is about 6' from west corner. 32" door about 4' east of recptacle. Wall west of door must be about 6 to 12". Now we are in the corner going north. Door about 4 to 4 1/2', then on to corner. The latter wall is 12 to 12 1/2 in length. Same situation on both sides of room. One room, three doors.

#8
06-13-02, 01:23 PM
Jxofaltrds
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As stated before more than 2' requires an outlet. Most hallways do not count unless they are more than 10'.

Easy way. Just touch the wall. Then spread your arms. If there is not an outlet within that reach add one.

#9
06-13-02, 01:25 PM
Wgoodrich
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John is telling it as the rules require. I suggest that the easiest method of meeting the code on open studed walls before drywall is to take a tape measure. Start at the first door opening. Measure from that door 6'. The first receptacle must be within that 6' lenth. This receptacle is allowed as close as 1' from that door but must be placed no more than 6' from that door. Then measuer from that first receptacle further along the wall with your tape measure until you reach 12'. This measurement would keep on going around corners of wall where two walls meet until you reach the 12' measurement. Now that second receptacle must be within that 12' measurement from that first receptacle ensuring that there is less than 12' between those two receptacles. The rules says no point along a wall space is allowed to be more than 6' from a receptacle. If you placed the first receptacle to the second receptacle within 12' then no point on that wall will be more than 6' from one of those two receptacles. The first receptacle will serve 6' to the left of that first receptacle and also serve 6' to the right of that receptacle. Now if you look at what I just said then the first receptacle will serve 6' to the right of that first receptacle on that 12' wall space located between the first and second receptalce. Then the second receptacle will serve to the left of that second receptacle towards where the first receptacle serves 6' back toward that first receptacle. This means if you have two receptacles 12' apart the two receptacles at the end of that 12' wall space will serve toward each other to the exact middle of the 12 wall space making no point in that 12' wall space that is more than 6' from a receptacle. Then look at your table lamps, televisoins, radios etc. and you will find 6' cords on those appliances. This should explain what the goal is. That cord does not care if it reaches around that corner of a wall to the adjoining wall where the receptacle is as long as it is within 6' of that table lamp etc.

Continue placing your receptacles no more than 12' apart until you hit the next door or break in that wall making a new start of a wall on the other side of that break in the wall. A break in a wall may be a built in library shelving unit or a cased doorway, or a closet door. When you hit an end of that wall space passing around corners as one wall space you must measure backward from that end of a wall at that next doorway to ensure that a receptacle is within 6' of that end of the wall space.

Also remember that any wall that is 2 feet or longer must have at least one receptacle serving that short wall space.

There is an exception concerning non living areas such as bathrooms, and utility room or garages where the 6' receptacle rule does not apply. In these non living areas you place receptacles only where you need or want them placed.

The suggestion of placing extra receptacles on the wall that is more than is required to meet minimum is commonly done and a good idea especially where you think you will have a grouping of electronic equipment such as a TV, sterio, VCR, etc. grouped where you don't really have much load but need more plugs for light load equipment such as electronic equipment. If you don't add receptacles in those areas you will run out of pluggins for your electronic toys.

Hope this helps

Wg

#10
06-13-02, 01:26 PM
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Location: North Alabama, USA
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I guarantee you you will regret not adding an extra outlet when you are looking for a place to plug something in.

I added one in the lr of my house and I have been very glad I did. I have to agree about having plenty of outlets, but this is a block house that formerly had only one or two per room, and the block walls are kinda hard to deal with. I am trying to get all my wire inside the block. Whew! Pretty tough going. Guess I should rent a hammer chisel.

#11
06-13-02, 05:27 PM
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Then measuer from that first receptacle further along the wall with your tape measure until you reach 12'

I have always been told the purpose of the 6' rule was so that a six foot cord could reach from anywhere on the wall. I also thought, as you pointed out, that one receptacle could serve almost 12 feet. But, somehow in my dense aging mind, I thought the rule meant one outlet every six feet. I did not know about doorways as I thought no one should run a cord across a doorway.

Eventually, I will catch on to what you guys are trying to tell me.
Sometimes, I think the same things are being said in different ways. I just have to get my slow brain to interpret what I am told. Sometimes it sounds like 'Bobwehadababyitsaboy'

Bear with me!

Tx for the responses

#12
06-13-02, 06:35 PM
Wgoodrich
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The rule that a receptacle must be within 6' of the end of a wall is an attempt to ensure that no cords pass across a doorway. If you measure along a wall placing the first receptacle within 6' of the end of that wall and place a receptacle every 12' along that wall after the first receptacle then when you reach you next door or break in the wall you have to measure back the way you came to ensure that last receptacle was placed within 6' of the other end of that wall your are working then there should be no need for extension cords because you lamps, TVs etc. have 6' cords and anywhere along that wall if you placed a lamp with a 6' cord as found on appliances placed in living areas such as bedrooms, living room, dining room etc. you will be able to reach a receptacle within 6' of where you placed that lamp even if you placed that lamp right next to a doorway at either end of that wall you just placed your receptacles. This is the goal.

In kitchens over kitchen counters you will find a 2' / 4' rule. Same principle applies because kitchen appliances are limited to 2' cords same principle applies there with the shorter distances requried between receptacles over kitchen counter areas considering those shorter 2' appliance cords.

Hope this helped

Wg

#13
06-13-02, 07:09 PM
Gary Tait
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Although code has the rule at 6/12, I find 4/8 more practical, as to placement of appliances, lamps, furniture, sind applinaces have
max 6ft cords, and they are placed at various heights on
furniture.

#14
06-13-02, 08:19 PM
KevinA
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I have always been told the purpose of the 6' rule was so that a six foot cord could reach from anywhere on the wall. I also thought, as you pointed out, that one receptacle could serve almost 12 feet. But, somehow in my dense aging mind, I thought the rule meant one outlet every six feet.
Don't worry, I made the same mistake. I think I get it now. Thanks for the info guys.

#15
06-14-02, 01:03 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: North Alabama, USA
Posts: 457
Although code has the rule at 6/12, I find 4/8 more practical, as to placement of appliances, lamps, furniture, sind applinaces have

Interesting point.

Tx guys