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The cable outlet in my girlfriend's living room is in a strange place. She wants to move her TV to a different wall but the landlord doesn't want any new holes in the wall or floor. If the wall was just painted drywall I'd just put a hole in the wall and patch it later when she moves out but the wall is covered with a strange fabric wall paper and I don't think I could patch it.

Essentially, anything I do I need to be able to undo. I'm thinking of running the coaxial cable from the basement into an existing electrical outlet. What is the best way to do this? I couldn't find any coaxial/electrical duplex combos that can fit into a single gang box. Essentially what I'm looking for is a single gang outlet that has coaxial on the top and power on the bottom. I guess I could try and modify a single outlet and a coaxial outlet with a divider between them into the existing box. Any suggestions?

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The NEC requires line voltage and low voltage or RF wiring in the same box to be separated by a partition. Each space must also be of a certain volume for proper wiring technique. Meaning you need at least a double gang box to do this in accordance with the NEC. However, if you guerrilla rig something like that mentioned in the answers, it's probably reasonably safe, though hardly ideal. –  bcworkz Dec 1 '12 at 20:05

6 Answers 6

Have you thought about trying to achieve the same result without running wires? Assuming you're using a cable (or satellite) box of some kind (and your TV doesn't have a built-in cable card), you could use something like this:

Wireless A/V transmitter

That would give you a standard RCA connection from your satellite/cable box to your TV. There are other options for other connection types; e.g. this one for HDMI (although it gets spendy).

Failing that, how about just using a quarter-round cable cover around the edge of the room?

enter image description here

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Looking through a Leviton catalog and doing some searches on Google, this is probably a bad idea.

They don't make an outlet that is single gang, 1 120v outlet with a coax connection above or below.

In a double gang box, you would use a low voltage separator to keep the 120v side separate from the coax side. Obviously, as you don't want to cut a bigger hole in the wall, this is a problem.

I would NOT modify a 120v outlet to have a coax connection anywhere near it. The actual 120v outlet is sealed, made out of some sort of plastic and it would be very dangerous to try to modify the outlet for this purpose.

Also, with the coax being so close to the 120v outlet IF you modified it, you may very well cause interference, not to mention risk a fire hazard.

Find another means to run the coax, be it along the edge of the room near the baseboards or in a plastic wall conduit.

If there's carpet, the landlord won't notice a small hole drilled in the corner near the baseboard in the floor; if its hardwood it might be more noticeable. Either way, if the landlord finds out about it, she may loose her deposit (or whatever the terms of the lease are).

I would also advise NOT taking out an 120v outlet and using it for a coax run. You would need an outlet at the end of a run and even still, you would only be able to put wire nuts and electrical tape on it, not remove it completely. This would leave you with a live line in the same box as the coax. If anything ever happened to the wire nuts and the coax some how got electricity running through it, it could very well burn down the house.

Ultimately, see if you can work something out with the landlord; even if it requires some $$$.

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If the outlet is hidden from view, and the cover is large enough, you might be able to bring the coax out of the wall between the edge of the drywall and the side, top, or bottom of the j-box. You could then modify the cover to allow the cable through. This probably isn't code either (because you are modifying the cover), but at least the coax isn't inside the j-box. You could then either put an inline junction in the line, or run it long enough to go the whole distance to the TV.

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Why don't you ask the landlord, and just leave it installed? If you use a low-voltage retrofit mount in the wall, a nice faceplate, put it in a reasonable spot, keep the wiring in the basement nice and neat (eg, stapled down) and leave the other outlet intact, I wouldn't think this would be a problem. Heck, most landlords probably do not keep track of where outlets are and would probably not even notice (unless it was crooked, mounted unevenly, or generally there is something calling attention to it).

low-voltage retrofit box

coax faceplate

(note: this is one I did that also has ethernet, but you can get faceplates with a single coax in the middle)

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I doubt that any of this would be compliant with NEC code standards, so that is probably why you don't see such a combo.

If you are set on this then what I would do would be to remove the outlet, wire nut the existing electrical wires and wrap the nuts well in electrical tape for safety. If the existing receptacle is carrying the load of a second wire then proceed to wire nut the like colored wires together to prevent disabling other receptacles further ahead on the circuit.

After doing this you should be able to run a coax cable up to the junction box and get a female connector plate to cover. I highly recommend getting a quad insulated high quality coax cable as being this close to the electromagnetic field of electrical wiring in the same box will probably have a significant effect on the quality of the signal.

Before she moves out you should be able to remove the coaxial cable, and reinstall the receptacle that was in that box.

NOTE: When working with electricity, proceed with caution and make sure the circuit breaker is off before working on the receptacle. Test for voltage with a quality non-contact voltage tester just to make sure. Electricity is dangerous and can be fatal.

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NO. If the box is being used as a junction box; even with no device, you still cannot put cable in the box with line voltage wires. –  Tester101 Dec 2 '12 at 13:24
    
@Tester101 Well I never said it was a good idea, but he asked how to do it in a reversible way. If somebody had a gun to my wife's head and told me I need to run coax to that room in a reversible way, this is what I would probably do. –  maple_shaft Dec 2 '12 at 14:42
    
You said it was a good idea by posting it. If you wouldn't do it in your own home, please don't suggest others do it. –  Tester101 Dec 3 '12 at 12:12

This is way late for OP, but previous answers claimed that a double-gang box was required to allow a NEC code-approved "barrier" plate between the high- and low-voltage. Some vendors do make a single gang box option where the box contains an internal divider and you use a special divided receptacle. One example can be seen here: https://images.tradeservice.com/NLFIPK6LM8USYT9P/ATTACHMENTS/DIR100005/HUBKELE00211_10.pdf

Alas, that is a "new work" box, so still OP-inappropriate unless he could horse it around from the backside of/inside the wall. But this info may keep future searchers from going away empty-handed...

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