This image wall-mount setup should give a good idea of the current TV set up on the wall. enter image description here

I wanted to use a SmartStrip to power my TV and all the other devices (receiver, BluRay player, Wii, cable box) so when my TV goes on standby, the SmartStrip automatically turns off (fully) all the other devices plugged into it. The guy who did the mounting did not know what he was doing (and neither did I), so he used an extension cord to make the TV power cord go down behind the wall, along the basement ceiling and come back up in a hole in the floor behind the entertainment stand! Apparently this is against code and I need to make this right ASAP. But I am still very particular about using the SmartStrip.

What is the best way to do the wiring do I can continue using the SmartStrip, not make any more holes in the wooden paneled wall and leverage the accessibility behind the TV, into the basement and back up? I have heard of solutions like PowerBridge -- is this a viable option? Is there some way to install some sort of power outlet box in the holed space behind the TV and run a code-compliant wiring along the basement ceiling and somehow leverage an electrical outlet in the wall behind the entertainment stand?

  • "so he used an extension cord to make the TV power cord go down behind the wall". I sure hope he wasn't a licensed electrician. If so, you might want to call the licensing department.
    – DA01
    Commented Dec 27, 2011 at 22:20
  • 1
    he was probably some home theater installer
    – auujay
    Commented Dec 27, 2011 at 23:03

2 Answers 2


NEC 725.55 does not allow you to run class 1 cable in the same raceway as class 2 & class 3 cable, so you'll have to run a new power cable outside of the PVC conduit that holds the audio/video cables.

The best way to accomplish this (if you still want to use your SmartStrip), is to use one of these guys.

enter image description here

You'll install one hookup behind the media cabinet, and install the other behind the TV. Next, you'll have to pull properly rated cable between the two boxes (outside of the conduit). Once all the connections are made, you will be able to plug a short extension into the SmartStrip, then into the outlet behind the media cabinet. Now you can plug the TV power cord into the outlet behind the TV, and still benefit from the SmartStrip or other surge suppression device behind the media cabinet.

Unfortunately, you're going to have to cut a couple holes in the wall for the junction boxes. However, if you use old work boxes you'll only have to cut holes large enough for the boxes to slide into, since they don't need to be attached to structural members.

enter image description here

  • Great answer. In a similar product, there are modular covers with precut openings that accept flush mounted jacks for audio, cat 5E, Rg connectors , phone etc. The cables connect to the jacks from behind and the user cable plugs in from the front, very nice looking and very easy to customize. Commented Dec 28, 2011 at 15:19
  • They are sold at Lowes and HD, but I can't find them online to share the link. Commented Dec 28, 2011 at 15:26
  • 1
    @shirlockhomes I use the modular plates and jacks when there is a limited number of connections (<6). but for cables running to the TV I use the "open hole" type, because you'll likely be running non-standard wires (Wii motion sensor, etc.) and you may have a lot of wires so you'll need a 4 gang box by the time it's all said and done.
    – Tester101
    Commented Dec 28, 2011 at 15:34
  • Yikes! I guess if you got that number of items, an open face is better. If just a TV, Audio out and an ethernet, I still like the modulars. but your right, modulars are limited to 3 or 4 max items. Commented Dec 28, 2011 at 17:04
  • @shirlockhomes I have a 2" think umbilical cord going to my TV, no way I'm hooking all that up with modular plates!
    – Tester101
    Commented Dec 28, 2011 at 17:15

If you already own the SmartStrip and are happy with the functionality, the PowerBridge may be the way to go. In effect, it's an extension cord using Romex (Generically: "NM cable"), which is the same wire normally used for in-wall residential wiring, rather than the typical extension code, which is not rated for such use.

If your basement ceiling is finished, you would need to protect the NM cable from damage, as codes generally don't allow it to be run on the surface. If the ceiling is unfinished, you would run it through holes drilled in the centers of the joists (do not drill the holes near the edge, as that will weaken the joist) or stapled to the joist (again, near the center to reduce the risk of accidentally nailing or screwing into it from above or below). If the ceiling is unfinished, you will probably have other wiring visible that you can use to get an idea of proper installation.

I'm not sure from your diagram if you have a wall near the cabinet with the other devices, and whether it's an inside wall that you can access from the basement.

Note that I am not an electrician, and that electrical codes vary from place to place; to be safest, consult with a licensed electrician or your town's electrical inspector if you have any doubts or questions.

A completely different approach would be to use remotely controlled modules like Insteon or Z-Wave with a device that would detect when the TV is on and trigger the remote modules to go on and off. Insteon has a module that looks like it's made just for this problem, the SynchroLinc; I quickly skimmed the Z-Wave site, however, and didn't see anything with exactly that functionality. An advantage to this approach is that you could control modules in more than one location. On the other hand, the SmartStrip is dead simple and provides surge protection for all of the devices at once.

  • Thanks for your reply, @TomG! + yes, there is wall on left side. Stand & subwoofer are backed up in corner of 2 walls. + Access b/w 1st floor and basement is rectangular space originating at 8" hole behind TV, reaching basement ceiling. The TV wires are drawn down through foam/insulation, just above the joists. The wires are then drawn along the basement ceiling, coming back up to the 1st floor through a 4" hole. + basement is unfinished, ceiling is fully exposed. there are bunch of pipes that transport wiring along the space shown by the horizontal dotted lines. + very happy with SmartStrip!
    – Web User
    Commented Dec 29, 2011 at 18:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.