I am planning to add a recessed wall box for my TV so I can put the connections behind its wall mount. Most of these boxes come with a pass-through of some sort as well as a spot for a single-gang receptacle.

I'd like to put a 20A (NEMA 5-20R) receptacle here, so I don't need to run the power cable very far, but I'd also like for it to be surge protected.

I know I can get surge-protected receptacles, but given the consumable nature of a surge protector, I'd rather wire the receptacle to a cord-and-plug termination (a NEMA 5-20P) and plug it into my existing surge protector.

I'm having trouble finding if there is a code-compliant (NEC 2014 or 2017, which my jurisdiction will soon adopt) way to do this.

My current thought is to wire this receptacle only to another receptacle so they form an isolated circuit. Then, I get a cord, doubly-terminated with NEMA 5-20P ends and I plug one end into the "other" receptacle and the other end into the surge protector.

  • 1
    Not sure I completely follow, but it sounds like you want to make a male-male cable, which is definitely not safe for 120v.
    – CactusCake
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 21:08
  • 1
    What's the point of the intermediate receptacle? Code aside, why not just connect the male end of an extension cord to the recessed receptacle and plug that into your surge protector?
    – isherwood
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 21:16
  • 1
    you can get a wall mount inlet made for just this purpose.
    – agentp
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 21:25
  • @cactuscake (and Tom, but I can only tag one person). It's only dangerous if you unplug the wrong side first, but yeah, that's true...
    – Hari
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 22:13
  • @isherwood Just so I don't need to snake an extension cord behind the wall, and I need both outlets on the receptacle, so I can't take one up to power it. Assuming I understand what you're saying...
    – Hari
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


Use an inlet (or a full in-wall TV power kit, if required by the AHJ)

What you want for getting power back into the wall isn't a second outlet, but its mirror image, namely an inlet (product shown for exposition only):

flanged 5-15 inlet

That way, you can use a (short) length of ordinary extension cord between the surge protector and the inlet, then have normal building wiring from the inlet to another outlet. This is similar to a 400.7 (11) setup:

(11) Between an existing receptacle outlet and an inlet, where the inlet provides power to an additional single receptacle outlet. The wiring interconnecting the inlet to the single receptacle outlet shall be a Chapter 3 wiring method. The inlet, receptacle outlet, and Chapter 3 wiring method, including the flexible cord and fittings, shall be a listed assembly specific for this application.

only with the surge suppressor in the middle, which to me, would make it fall under 400.7 point 6 instead (you're facilitating the interchange of the surge suppressor or other intermediate device here). However, your AHJ may require a 400.7 (11) kit -- these are called "in-wall TV power kits" generically, but are sometimes known by a trade name of "PowerBridge". These include the inlet, outlet, and the wiring between them in the wall, and typically are designed to be easily field fitted, using an integral connector system.

  • Thanks for providing a code reference. Article 400.7(11) is interesting because I was specifically planning to use one that didn't have an inlet as part of the kit.
    – Hari
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 23:52
  • I'm going to post another question soon, but to clarify article 400.7, you can't run an appliance's cord through a wall, correct? That seems to be specifically prohibited unless it qualifies as "[facilitating] frequent interchange"
    – Hari
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 0:01
  • @HariGanti -- you can't run the cord through the wall, but a 400.7(11) kit makes it so that you don't have to :) Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 0:02
  • That's what I thought... I also want to mount a soundbar, but that's only 2" tall, so it'd be nearly impossible to conceal the plug with a conventional kit. That and the kits are insanely overpriced.
    – Hari
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 0:19
  • @HariGanti not even then. Cords through walls are nope, unless they're doorbell, thermostat, phone, ethernet and jazz like that... speaker... Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 0:27

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