My handyman mounted my TV and cut holes at the top and bottom so we could hide the cords. He went to put the cords through the hole and found a surprise layer of brick in between the holes so he couldn’t drop the wires down. I’m curious if there’s anything I can do to get them hidden? My handyman is out of commission with an injury and these wires are so ugly. I can’t take my tv off the wall because I have brackets and holes up there now.

  • 4
    Cut holes in what? There are lots of ways to hide wiring, but you haven't told us much about your situation.
    – isherwood
    Aug 10 '18 at 15:34
  • 2
    Not much you can do unless you also want to drill through the brick. You can keep the wires external to the wall (and the brick) by using a cable hider. amazon.com/Cable-Concealer-Wall-Cover-Raceway/dp/B01JKO8724 Aug 10 '18 at 15:59
  • 1
    It would be helpful to understand what a "layer" of bricks is doing in the middle of a supposedly otherwise hollow wall. Rather than regard those bricks as a disembodied obstacle. It's hard to imagine a row of bricks with hollow interior wall BENEATH them. Why? If you knew where they start, end, what supports what, and what the shape, extent, and purpose is of the adjacent hollow spaces you'll be in a better position to decide what to do.
    – jay613
    May 13 at 15:39
  • Some pictures would be helpful.
    – Paul Price
    May 13 at 20:23

You can't just throw power cords through walls

Obviously, this handyman makes a couple bucks with a drywall hole saw, punching holes in walls and telling people to drop their TV cords and cables through the holes. For signal and data cables, sure. But for mains power cords, that's illegal. You should fire this guy, as he's probably been doing lots of illegal and dangerous work for lots of families, and have someone competent check the work he's done.

It doesn't work for mains power cables for two reasons. First, you can't enter or exit a wall, except at a junction box. Second, wire inside walls must be a different type, as the safety requirements are completely different. Have a competent person run conduit or special in-wall cable such as NM from any convenient outlet to a site behind the backside of your TV.

Also if your TV is powered by low voltage cable and a wall-wart, and total power is less than 55W, the low voltage cable can go inside the wall directly. The wall-wart cannot!

The rules for data cables are more flexible. However the brick in the wall is not random. That's going to require either finding a route around it, or having an engineer determine whether it is safe to remove it. Holing it large enough to pass data cables through will be effectively the same as removing it. Those bricks could be holding up your house.

(Yes, I know. It's the never-ending battle between architects, who have to make the house actually able to stand up, and interior designers who want those annoying structural features to go away.)

Another option, after fitting electrical socket***s*** behind the TV, is to have a qualified professional reroute the TV cable (and ethernet?) to a location directly behind the TV, and then mount the cable box behind the TV also.

I assume you are dealing with a Roku3 or Comcast style cable box where the remote is radio-based; older less sophisticated cable boxes use infrared-based remotes which require line-of-sight to the cable box. You can detect an infrared remote by seeing how far away it'll work at night, and then try again in broad daylight with direct sun blasting the cable box. If broad daylight reduces the range, it's infrared-based. (the sun is very loud with infrared light, which the remote has trouble shouting over).

  • 2
    If you're in country where bright sunshine is rare, you can look at the remote with a mobile phone camera. The IR LED should show when you press a button on the remote. Sep 12 '18 at 13:46
  • I think this answer is a little fuzzy. You state it's illegal, but then note you can do it with smurf tube...which is the standard way, so I think it'd be better to say "if you are running the power cord, make sure it's running through smurf tube and back out before being plugged in."
    – DA01
    Dec 20 '18 at 15:47
  • @DA01 you're right, it is, but ai never said you could run flexible cords through smurf tube. You can't. appliance cords such as SJOOW are not anything like in-wall wiring like NM or THHN. Dec 20 '18 at 16:42
  • @Harper yes, good point. It's common, but definitely a no-no in terms of code.
    – DA01
    Dec 20 '18 at 17:04
  • How does "code" apply to what homeowners may place in wall cavities, when done not as part of any construction activity? EG a power cord through a wall, "temporarily" even if that means for the entire duration of home ownership.
    – jay613
    May 13 at 15:33

Sounds like you have structural brick (holding up the house) instead of a brick veneer (held up by the house). If that's not true and there's literally just a line of brick between and away from the holes for a stairwell or offset floors, etcetera.

Then, that line of bricks is perfectly safe to drill through for your project. This, would require a 3rd and 4th hole of considerable size. It would be best to remove and replace brick in that case.

Which leads me to another 2 options. #1 is to remove and replace brick to put the wires behind them and #2 is to just remove enough mortar to accommodate the wires and a facing of mortar to conceal the wires in the brick's mortar step pattern.

I think your only other options are to either apply a faux brick wallpaper or exterior siding to the wall. This presumes you can find a near perfect match to the wall, which may be a longshot. Or, to paint the wires like the wall to camouflage them quite well.

FYI, concealment of your wires is completely legal under the 2014 NEC (what's currently law in most States). Section 400.4 dictates the only wires the NEC cares about, Section 400.7 gives the NEC's hands-off to conceal away and the very start of 400.8 confirms the NEC hands-off.


Looks like it's going to be complicated to hide the wires inside the wall.

You could put one of these on the wall to hide the wires in though.

enter image description here

If installed correctly, it's not very noticeable. Example:

enter image description here

You can also paint it to match your wall.

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