I'm installing an alarm system and I'd like some help figuring out the best way to provide power to the keypad. The keypad uses a micro USB cable for power.

I want to mount the keypad on one side of an archway, and the nearest outlet is several feet away on the other side of the archway. The question at this point is how to run the cable so that it's safe and looks nice. Here are the ideas I'm considering:

  • Option 1: Get a 12 foot USB cable and use cable tie mounts every few feet to hold it to the wall.
    • Pros: It's cheap and easy.
    • Cons: It doesn't look very nice. The vertical run would be in a high traffic area and the cable could be snagged.
  • Option 2: Run the cable down inside the archway, bring it out near the floor on the other side, and run it along the baseboard to the outlet.
    • Pros: Looks okay, and protects the section of cable that's most likely to be damaged by people passing by.
    • Cons: I'm having trouble finding a USB cable rated for in-wall use. Do those even exist? Also, there are AC power wires in the same wall cavity, and I think I read once that they're not allowed to share the cavity with low voltage wires.
  • Option 3: Install a recessed outlet box in the wall (e.g. http://a.co/d/abG4fO3) with an outlet that provides USB power (e.g. http://a.co/d/fjQMVR3). Then install the keypad over the top of the outlet, connecting it with a very short cable.
    • Pros: It completely hides the wiring.
    • Cons: It's kind of a pain to install compared to the other options, and it's more expensive.
  • Option 4: Buy some plastic conduit that sticks to the outside of the wall, and run the cable through that.
    • Pros: Looks better than option 1 and helps to protect the cable.
    • Cons: One of the more expensive options, and doesn't look as nice as hiding the cable in the wall.

What would you recommend? Are there better options I haven't listed?

  • 1
    For #2, you don't need to run an actual USB cable in the wall. You could use regular ol' two conductor alarm wire and put a USB plug on the end where it connects to the keypad. Since there's no data, the USB spec for wire doesn't really matter.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 20:44
  • 2
    Option 2, low voltage is not allowed to share the same cable, conduit or raceway. Wall cavity is fine. Option 3 covers up a junction box with parts of the building, which may have some code issues. Proper alarms are hardwired with low voltage thermostat style cable, and "alarms that wire with USB" are inherently cheapies, and cheapies have little consideration for fit-and-finish and transfer more effort onto you. That is the tradeoff. Point being, for all the love you're putting into the install, you might save yourself some time with better alarms. Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 21:51
  • wireless keypad?
    – Jasen
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 23:01
  • @Jasen It uses Z-Wave, so the only wires it needs are for power to the keypad and the base station.
    – mrog
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 23:21


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