0

I would like to wall-mount my TV and have the wall be as clean as possible. I found this box and my idea was to mount this on the back side of that same wall , then run the power cable (and other cables like Ethernet and Audio) through a hole in the wall to the back, where I can plug everything in without having a wire mess in the front. The room layout and the fact that the TV is very thin and the mount is visible from the sides, makes anything behind it visible from some angle, so I'd like to minimize that...

The fact that every single cable plate specifically says "low voltage" makes me sceptical whether this is possible / allowed. I can't see the real-life issue with it, but would I run into legal/code issues if I installed it that way? If so, what's a smarter way to solve this? I would just like to have as few cables in the front. Any help appreciated!

Sidenote: I'm in Massachusetts and a homeowner (in case that makes a difference regarding code).

  • 1
    Does your TV have a wall-wart? Is it possible to power your TV with low voltage e.g. 12V, 20V or whatever? Is the TV under 55 watts? – Harper Dec 5 '18 at 23:49
  • That box you linked to get installed recessed into the wall so you can mount the TV over it. Proper cable management around the TV mount the wires shouldn't be any more visible than going into a how in the wall. – OrganicLawnDIY Dec 6 '18 at 15:40
  • OP already knows he isn't supposed to run flexible cord through a wall. His question was why. Can anyone explain why the rule exists? – ezekiel stronz Jul 12 at 8:28
6

Of course it's illegal to run power cords inside walls. National Electrical Code 400.8 rolls through the things you can't do with cord, and it's mostly a list of schemes to use them as a substitute for the permanent wiring of a structure. Nope, just nope.

Data cables, on the other hand, can go right into the wall cavity. Punch a hole in the drywall and drop the cables down to another hole you've punched out; reach into the lower hole and fish the cables out, it's that easy. In fact, cable ducts that don't provide power are nothing more than a pretty frame for those holes. There's not even a real duct.

But take a close look at that cable duct that you linked. See the 2-socket receptacle built into the cable duct? Behind the receptacle is a proper junction box: it is to be installed using normal and proper wiring methods for in-wall wiring, such as MC, NM, UF or conduit. Separately from that, the data-cable hatch is just an opening into the wall cavity.

...or use an inlet

Some TV ducts come in two parts, providing an upper and lower duct. The upper duct has a receptacle but the lower duct has a power inlet, which is hardwired to the outlet via MC or other legal in-wall wiring method... as part of the kit. In that type, you plug an extension cord between the inlet and power strip you're using for the rest of the entertainment center. That lets you turn off the TV on a surge suppressor.

You ar also welcome to hire an electrician to install a receptacle and inlet, connected through the wall using proper wiring methods. Or DIY if you are able.

Cheat the rule - low voltage wiring

Some TVs actually use low voltage internally. Either they have a low voltage (e.g. 12V) input, or they use a "wall wart" or power brick to convert their power to low voltage before it even reaches the TV.

Low voltage circuits of 55 watts or less follow the same rules as data cables, i.e. You are allowed to run them inside wall cavities on flexible cordage. So if you are able to power the TV with low voltage, that is the way to beat the rule.

  • 4
    ....as long as you do not try to hide the wall wart or power brick itself inside the wall cavity. – Michael Karas Dec 6 '18 at 5:45
0

It would be a code issue to run the power cord through the wall. They make recessed boxes for doing this that could be connected to another outlet fished through the walls, or to the service panel and a new breaker added. At my last home I had a large theater room I had both recessed outlets and Ethernet boxes in the walls this meets code requirements and looks better than cables running in a hole.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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