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tl:dr What is a safe way to connect a simple plug-in UPC battery back-up so that it can power a single receptacle on another side of a wall?

We have an older farm house that has been expanded a few times. I have a second wifi mesh router that I want to put on a shelf in our kitchen to improve the wifi. The shelf is about eye level and I will put a power receptacle on the shelf along with a CAT6 connection. I can fish the wires easily enough for the new outlet by going down the wall and connecting to an existing outlet that is on the opposite side of the wall (and hidden in a closet strangely enough).

Anyway, what I really want to do though is have this wifi mesh router on the shelf connected to a UPC battery but there isn't enough space on the shelf (and it would be an eye sore anyway, the little wifi puck is tiny).

So how can I power just that outlet from a cheap UPS?

Idea one: cut off the female end of an extension cord and hard wire it to the new outlet on the kitchen shelf and fish the male end down and out the bottom of the wall (hidden in the closet) and plug into the UPC. (Downsides: male plug stickup out of hole in the wall!)

Idea two: put a second outlet in the closet next to the hot outlet but only wire this new outlet directly to the shelf outlet (so the outlet is not actually hot - just two outlets connected together). Then use a male-to-male power plug and connect the UPC battery backup into the new outlet so it can power the plug above it on the shelf. Like: reversing the flow of electricity.

The second idea seems a little tidier and less gaping holes but also seems stranger so I wonder if there is something I am not thinking of.

Appreciate anyone's help!

Edit: The wifi router I am using is a Google Nest Router (not "point"). The back of the router indicates 14V ⎓ 1.1A.

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  • @MosheKatz — Thanks for that tip. I hadn't though about the danger of the plugging and unplugging. Hmm. Is there a better way to do this?
    – thornomad
    Dec 20, 2021 at 20:07
  • I just finished writing up an answer. I wanted to post that comment before I had time to write the whole answer, since it is so important.
    – Moshe Katz
    Dec 20, 2021 at 20:21
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    How long do you want the power to work for? UPS's are not general-use inverters/“solar generators”. They are sized for exactly one task: giving a computer 10 minutes of power so you can save work, flush databases and write caches, and do an orderly "shutdown -h now". They are wrong for longer jobs. Also, what voltage does the router actually run on? Dec 20, 2021 at 21:27
  • @Harper-ReinstateMonica — I was originally thinking just 30-60 mins (which is how long I am getting from these 425VA backups). I have a whole house generator I can turn on. Its the frequent power "blips" this property gets that I am targeting. The router is 14V ⎓ 1.1A — I updated my question with that info. Thanks for any other ideas you may have!
    – thornomad
    Dec 21, 2021 at 12:31
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    Why don't you just put the router in the closet? Then you can plug it into the UPS and the UPS into the wall using regular power cords the way they are intended. The router being on the other side of the wall should not matter that much, and is partly why you're installing a mesh network right? Sure the signal may be a bit weaker in the kitchen but it could be fine, you can try it first, and you'll have zero wires or equipment in your kitchen, no construction and zero sketchy wires running through walls.
    – jay613
    Dec 21, 2021 at 13:14

2 Answers 2

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A common name for a male-to-male power cord as described in your second idea is a "suicide cord". It's an incredibly bad idea.

The problem with your first idea is that extension cords are not rated for use inside a wall.

Instead, you should use something like this Locking Inlet. You don't strictly need the locking version, but it will prevent someone from accidentally unplugging the cord because you have to twist it in order to unplug.

They also make non-locking inlets that take a regular extension cord, but that relies on the friction within the extension cord's female end to be able to support the weight of the cord.

A third option would be something that uses a computer-style power connector since this type of connector is also specifically designed to support the weight of the cord.

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  • Thanks for the detailed answer. Much better than my idea. The computer style one looks pretty straight forward; I'm not seeing how that round inlet would attach to a standard old work box. Thanks again!
    – thornomad
    Dec 20, 2021 at 21:24
  • Oh so much irony here. So much cabling infrastructure in aid of a wifi mesh network so the nodes can be right in the living space. And that Crutchfield link ... a Decora wall outlet for rack mount equipment. The ultimate in vanity electronics. Ouch.
    – jay613
    Dec 21, 2021 at 13:18
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You fail to provide details on what, exactly, your "tiny WiFi puck" is, but since virtually all such things that are not inherently POE operated (truly the best solution - one UPS at the router/switch powers them all, no extra power wires needed, just the network wires) use a DC adapter plugged into the wall, and are powered by low-voltage DC, not by AC line voltage directly, often the simplest solution is to extend (or simply use, if it's long enough) that low-voltage DC supply cord.

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  • — I updated the question. It's a Google Nest Router (not point) that runs at 14V ⎓ 1.1A. I have two of them already our house is 2500 sq feet. I didn't even know POE so thanks for pointing out that option! When you say its simple to extend ... do you mean fish the DC supply cord from the router down the inside of the wall?
    – thornomad
    Dec 21, 2021 at 12:35
  • Yes put the UPS in the closet, plug in the Nests's wall wart THERE, and run its DC cable through the wall in any manner you want. Just shove it through the drywall with a wire hanger, it doesn't matter. If it's not long enough cut it in half and extend it with phone wire. You can't go wrong. But then, why not just put the nest in the closet too? The wifi signal will go through the wall and you don't even need a wire hanger!
    – jay613
    Dec 21, 2021 at 13:25
  • @ecnerwal I'm on the lookout for an affordable residential mesh with PoE. The commercial ones are all too expensive (IMO) for home use. I know it's not a shopping forum but since you mentioned it ... wouldn't mind any pointers if such exists. I'm using a bunch of Asus routers, they have great mesh capability and you can get them for $40 second hand.
    – jay613
    Dec 21, 2021 at 13:31
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    @jay613 Ubiquiti Unifi
    – Moshe Katz
    Dec 21, 2021 at 18:53

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