Is there a code the prevents me from installing a concealed 120 volt electrical receptacle inside of my ceiling for a camera? The electrical receptacle would be accessible using an access panel similar to what plumbers use like this one.

I can only find one article online but it is specifically asking about drop/suspended ceilings. My ceiling is drywall so I am hoping it might fall under different rules.

  • I think that electrical boxes must be accessible to get at, without needing to tear out/remove/deconstruct anything in fount of them. An access door should be allowed, since it is not hidden and can be open anytime to look/inspect. You cannot place a junction box on/in a wall and cover it with drywall completely.
    – crip659
    Apr 4, 2022 at 17:52
  • Does the camera not support DC power, such as PoE through the Ethernet cable?
    – user1686
    Apr 4, 2022 at 18:08
  • @user1686 it has a wall adapter but can be powered through USB. Apr 4, 2022 at 19:23

1 Answer 1


If your desire is to entirely conceal an electrical outlet with something plugged into it inside a drywall ceiling, I'd say:

  1. It's not code-compliant
  2. Even if you could do this, you shouldn't, because the camera and/or its power supply will fail or will become redundant or you'll or you'll just want to upgrade to something new, and then you'll need to smash open your ceiling.

My suggestion: Find a way to run low voltage DC power to the camera location from a suitable place with a wall outlet.

The alternative, to have AC power at the camera location is to either mount the outlet exposed, so you'll have an ugly PSU and wires plugged into the ceiling, or to mount a recessed outlet with an access cover inside the ceiling, but that's pretty expensive and not subtle.

  • the outlet would be covered by an access panel so it wouldn't need to have the ceiling smashed for access. Essentially you would just pop the cover off and the outlet would be beneath it. Apr 4, 2022 at 19:24
  • 1
    Sorry I missed that in the question. Then I think it is ok, but whether it can be done with a plumbing-type solution where the outlet and PSU are in the open ceiling void, or whether it requires a special recessed enclosure, depends on the circumstances. Your question is a little imprecise and has already been closed as a result. I suggest you edit it to ask what I think is your meaining:
    – jay613
    Apr 4, 2022 at 20:11
  • If I put an outlet in a ceiling behind an removable accessible panel, is it ok for it to be in the otherwise open ceiling cavity, or must it be in a special recessed enclosure? Either way it will be accessible via a removable panel. (I think the answer depends on the type of building, whether the ceiling is used for air handling, and probably varies a lot by jurisdiction ... but I don't actually know the answer.)
    – jay613
    Apr 4, 2022 at 20:12
  • 1
    Also, your linked article about "flexible cords" would not apply if, as is likely, your camera has a wall-wart style PSU with only a DC wire and no AC cord. If you edit the question you should make that clear also.
    – jay613
    Apr 4, 2022 at 20:24

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