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Happy Friday!

I wanted to get a bit of feedback on different options I have on installing electrical outlet behind TV Mount.

I have attached photos of open wall construction, from back in the days - currently it is all covered with the drywall. One photo has red lines showing TV position (77" TV) - outer red box - while the inner box is the place where electrical outlet can be installed. I have also uploaded original photo to allow unobstructed view of the open wall.

There is already an outlet at the bottom, which is almost centered for the entire wall, for which the wire runs from top of the ceiling.

Option 1

One of the option is to intercept the wire and add additional electrical outlet (the small red box shown in one of the photo).

(+) Point: This avoids running a conduit / wire up to the outlet at the bottom of the wall.

(-) Point: This requires cutting the wire out and adding outlet in between. There is "no extra" wire to work with (I see that about 6 inch of wire is left inside electrical box to work with) so I might have to use additional connections within the electrical box I believe. I haven't done such thing before so unsure how feasible & easy it is.

Option 2

The other option is to add electrical outlet that connects with the outlet at the bottom of the wall through conduit.

(+) Point: This avoids complications of the above option, i.e. cutting out the wire and adding electrical box.

(-) Point: This exposes connecting cable from the conduit to the outlet at the bottom to run electricity. Even though this can eventually get hidden behind a TV unit but we are unsure what we will put down below.

Option 3 (Preferred option?!?)

3rd option is to basically add two single gang electrical box on top of each other with some space apart. This way I can still cut the current top to bottom wire from the middle and manage to use two single gang box to patch the cut wire together by means of passing a long wire between the two gang box. Within the gang box I can add connections as needed to ensure electricity is continued.

Basically the following idea: enter image description here

(+) Point: Avoids running wire to the bottom outlet given the amount of foam present. (+) Point: Alleviates the concern of not having enough cable length to work with when cut in the middle when using just one electrical box.

(-) Point: None I can think of, except not sure if it is safe to add two more outlet on the same circuit. I am unsure if it is 14 AMP or 20 AMP circuit, I guess having white wire indicates it is 14 AMP circuit?!

I am primarily looking to get help on "Option 1", i.e. how to intercept the wire to add additional outlet, esp. when there is not much of an extra wire length to work with since it is all tied to the stud.

Please note following:

  1. there is foam inside of the drywall since other side faces exterior.
  2. The electrical outlet at the bottom is foam sealed as you can see in the image below. Not sure how big of a problem it is to fish the wire through it.

Welcome any other better options as well.

Open Dry Wall Image with Electrical Wiring - Red Markings

Open Dry Wall Image with Electrical Wiring - Original

enter image description here

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  • At least you're considering this while the walls are still open!
    – keshlam
    Commented Mar 4, 2023 at 7:15
  • 1
    @keshlam Actually, the OP stated that the drywall (with foam insulation) is already up.
    – DoxyLover
    Commented Mar 4, 2023 at 7:29
  • Option 1 is a no go, code requires several inches of extra wire in the future box, and you have none to work with. You have no choice but to run a new wire from an existing junction box. Commented Mar 4, 2023 at 7:30
  • Hi @whatsisname - Thank you, Makes sense. How easy it is to run wire through the foam inside dry wall? plus, there is a sealed foam (pink color on the outside of the electrical outlet at bottom) as well - how easy is it to cut through that to fish the wire? (It is /not/ spray foam but the rolled insulation foam - similar in texture to what might be used in pillows and such)
    – Mac0988
    Commented Mar 4, 2023 at 7:34
  • Dismount drywall. Cut channel in foam. Run wire. Perhaps fill channel with foam previously removed, or new scraps cut to size, or with spray foam though that will glue it firmly in place. reattach drywall. *Sanity check:"Are you sure the foam you are using is approved for this use? I've never seen floppy stuff used in buildings.
    – keshlam
    Commented Mar 4, 2023 at 8:12

1 Answer 1

3

You have two choices of how to go about this. Both involve adding some additional new jacketed cable.

  1. Open the drywall at the new outlet location behind where the new outlet box will be located. Reach in the wall and cut the existing top to bottom cable a good bit below the cut hole. Now install a new electrical box in the cutout and bring the cut cable into the top of the electrical box for the new outlet. Next string in a new cable from the bottom of the new box to the top of the lower existing electrical box. The existing part of the vertical cable that you cut will be discontinued and may very well want to be pulled down out at the lower outlet.

  2. Open the drywall at the new outlet location behind where the new outlet box will be located. Fish a new cable from this cutout down to the top entry of the existing lower electrical box. Install the new upper electrical box with the added wire entering from the bottom of the added box.

By far the most sane way to do this is to use option 2. The main reason you may want to entertain option 1 is if adding the new cable to the lower box makes, adding an additional cable, makes the box too filled with wires and connections (may be time to learn about box fill calculations).

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  • Can't reach in the wall—it's now full of foam.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Mar 4, 2023 at 14:00
  • Rigid foam or soft foam padding?
    – Michael Karas
    Commented Mar 4, 2023 at 18:00
  • Hi @MichaelKaras - Thanks, Option 2 seems to be the most called out like you said. I am unsure of two things like I mentioned, wondering if you can advise. (1) Since there is foam inside (rolled up form), I am unsure how easy it is to fish a wire. (2) The bottom outlet already has some insulation on the top of the electrical box (pink color if you zoom in to the picture), how easy it is to fish wire through it?
    – Mac0988
    Commented Mar 4, 2023 at 18:54
  • @Mac0988 - In the just added picture the insulation looks more like a push in type material that comes in pads. The grey/brown color tends to rule out that it is fiberglass insulations pads which are usually pink or yellow in color. There really should be zero real problem of getting an electrical cable from the upper opening to the lower opening. A small amount of drywall surgery may be required at the lower box. It may require that you poke some type of stiff wire or rod down from the top opening to the lower opening. If it is truly firm solid foam in the wall then that is another story.
    – Michael Karas
    Commented Mar 4, 2023 at 23:31
  • Oh by pink color form, I meant insulation on the top of the electrical box itself, just to seal the gap where wire enters the electrical box. Ok understood, thanks @michaelkaras.
    – Mac0988
    Commented Mar 4, 2023 at 23:58

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