I want to add an outlet behind my TV, and another in a nearby coat closet for the cable box. I don't have an outlet in a stud cavity below the TV so I need to fish one from ~6 feet over.

I'd like to keep the outlet on the same circuit (for my sanity when shutting things off later). Is it acceptable to run electrical down from the existing outlet into the basement and then back up into the wall cavity behind the TV? Or should I cut an extra hole in the drywall below the TV and drill holes horizontally, and fish it up from there?

2 Answers 2


Electricity doesn't care much whether it runs vertically or horizontally (it really only cares how far it runs).

Often the easiest way to add an outlet or switch is to run it down through a basement or up through an attic. So long as the cable is properly buried in the wall cavities and you don't unreasonably compromise structural members, there should be no problem.

This assumes, of course, that you are not overloading a circuit, that you are using the proper gauge of wire, and that any exposed cabling is in a permitted area (usually an unfinished basement or attic is okay under most local codes). You also need to make sure cables are properly tacked down and not subject to damage, and that as you drill, you are not hitting other cables, pipes, or leaving hidden cables too close to a surface where they might get damaged in the future.

  • Thanks, bib. Was worried about proper "style". I figured it would work, wanted to make sure it wasn't against best practice .This will definitely make life much easier. Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 20:18
  • 1
    Ironically, many of us resist cutting holes in drywall, thinking about patching and painting. Often it is the easiest thing to do. Once you have to start cutting multiple access holes and drilling several studs, the balance often shifts to going through the floor or ceiling. But don't underestimate the challenges of fishing. Easiest done with a flexible shaft drill bit with a hole in the end for a clip to pull a fishline back through.
    – bib
    Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 21:24
  • Fishing is easy if you use interior walls.
    – Joshua
    Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 22:41
  • @Joshua Unless you have fireblocks, interior horizontal piping or unaligned walls.
    – bib
    Commented Oct 5, 2015 at 23:10

Keep in mind that you should always consult the electrical code statutes for your region / state / country, as they vary a lot. You might not be allowed to have the same branch circuit feeding a room that is upstairs and another that is in the basement. In this case, you would have to dedicate a new circuit on the panel, or branch it off another receptacle in the basement.

Also, you might not be allowed to put a receptacle inside a closet, due to an elevated risk of fire.

  • 1
    Can you elaborate on the "receptacle in closet" point? Where is this in effect? Commented Oct 6, 2015 at 3:58
  • Can you cite any sources for this information, or is this simply your opinion?
    – Tester101
    Commented Oct 6, 2015 at 14:52

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