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I want to install a recessed outlet behind my TV but I am not sure how to get electricity to the outlet. There is an outlet at the bottom of the wall, below the TV.

Can I run a Romex 14/2 wire from that outlet up the wall to the newly installed outlet behind the TV?

I ordered a Arlington Industries Inc. TVBR255KGC-1 but after taking it out of the box I realized how big it is and does not fit in the middle opening of my wall mount hardware. I could put it below, or above the hardware, if I have to. But it's big and ugly.

EDIT: My breaker box is in a tight spot but I was able to get my camera in there and take some pictures. It's a 15 amp break that controls the outlet at the bottom of the wall.

Picture of the breaker where you can see (barely) that's a 15 amp breaker (third one down from the top):

image

Picture of left side of receptacle:

image

Picture of right side of receptacle:

image

The wires attached to the receptacle are not color coated, but the screws are. Which is white, and which is black?

Can I attach my 14/2 wire to those screws and run it up the wall to the outlet I install behind the TV?

  • Is it an inside wall, or an outside wall? Inside walls typically don't have insulation, while outside walls do. This makes it difficult to run cabling down outside walls. – James Shewey Nov 25 '15 at 18:16
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    @JamesShewey It's an inside wall – Draven Nov 25 '15 at 18:17
  • Do you know what the current outlet is wired in? It might make sense to run 14/3 if the existing outlet does carry a good ground. – BrownRedHawk Nov 25 '15 at 19:11
  • @BrownRedHawk: 14-3 is for split phase wiring (120/240 or 120/208). 14-2 implies two conductors plus a ground. – wallyk Nov 25 '15 at 20:19
  • How did you end up with an outlet installed, but not wired to power? – wallyk Nov 25 '15 at 20:20
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If it's a 15 ampere circuit (the breaker protecting the circuit is 15 amp), then you can use 14/2 with ground between the boxes. If it's a 20 ampere circuit, you'll have to use 12/2 with ground.

Aside from that, it's a fairly simply install.

  1. Run appropriately sized cable between the upper and lower box.
  2. Connect the wires at the existing box (black to black, white to white, green/bare to green/bare).
  3. Connect the wires in the new box to the receptacle (black to brass, white to silver, and green/bare to ground).

If you didn't already buy a receptacle for the new box, surge receptacles are available. Installing a surge receptacle behind the TV, would mean you don't have to try and fit a surge strip back there.

The side of the new box that's not enclosed, can be used to route data/AV cables down to cable boxes and such.


Update

The insulation on the wires appears to be old and worn, but it is clear that one is white and one is not. Not to mention, the white is attached to the silver colored screw, while the not white is attached to the brass colored screw.

Since there's no grounding conductor. You should replace the old receptacle with a GFCI receptacle. To do this:

  1. Connect the white wire from the old receptacle (the one attached to the silver screw), to the silver LINE terminal on the new GFCI receptacle.
  2. Connect the not white wire from the old receptacle (the one attached to the brass screw), to the brass LINE terminal on the new GFCI receptacle.
  3. Connect the white wire leading to the new upper receptacle, to the silver LOAD terminal on the GFCI.
  4. Connect the black wire leading to the new upper receptacle, to the brass LOAD terminal on the GFCI.
  5. Place the "No Equipment Ground" sticker on the GFCI receptacle cover plate.
  6. Place the "GFCI Protected", and "No Equipment Ground" stickers on the cover plate of the upper receptacle.
  • I edited my original post to add pictures. The breaker is 15 amps. There is no ground wire and the wires are not color coated so I am not sure which is which. Can I use the empty screws to run the wire up the wall to the new outlet? – Draven Nov 26 '15 at 2:18
  • @Draven I've updated my answer. – Tester101 Nov 26 '15 at 2:41
  • I read GFCI is used near water sources (we have one in our bathroom). If I stick with our current receptacle, can I use the empty screws? I'm assuming I can. – Draven Nov 26 '15 at 17:03
  • @Draven Since you don't have grounding, a GFCI is recommend/required. – Tester101 Nov 26 '15 at 17:09
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that is a double gang box I think you want a single gang recessed old work box. You can run 14-2 from your original outlet if the breaker is 15A. If the breaker is 20A you will need to use 12-2 wire

  • where you can go larger without violating any code as long as the device can handle the wire size – Ed Beal Nov 25 '15 at 16:22
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    @isherwood, not true. They defintiely should match, but it's not mandatory. And the breaker IS the determining factor in wire sizing for a general use circuit like this. – Speedy Petey Nov 25 '15 at 16:45
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You might want the Arlington kit after all.

The kit recesses the plug on the power cord, so it doesn't stick out, allowing for a more flush mount.

The one side of the kit gives you a path for your HDMI cable to your cable TV box or whatever.

The bridge arrangement lets you plug into a surge strip. If you put an outlet behind the wall, you have to put a surge strip back there too.

If you position the kit right you won't see it behind the TV.

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While it might be big and ugly, if you are sure your TV is going to stay there, your best bet is probably to put the box above or below the TV mounting bracket. No one is going to see behind your TV, so who cares how it looks?

It looks like it is a double width gang to allow you to run both your low-voltage and high-voltage wiring to the same box. I'm assuming the recessed outlet is to keep your TV as close to the wall as possible, so a single gang recessed box for the power and then either a standard faceplate (you can use a spade bit on a blank cover) or simply running your low voltage wiring directly out of your wall with no gang should be fine because - again no one will see it - it's covered by your TV. If you change TVs you can always switch to the double-gang later or install a second gang for the low voltage wiring.

To get power up or down the wall, you will want to use fish tape or fish stix. Run the fish tape up or down the wall and then tape the wire to the fish tape with electrical tape (be sure to use a generous amount - you don't want it to come off in the wall) and then pull the wire back through.

If you choose to come down from the top, you will need to get into the attic and locate the top plate. It is a couple of 2x4s stacked on top of each other and an interruption in the sheet rock by a 2x4 will indicate the top of the wall. Drill though the 2x4 with a spade bit and then run your wire down the wall and enjoy a good movie!

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