wiring an outlet with a twist

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curtis73

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Long story short, in my fireplace construction project, I will be hanging the TV over the mantel. I have run wires through the wall, and I'm making a fake stone out of a 1U keystone panel. In effect, I'll have a stone with speaker, LAN, and HDMI keystones in it. I'm also going to cut to mount a panel-mount 120v outlet in it for the TV. Like this:

1601920647126.png
How do I wire it correctly? I don't mean which wire goes where, I know that... I mean - what is the most kosher way to go from NM-B in a nearby box to stranded to accept crimps. As you can see, the outlet comes with stranded pigtails and crimp connectors. I have a box about 3' away from where my keystone-stone will be. So the way I see it, I have three options: 1) run NM-B from the box and do the non-kosher thing of putting crimp connectors on solid conductors, 2) run stranded wire from the box and do the non-kosher thing of tucking stranded wire behind a screw post on the duplex in the box, or 3) use a jumper of NMB in the box wire-nutted to stranded over to the keystone-stone.

A picture to demonstrate in case you're a visual person. I basically need to know the most kosher way to go from a rear-post, screw-terminal duplex and end up with a spade connector. I suppose I need to transition to stranded, but what is the best way to do that? wire nuts? straight off the post on the duplex?

1601922154790.png
 

bud16415

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By code you can’t make any connections unless they are in a Jbox or some sort of electrical enclosure, and the enclosure has to be accessible to get at the connections.



Is there going to be an access door etc to get into that space.



Many people run romex between the outlet behind the TV to an inlet near the equipment area. That way the TV can be plugged into the surge protector in the equipment area.



One company that sells these is called power bridge.

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/powerb...TVKt2hoavx9xvaN-_ZhoCKbkQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
 

Snoonyb

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You could also go between the boxes with fluorescent whips, available at the big boxes, which as I recall are stranded, so you twist the stranded and wrap it around the screws at the outlet and use wire nuts to the pigtails of the prewired recep.
 

JoeD

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You need to run NM cable to a box where you can use wire nuts to connect to that receptacle which also needs to be in that box.
 

curtis73

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By code you can’t make any connections unless they are in a Jbox or some sort of electrical enclosure, and the enclosure has to be accessible to get at the connections.

The 1U panel I'm using (and turning into a "stone") is a UL listed enclosure. It will be screwed to the face of the chase on the fireplace, so technically, I'm going from a box to a box, each with access using two screws.
Many people run romex between the outlet behind the TV to an inlet near the equipment area. That way the TV can be plugged into the surge protector in the equipment area.
One company that sells these is called power bridge.

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/powerb...TVKt2hoavx9xvaN-_ZhoCKbkQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

I have some similar pieces to those, but my point is to not have a square, plastic box in the middle of a field of stone veneer on the fireplace. Normally I wouldn't mind since it's behind the TV, but the TV doesn't always hang there. It sometimes goes outside for movie night, or disappears when I have company over. When I'm looking at the fireplace, I don't want to see a big plastic box. I'm making this fake stone so that my connections visually disappear into the chase.
 

curtis73

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You could also go between the boxes with fluorescent whips, available at the big boxes, which as I recall are stranded, so you twist the stranded and wrap it around the screws at the outlet and use wire nuts to the pigtails of the prewired recep.
Good to know. I was concerned that stranded wire on a screw post at the duplex was a no-no, and I knew it was a no-no to run SOOW through a wall. I would actually eliminate the wire nuts part and put crimps directly on the stranded whip to the posts on the receptacle. The 1U panel I'm using is a rated box, but very small, so not much room for folding wires/nuts. Plus, fewer connections is better than more connections.
 

curtis73

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You need to run NM cable to a box where you can use wire nuts to connect to that receptacle which also needs to be in that box.
I suppose I could put a box behind my 1U panel to house the connection.

It's a little hard to describe. The panel is a rated box, but it's designed for panel-mount connections; keystones, IECs, fuse holders, etc. It's only about 1.5" deep, so it's designed to be part of a rack-mount system which would have its own 18" of space behind it. The panel, in effect, is both the faceplate and the box, but not deep enough to house NM, pigtails, and wire nuts. But I suppose I could put a J-box behind the panel to house the connection. In effect, if I can run some sort of stranded from the duplex to this panel, I can go directly to crimp spade connectors on the receptacle and then all connections are in the box. If I go NM to the box, the connections will be technically hanging outside behind the box which is a no-no.

What about stranded THHN from the duplex through a conduit to this panel/box? Then crimp connectors on the THHN with a good flow of solder. Just trying to eliminate excessive connecting.

And it should be noted that (for this situation) code is a great guideline and there for a reason; safety and continuity, but suffice it to say that this won't be an inspected element. It needs to be safe, but not strictly to code.
 

ekrig

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The outlet you showed is usually made for using with appliances with a solid (e.g., sheet metal) front piece. Even with the prior posts, I'm not convinced that an inspector would be ok with what you have in mind. And, considering that it going to be stressed over the fireplace, I wouldn't want to be casual about it.

All in all, it seems to me that all you want is an outlet with a stone-faced faceplate that integrates with the rest of the decor. Personally, I would use a standard outlet box with a dark/black-colored outlet, such as the one in the link below, and then build the stone face on top of the faceplate for those outlets. Since your stone veneer is going to build on top of the backing board, it needed just push the outlet a bit further in and cut the stone for the faceplate thinner

 

curtis73

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But if I'm covering the faceplate, I'm removing the ability to access the box which is a no-no.
 

ekrig

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Of course, you'd leave the faceplate screws accessible to remove it. The stone veneer in the faceplate would simply
integrate with the surroundings. I've seen folks hide whole doors like that.

I mentioned this alternative because I really can't understand how you'd access the box in the way you were initially proposing. Regardless, if you're clear about the way you have in mind and you've talked with your local electric inspector who said it was ok, then go for it.
 

JoeD

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I suppose I could put a box behind my 1U panel to house the connection.

It's a little hard to describe. The panel is a rated box, but it's designed for panel-mount connections; keystones, IECs, fuse holders, etc. It's only about 1.5" deep, so it's designed to be part of a rack-mount system which would have its own 18" of space behind it. The panel, in effect, is both the faceplate and the box, but not deep enough to house NM, pigtails, and wire nuts. But I suppose I could put a J-box behind the panel to house the connection. In effect, if I can run some sort of stranded from the duplex to this panel, I can go directly to crimp spade connectors on the receptacle and then all connections are in the box. If I go NM to the box, the connections will be technically hanging outside behind the box which is a no-no.

What about stranded THHN from the duplex through a conduit to this panel/box? Then crimp connectors on the THHN with a good flow of solder. Just trying to eliminate excessive connecting.

And it should be noted that (for this situation) code is a great guideline and there for a reason; safety and continuity, but suffice it to say that this won't be an inspected element. It needs to be safe, but not strictly to code.
The panel box must have some way to make a power connection to it when mounted in the rack. The bottom line is that you can not have power connection in open air. Any wires running between box need to be NM not single conductors.
Post a picture of the entire assy.
 

bud16415

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Here is my ideas of the day.



Behind the TV you leave one stone unattached and in that spot you locate the Jbox or a Power bridge box outlet and cables HDMI etc. When the TV is not hanging you have a stone you pop back in that hides it all. Could be held with Velcro or something.

Second idea. Most TV also have to be mounted one of two ways. If wall mounted you use a mounting bracket that is a large unsightly thing, or you can leave the feet on the TV and shelf mount it. If you plan to take the TV up and down and use it outside the feet seem logical. In that case set the TV on the mantel and hide all your connections in the mantel instead of the stone.
 

curtis73

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I will post a picture when I get home in a few days.

When mounted in a rack, the receptacle snaps into the face and the pigtails push on to the blades with crimp connectors. I suppose the entire rack is the enclosure... if you consider 24 cu ft an enclosure.

When adding outlets to a rack, you use boxes like this (pictured below) because they are UL rated boxes themselves. Mine is similar to this keystone panel, but with a mixture of keystones and holes for the outlets I pictured.

1602080485650.png
At work (theater), we have multiple racks like this (pictured below) that have IECs, outlets like I pictured, and twist lock in a 20 cu ft rack that are just wired to the back with no box, so I'm assuming the rack itself is the enclosure.

1602080745547.png
 

curtis73

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Here is my ideas of the day.



Behind the TV you leave one stone unattached and in that spot you locate the Jbox or a Power bridge box outlet and cables HDMI etc. When the TV is not hanging you have a stone you pop back in that hides it all. Could be held with Velcro or something.

I'm kinda speechless. I had the same exact idea, right down to the velcro, when I woke up this morning.
 

bud16415

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I'm kinda speechless. I had the same exact idea, right down to the velcro, when I woke up this morning.


Haha so that was you in the dream I had.



Yes that whole rack is one big enclosure and as long as it has sides and a top and a door that closes to contain it all as far as I know what goes on inside is fine.

You could even build up something to look like mortar to the edges of the removable rock to finish off the illusion. Besides what a great conversation starter when you have company over and the TV is put away asking your friends guess where I plug the TV in?
 

JoeD

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That is not acceptable device for mounting a receptacle in your home. All the wiring must be enclosed within a box.
 
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