Hardwiring speakers?

  • 31 July 2017
  • 9 replies

Has anyone tried to hardwire their mounted speakers so the cord is behind the wall? Is that kosher?

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9 replies

Depends on where you live. In the US, it would be illegal to have those power cords behind drywall. That might not be the case in all countries, though.

I live in the US, so what I did is have an electrician put plugs as close to the location that I wanted the speaker as they possibly could, then purchased some "extensions" from Flexson, and cut them down to the appropriate length and added my own plug ends to them. That way, the speaker power cable isn't all twisted up around the speaker with a cable tie 🙂
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I completely get why it's against code to have power cords in the wall, but I wonder if the rule applies to going THROUGH the wall. I have a couple closets in my house with no power outlets, yet they are idea for storing a connect:amp and other IoT stuff out of the way. I wouldn't think there would be any danger of cutting the wires since they are clearly visible.
Heh. I'm not an expert in building codes, so I've no idea. And frankly, I've done it before in other homes with the power for the TV set, although these days you can get a pretty good system at Home Depot that is appropriately rated to do that.

My assumption on the codes is that if the cord is not visible in any way, it can't be determined if it is frayed and a potential fire risk. But who knows, maybe it was just the electricians who wanted more business in installing TV mounts.
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I'm sure it has something to do with electricians maintaining business. I do get the point that there needs to be a certain quality of wiring. I also thought that wiring in walls needs to be attached to the studs, and not loose. Maybe I'll ask an electrician one day.

As an aside, someone needs to invent some sort of modular walling system that doesn't look like crap and doesn't cost a fortune. Something you can remove and cut into to hide wires as needed, with electrical power and other wiring easily accessible within the wall. That would be so ideal.
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I used to have the electric wire for my plasma in the wall going to outlet on other side - I was always a little nervous about. Really what you should do is mount an electric outlet recessed behind the Sonos.
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If you have an existing outlet between the same studs where you want to put the closet outlet you can easily add an outlet in the closet which avoids the running power cords through the wall.

Get enough wire (match the size and type of the wire on your existing outlet)
Get an outlet and matching cover.
Get a wall box, look for one designed for "existing work" or the like that is intended to be put in a hole cut in your sheetrock.

Turn off your power, confirm that it is off!
Cut a hole where you want the new outlet (avoid hitting a stud or pipes)
Trim one end of the wire so it matches the wire in your existing outlet.
Run the other end of the wire out of your existing outlet and out the hole you cut for the new one.
Run the wire into the new box and mount the box in the hole you cut.
Pull most of the slack wire into the new box and cut it so you can trim it to match the other end.
Connect the wires to your new outlet and secure it in the box.
Connect the other end of the wires to your old outlet.
Turn the power back on and test the new outlet.

Plenty of videos on this and most stores that have the bits to sell you will also be able to provide help in picking the right ones as well as install instructions, might even have a booklet available.
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Never really thought about doing it like that. That would definitely work in 1 of my locations. Maybe in another. Definitely not in a 3rd. The 4th is highly unlikely as it backs up against the garage and the wall is loaded with insulation and cross beams.

Definitely worth looking into though.
If you have access from the back, there's all sorts of magic that you can do. It's the places where both sides are covered in drywall, and it's not a bay where there's already electric in that's a pain 😉
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The "existing work" drywall boxes are miracle workers for adding outlets, no back side access needed.

Now if you have to cross a stud or a cross piece at the sheet rock edges it is a lot more work, crossing two is pretty hard but for the same stud space you just cut a hole in the sheet rock and pop it in and tighten two screws.

Old work single gang box: