Home > categories > Construction & Real Estate > Plasterboard > is it safe to run a power cord behind a plasterboard wall?
Question:

is it safe to run a power cord behind a plasterboard wall?

and a/v components..if not then why not?

Answer:

It's an NEC code violation (and a fire hazard) to run portable power cords through concealed building structure. Not a problem for A/V signal or communications cable since it's not line voltage. Any current carrying cable embedded in an inaccessible space has to be DIRECTLY connected to an overcurrent device (fuse or breaker). So portable extension and equipment connection cords with a plug on the end are not permitted. By most codes, all that's allowed inside your house walls is NM cable (Romex), metalclad (BX and MC) and conduit with THHN copper wire pulled in it, all running directly off a breaker or fuse and terminating or spliced through in always accessible backboxes or devices. So, despite what the one previous answer said, you can NOT use the rubber or plastic cables that come with electronics in a concealed space -- this includes extension cords, ripcord and any other appliance type cable. Besides not being rated for such use (and thus illegal no matter how you look at it), in practical terms they are too small a gauge to be protected by even a 15 amp fuse and they are typically stranded rather than solid copper -- more fragile and susceptible to fraying and shorts than the solid copper in NM.
May 11, 2017
As long as you treat it like regular installed household wiring when installing and don't exceed the amperage rating of the cord, you should be fine. You might want to provide a fuse for the equipment you will be operating as an additional safety measure, I know I would. As far as the other comment regarding a fire, this could happen with any type of wiring. Hope that helps!
May 11, 2017
No, you need to provide an additional electrical outlet for your A/V components. I would run a separate 20 amp circuit for an outlet for your entertainment center, and plug everything into a surge strip.
May 11, 2017
If your building code allows romex, use that as your power cord. If the a/v components are low voltage, that would be fine.
May 11, 2017
Not advisiable..... I had a house fire once because of an electrical wire behind a wall that burnt my whole kitchen down. I was lucky to get out alive.
May 11, 2017

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