Wall mounting a sound-bar - smallest outlet?

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broddo
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Wall mounting a sound-bar - smallest outlet?

Post by broddo » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:22 pm

My goal is to have a totally clean TV setup. I've already wall-mounted my TV and have installed a proper electrical outlet behind the TV for power. All the digital cabling is nicely hidden in the wall too.

I was hoping to also wall mount my sound-bar. But I need to get power to it somehow.My original plan was to install a regular electrical box horizontally, directly behind the sound-bar which would daisy-chain off the TV outlet. The snag is that the sound-bar is only 2 1/2 inches tall so the outlet would still be visible. I've seen plenty of photos online of "floating" sound bars and I've always wondered how they managed to get power to them (hopefully not by doing something that's against code like running the cord behind the wall!)

Any advice? Are there smaller electrical boxes/outlets available? Or am I SOL?

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Aaron
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Re: Wall mounting a sound-bar - smallest outlet?

Post by Aaron » Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:37 am

You'll probably have to be creative with this one, cords can be pretty tough to hide, at least legally. Sound bars are pretty bulky. If you have a big wall wart you need to conceal, you could maybe build a small niche into the stud bay of the wall behind the TV so it can rest there on a power strip that you plug into that same receptacle that the TV is plugged into. Some power strips have flat 90-degree angle plugs so you can snug up furniture (or in this case your TV) against the plug.

This assumes the TV is mounted on an inside wall... if it's on an outside wall, or a wall shared with an attached garage, the niche is not possible because of insulation and/or fire-rated drywall.

If you're seeing a "floating" sound bar, there are definitely power cords being run behind the wall. You can do it legally if there's a metal raceway, or chase, in the stud cavity, and if the power cord is isolated from low-voltage cabling in that same chase. You could use a short section of HVAC duct, with bulk cable wall plates on each end (one end behind the TV, the other behind the speaker).

Honestly, it's all a hassle, and the style of TVs mounted on walls seems to be waning. I'm finding it's becoming more common to see TVs just sitting atop shallow buffet tables, with all the connected HDMI devices, such as streaming boxes and video game consoles, inside the cabinets. Some buffet tables have a shelf right under the top that's perfect for a sound bar, and glass in the cabinet doors allow IR to reach the devices from your remotes.

broddo
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Re: Wall mounting a sound-bar - smallest outlet?

Post by broddo » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:49 am

Thanks for the detailed response! I like the idea of creating a niche but unfortunately in my case, the TV is indeed mounted on an outside wall. It's a pity because that could have been the best option.

You're absolutely right that this is all hassle - and it might not be worth it. But if I can figure out something "simple" enough, then I might give it a go.

You mentioned that it's ok to run the cord in a metal raceway or chase. I wonder what you think of this idea: The outside walls in my basement are Dricore SmartWall. These are essentially 2ft*8ft slabs of drywall, studding and insulation in one. They already contain raceways that are chased into the insulation for electrical (both horizontally and vertically). I've all the electrical done this way and the inspector signed off on it. Do you think I could run the power cord through an empty raceway?

I realize that I may be grasping at straws here!

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Aaron
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Re: Wall mounting a sound-bar - smallest outlet?

Post by Aaron » Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:32 pm

Yeah legally plug-in power cords cannot go behind a finished wall. Only permanent cabling for your switches and receptacles are allowed; this cable has been engineered and listed for building installation.

Low-voltage cables and cords don't matter, the only restriction is these must be isolated from power cords in any electrical enclosure.

It's all for fire safety with combustible materials. That's why its okay if you have a metal-clad raceway/chase.

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emtnut
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Re: Wall mounting a sound-bar - smallest outlet?

Post by emtnut » Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:45 pm

Does the sound bar have a regular plug, or is it a wall wart adaptor ?

If it's a regular plug, you could mount a recessed outlet and plug it in there. You wouldn't be able to see it then.
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