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Proulx06 01-09-2008 11:36 AM

Home theater install (couple electrical Q's)

I realize there is a home theater forum, but this is relevant to this forum and it gets more action.

I'm mounting my 32" lcd in my living room, and doing it RIGHT and within code. Running romex from a basement circuit up to a two-gang box just above the mount, where I'll be plugging in the TV, a surround sound receiver, and my cable box.

My questions:

1 - What do I do for surge protection? A standard surge-protected power strip is irrelevant, and there's not enough room behind my LCD when mounted to fit one of those plug-in surge protectors. Do they make protected receptacles? Would they require any special wiring?

2 - See the image below, and I'm looking at the white border to clean up the holes I'll make to run my component cables (mounted on a shelf) up to the TV. Does that just look like a decora-style wallplate screwed into an Old Work box? I'd rather not waste a box, so do you know of any wallplates that mount directly to drywall for things like this?

Thanks for all your help!

Piedmont 01-09-2008 02:22 PM

Surge protecting receptacles ain't cheap, about $35-$40 but as is the case here when you need one there aren't a lot of other options. They don't require special wiring and you can see and get one at

Your other question, of putting in that hole to do it properly you use a Carlon SC100R, about $2.50 and I believe I've seen other similar things. They look like
as you can see you cut and push it in the opening and then as you tighten the screws the flaps move up and lock it in place. Then you can put any face on it you desire without worries of wearing things out or damaging the wall. Looks like they just used a standard rectangular faceplate. The Carlon SC100R afterward should look like below, then you can screw in any face you want.

Your cables burried in the wall, make sure they're specified for such. For example, if you're going to bury HDMI cables in a wall you need ones with the CL2 (Category 2) rating. Don't be fooled that you need expensive high-end ones either... until you approach 20-25ft in length you will not notice any difference between cheap HDMI & expensive ones. I got my HDMI cables at monoprice, for under $5 and they are awesome.

jerryh3 01-09-2008 02:33 PM

1. Yes, they make surge receptacles.
2. It actually looks like a decora plate screwed to a low voltage mounting ring.
I believe the big box stores carry both.

Proulx06 01-09-2008 02:39 PM

You guys are awesome. I was poking around another site and found this Leviton surge-protected receptacle that allows a standard Decora plate (since I'll be installing two receptacles): dfid=1

And thanks for the link to that second old-work type thing that accepts plates. Those should work great!

I appreciate both of your help!

Piedmont 01-09-2008 03:16 PM

I wouldn't use that surge receptacle it's rated for 20A. They probably have a 15A though, which is what you need (I also noticed my link in prior post doesn't tell you if it's 15A or 20A). Most likely your circuit is currently 15A and it's against code to put 20A receptacle on it. Plus, a 15A will blow faster than a 20A so it would be better protection. Just as an FYI even if your current circuit is 20A I'd still put the 15A surge receptacle on it, not the 20A. A 20A circuit can mix 15A or 20A receptacles, but a 15A circuit can only use 15A receptacles.

*EDIT* They do have a 15A version at it's ivory but, since it'll be behind your TV no one will see it anyway. Darn good price. They also have the Quickport plates & faces which is similar to what Jerryh3 and I have been describing.

goose134 01-09-2008 08:17 PM

For your TVSS outlets, check E bay, I bought three of them for $25.

Jim Port 01-09-2008 08:38 PM

Have you seen this?

Brik 01-13-2008 08:21 PM

You may also want to seek out Whole house surge suppressors. They will protect everything. I'm sure you have sensitive stuff on moree than just that outlet.

Spike99 01-13-2008 08:41 PM

As a suggestion, install Whole House Surge Protection on the electrical panel. The two "low cost" units I'd focus on are:
SyCom SYC-120/240TC @ &
InterMatic @ &

In addition to this, I'd install a "Circuit Outwards" Surge protection. An expensive special Surge Protection breaker that installs in your Main box (for that specific circuit). Once installed, it protects all devices on that physical wire (circuit). To me, "special breaker" is much better then an outlet side Surge Protection special outlet.

Thus, a 2 Tier system is used. Both Whole house & individual circuit - for extra sensitive devices (like a TV Cluster area).

Hope this helps as well...


steve1234 01-15-2008 05:06 PM

Here's another option for the wires coming out of the wall......

Bulk Cable Wallplate

goose134 01-15-2008 11:02 PM

Cool idea. At first glance I thought it was a dryer vent.:whistling2:

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