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Old 12-16-2010, 11:24 PM   #1
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run spliced lamp cord inside a wall?


Hey all - I've got two IKEA lamps. Each has 3 bulbs rated for 40W. They are floor lamps standing 5 feet talll on a post, with the 3 bulbs spaced along the post. There is a decorative paper-type material running almost the full height as the shade. It's 10 inches square. So they look like a crumpled box 10"x10" wide by about 4' high box with light coming from within.

We want to mount these onto the wall high up, one above the other. I can remove the base, and I'm good. Mounting will be easy.

I can easily cut a small hole in the wall and run the cord within the wall where it would re-emerge about 12 inches above the floor. Of course, I'd have to replace the stock cord with something much longer.

THIS is my question. I know that by code, all electical splices need to be in a box. I also know that you're not supposed to run lamp cord inside a wall.

I can probably dissasemble the lamp(s) where I'm replacing the cord entirely with a long one vs. just cutting it and splicing on the extension.

So can you talk me out of doing it this way? I don't want to rip open my wall to run romex, nor do I want to run the cords inside a cord-hider on the outside.

So while it's not to code, do I run serious risk here? Like a fire? Or is there perhaps some lamp cord that's heavy-duty that I could use as my extension that's OK to run inside a wall?

Finally - I really don't want two plugs at the end. I know I can splice the two lamp cords together so they're on one plug. But again - then I've got a splice - perhaps inside the wall.

Thanks!

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Old 12-16-2010, 11:29 PM   #2
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run spliced lamp cord inside a wall?


I would use a clock receptacle. drop romex inside wall from a box cutin where you want the fixtures down to the existing plug. this would allow you to shorten the cords and to plug them in behind the lights. I will try to find pic of a clock plug.

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Old 12-16-2010, 11:34 PM   #3
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run spliced lamp cord inside a wall?


here is a picture of one
h t t p://gfretwell.com/electrical/clock%20receptacle.jpg


Here we can't in good faith direct you to do anything against code. So don't ask. In all cases there is a reason for the requirements, most of them closely related to safety.
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:37 PM   #4
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run spliced lamp cord inside a wall?


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Originally Posted by Saturday Cowboy View Post
here is a picture of one
h t t p://gfretwell.com/electrical/clock%20receptacle.jpg.....
Why not post the link properly?
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Old 12-17-2010, 12:01 AM   #5
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run spliced lamp cord inside a wall?


I don't quite get it - the clock recepticle is recessed - I could use that (times 2). But this is a finished wall - plus I want an easy on/off - like a simple switch on the wire near where it plugs in (vs. mounting a wall switch).

I mean, I could easily hang both lamps on the wall, just let the cord hang down the wall - and plug them in.

The whole problem is I want the cords inside the wall for asthetics.

Don't get me wrong - I like to do things right, and I respect code. I'm also the guardian of the house, and won't be hanging beadboard in the area and shooting nails where I might hit a wire inside.

Let me rephrase my question a bit....

Is lampcord not rated to run inside walls simply because someone might shoot a nail through it later? OR - does lampcord get hot, play poorly when tucked tight against insulation/drywall, etc.?

If the Mythbusters set up an experiment where they ran a 17 foot lamp cord into a hole in drywall 10 feet up, then out from the botton 1 foot up - and left that lamp on for 2 years straight in a room no one was allowed in - would anything bad happen?
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Old 12-17-2010, 12:12 AM   #6
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run spliced lamp cord inside a wall?


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Is lampcord not rated to run inside walls simply because someone might shoot a nail through it later?
it matters not why it isn't rated to run inside a wall. The fact is, it is not legal to run inside a wall so you cannot legally use it inside a wall. It's that simple.
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Old 12-17-2010, 01:21 AM   #7
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run spliced lamp cord inside a wall?


plain and simple like above mentioned it is illegal, being run in walls is not in the "uses permitted" section of the code if any for that wire, not that this is the determining factor or anything, but to give a list of reasons, lamp cord is not designed for that purpose, it does not have a ground wire with it, the jacket is not as tough or rigid enough or designed to protect the wire like romex is. as well, Romex has a rating i believe its thwn or something like that, I'd have to look it up but its irrelevant to the point im making, basically the lamp cord does not have the same rating as the romex wire nor is as heavy duty and sized to be in a wall as per the Code.
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Old 12-17-2010, 01:26 AM   #8
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run spliced lamp cord inside a wall?


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Originally Posted by denemante View Post
I don't quite get it - the clock recepticle is recessed - I could use that (times 2). But this is a finished wall - plus I want an easy on/off - like a simple switch on the wire near where it plugs in (vs. mounting a wall switch).

I mean, I could easily hang both lamps on the wall, just let the cord hang down the wall - and plug them in.

The whole problem is I want the cords inside the wall for asthetics.

Don't get me wrong - I like to do things right, and I respect code. I'm also the guardian of the house, and won't be hanging beadboard in the area and shooting nails where I might hit a wire inside.

Let me rephrase my question a bit....

Is lampcord not rated to run inside walls simply because someone might shoot a nail through it later? OR - does lampcord get hot, play poorly when tucked tight against insulation/drywall, etc.?

If the Mythbusters set up an experiment where they ran a 17 foot lamp cord into a hole in drywall 10 feet up, then out from the botton 1 foot up - and left that lamp on for 2 years straight in a room no one was allowed in - would anything bad happen?
Lampcord is not fire-rated, and is intended for temporary installations (i.e., you plug it into a receptacle, and can easily unplug and move it around). Putting the lamp cord inside a wall qualifies as a permanent installation, which requires a fire-rated cable such as NM.

Your first post seems to indicate you know all of this, anyway. The NEC and local building codes do not exist to annoy homeowners (that is just an unfortunate side effect at times). It is to protect your dwelling, you and your family, as well as any future owners of you property. God forbid your house should catch fire.... if your insurance company finds out that you deliberately violated code, you could be in a world of financial hurt (assuming that you are fortunate enough to escape uninjured).

Your best bet is to use recessed receptacles served by appropriate NM cabling as stated earlier. For convenience, install a switch in the wall to control the receptacles. As far as the wall goes, it shouldn't be to difficult to use cut-in boxes and fishtape (no more difficult than trying fish lamp cord through a wall, really) and get a nice professional look.
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Old 12-17-2010, 01:29 AM   #9
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run spliced lamp cord inside a wall?


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We want to mount these onto the wall high up, one above the other. I can remove the base, and I'm good. Mounting will be easy.
To be completely by code, if you wanted to modify those lights to be installed on the wall, you would have to get your your local inspector to inspect and write off on those lights as it was not under their UL or like listing to be used for your purpose.

Secondly, seeing that the lamp cord cannot be run in the wall you really are faced with the decision, "do you really want to mess with these lights?" and Can you deal with running romex because unless you have a curtain on either side where each light is going to be to hide the cord running down the wall your basically stuck doing romex or you could also do wiremold, but you still couldnt' put lamp cord in it you would have to put 14 or 12 wire in it up to the box where the lights are.
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:01 AM   #10
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run spliced lamp cord inside a wall?


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God forbid your house should catch fire.... if your insurance company finds out that you deliberately violated code, you could be in a world of financial hurt (assuming that you are fortunate enough to escape uninjured).
Especially since you were kind enough to post the details on the internet for them.

It seems DIYer's like to do everything themselves, even start their own fires.

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Old 12-17-2010, 07:18 AM   #11
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run spliced lamp cord inside a wall?


Yo denemante, where did you go ? Why not let us know what's up? We would like to hear how you approached the light wiring. Hopefully it's not the way you wanted to.
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:57 AM   #12
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run spliced lamp cord inside a wall?


Hey all - no question - I'm taking everyone's advice and doing it the right way (if I do it at all). But I have another question.

Instead of lamp cord, why couldn't I remove the cords from the lamps and wire both with 15 feet of romex. Then mount them on the wall, running the romex through holes in the drywall. 1 foot above the floor, I could put a simple electrical box. In that, I'd splice both lamp romex wires together, but also wire them to a heavy duty plug on a cord that's maybe 5 feet long (and will come out into the room). I'd affix this power cord to the inside of the box with one of those little round screw-in clamps (so no one could pull it from the room), and put a basic wall-plate with a hold drilled in the center for my power cord to come out. Then I could just plug it in to a nearby outlet.

I'm thinking that perhaps I can't just run romex through a hole in the wall. And I though romex had to be like 3 inches deep and run through or be tacked to a stud. I wouldn't be able to assure either of those.

I mean, I understand I could mount two clock recepticales on the wall, then run power to each, finally ending in a standard wall switch. An easy job if the wall was unfinished. But I can't envision how anybody could pull this off without tearing out some serious drywall.

Thanks!
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Old 12-17-2010, 10:42 AM   #13
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run spliced lamp cord inside a wall?


Why not just use a cable raceway?



For the switch, you could use a wireless switch - like these:

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Old 12-17-2010, 01:07 PM   #14
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run spliced lamp cord inside a wall?


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Instead of lamp cord, why couldn't I remove the cords from the lamps and wire both with 15 feet of romex. Then mount them on the wall, running the romex through holes in the drywall. 1 foot above the floor, I could put a simple electrical box. In that, I'd splice both lamp romex wires together, but also wire them to a heavy duty plug on a cord that's maybe 5 feet long (and will come out into the room). I'd affix this power cord to the inside of the box with one of those little round screw-in clamps (so no one could pull it from the room), and put a basic wall-plate with a hold drilled in the center for my power cord to come out. Then I could just plug it in to a nearby outlet.
So let me get this straight...you want to install a box in the wall, from which will come a "heavy-duty" cable and plug, which can be plugged into a nearby outlet?!

Are you ever going to try to sell this house? How do you think a prospective buyer will percieve such an arrangement? How do you think this will reflect on the perceptions about your house and the selling price? Even if code allows this (which I doubt) or if you are willing to take the risk to life and limb, I would think your own financial interests would compel you to avoid this approach.

By the way, this doesn't sound any easier to me than doing it right. It sounds as if your basic concern is your ability to route power from a wall switch to a new box in the wall. Do you have access either below the wall (basement/crawl) or above (attic)? Is the wall full of insulation. If the answer to these questions is yes and no, then adding a wire is pretty routine (relatively speaking, of course). Insulation only makes it a little harder.
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Old 12-17-2010, 02:26 PM   #15
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run spliced lamp cord inside a wall?


Another thing to take into consideration is that you might be creating a fire hazard. Judging from your explanation I'm guessing it is a light like this:


If so I would think the heat from the bulbs is supposed to vent out the top. Since you said you wanted to mount them above each other on a wall I'm assuming you plan to rotate them 90 degrees when mounting them. Not sure if there would be proper ventilation and the shade may catch fire. Just something to think about.

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