Your Wall-Mounted HDTV Probably Violates Electrical Codes

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According to our recent poll, over 1/3 of you have your HDTV cords hidden behind a wall. This may be a big violation of the National Electric Code that could void your insurance coverage.

The National Electric Code (NEC) states:

NEC ARTICLE 400 Flexible Cords and Cables General 400.1 Scope.
This article covers general requirements, applications, and construction specifications for flexible cords and flexible cables.
400.8 Uses Not Permitted.
Flexible cords and cables shall not be used for the following:
(1) As a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure
(2) Where run through holes in walls, structural ceilings, suspended ceilings, dropped ceilings, or floors
(3) Where run through doorways, windows, or similar openings
(4) Where attached to building surfaces
Exception: Flexible cord and cable shall be permitted to be attached to building surfaces in accordance with the provisions of 368.8.
(5) Where concealed by walls, floors, or ceilings or located above suspended or dropped ceilings


In other words, running power cords through the walls is not a substitute for permanent wiring. You're supposed to have a new electric socket installed directly behind the TV, where you can plug in the power cord and coil up the slack to tuck underneath. If you drilled some holes and ran cable yourself all willy nilly, in and back out to a power socket, chances are you are in violation of these codes. Should a fire result, your insurance may find reason to get out of covering your losses. Naturally, it is in your best interests to hire a professional to check out your setup and make sure everything is as it should be. That having been said, let's clarify the original poll and focus on how many of you might be on the wrong side of the NEC.