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Can I run an electric power cord or extension cord through the wall?
Sunday, February 10, 2019
Yes, we know that there are lots of nifty articles on the web about how to make an unobtrusive wall opening and fish an electric cord through the wall. But you probably already suspect that it is unsafe, and you’re right.
Here’s what it says in the National Electrical Code, at NEC 400.12:
Uses Not Permitted. Unless specifically permitted in 400.10, flexible cables, flexible cord sets, and power supply cords shall not be used for the following:
(1) As a substitute for 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.
Luckily, there are code-approved installation kits for running power up inside a wall that do not require and electrician. See our blog post Why does running a power cord behind the wall for a wall-mounted TV violate the electrical code? for more on this.
The code allows somewhat of an exception at NEC 422.16 for power supply cords (flexible cords that are hard-wired to an appliance at one end and have a plug at the other end) connected to a dishwasher, waste disposal, trash compactor, range hood, wall-mounted oven, or countertop cooking appliance. Cords are allowed to connect to a receptacle in a "space adjacent to the space occupied by the appliance.” So a cord can go through a cabinet compartment (not a wall), but the receptacle must be accessible and located to protect against physical damage to the cord.
Also, we suggest reading How can extension cords become dangerous?
Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about ELECTRICAL WIRING:
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