How to tap existing power wire

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  #1  
Old 01-19-14, 11:46 PM
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How to tap existing power wire

I need to install a power outlet for a wall mounted television. The nearest power outlet or light switch are too far away to tap for power. However, I think I found a cable running along a stud in the wall nearby the TV (stud finder found it). If the power cable is there, I would want to tap it to run an additional cable off it to deliver power to the TV. I could do this with wire nuts, but I imagine that the cable is stapled to the stud with no additional slack. Is there a junction box designed for this application? I would imagine that it would look like a T...one end of the cut wire goes in one end of the box, the other end of the cut wire goes in the opposite side of the box, and the new wire to the outlet behind the TV goes out the middle. Ideally, I could then secure the junction box to the stud with a couple of screws to keep everything tidy and secure.
 
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Old 01-20-14, 12:25 AM
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Not only don't they make a junction box like that...... there would not be enough slack to work with either.

In order to tap power..... you almost have to go to a junction box.
 
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Old 01-20-14, 12:40 AM
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Obviously you'd first need to find out what circuit that cable belongs to. If it goes to receps for a bathroom, kitchen, dining room, laundry, etc, then you cannot use it. You could flip off half of your breakers, check it with your stud finder again, and keep cutting the possibilities group in half until you zero in on it.

Tyco Electronics makes a splice kit which may be legal for you but I wouldn't use them even if it was allowed. To tap into that particular cable with a junction box you'd need a second hole anyway (due to no slack), so why not add a receptacle at floor level too? If the nearest recep is as far as you say it is (more than 6 feet?), sounds like you could use one there code-wise regardless of the TV situation.
 
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Old 01-20-14, 06:37 AM
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I personally would rather run a longer cable up to the attic or down to the basement to either a known-low-loaded circuit or back to the breaker panel to add a new circuit.

To tap a mid-run circuit you'd basically have to install two junction boxes and install a new jumper cable between them. More pain (and holes in your finished wall) than you probably want or need.
 
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Old 01-20-14, 07:52 AM
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I don't understand the no-slack issue. I envision that the in-line junction would go between the cut (cable goes in one end and out the other) and more than fill the gap. There is an outlet to the lower right of the area where I want to mount the TV, but the outlet is installed inside a cabinet. So if I wanted to tap that outlet, I would have to cut into my wood cabinet...which I don't want to do as it would be impossible to repair.

The alternative is to simply use this:

Recessed Pro Power Kit w/Straight Blade Inlet White - Monoprice.com

The downside of that is that I have my AC power right next to my signal. Although the signal is only an HDMI cable and I have no concerns about it working at 1080p, if I decide to upgrade to 4K later down the road, I might not get the full required bandwidth due to length (12ft) combined with interference from the power cable.
 
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Old 01-20-14, 08:29 AM
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You need at least 6" of free conductor in the box from each cable. You cannot cut a cable in two and make it over a foot longer without additional cable.
 
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Old 01-20-14, 08:39 AM
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Receptacle in Cabinet

There is an outlet to the lower right of the area where I want to mount the TV, but the outlet is installed inside a cabinet. So if I wanted to tap that outlet, I would have to cut into my wood cabinet...which I don't want to do as it would be impossible to repair.
All receptacle boxes must be accessible. See if this receptacle is accessible from insude the cabinet. You should be able to run power from this box.
 
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