Are you tired looking at those unsightly cables dangling down the wall? Fed up yelling at your kids for playing Tarzan with those delicate leads?
If so, then read on and take some hassle out of your life by learning how to safely hide your wall-mounted TV cables by putting them into the drywall behind the TV.
This post reveals the method, tools and components that you need to create a concealed outlet by "piggybacking" on a nearby outlet. In other words you run a cable from an existing electrical socket to the new outlet. By doing it this way, you won't have to repair or redecorate your wall afterwards.
The method shown in the video is for re-locating power outlets. The procedure is exactly the same for moving the TV co-ax cable but the fittings will be different.
Supplies NeededStandard Circuit Breaker Finder
25 Feet Steel Fish Tape
Non-Contact Voltage Tester Pen
Multi-function Stud Finder
Retractable Knife or Wire Strippers
Snips for wire
15 Amp Residential Grade Outlet Receptacle & Face Plate.
PVC Outlet Box
White Residential Indoor Electrical Wire (Cut to length)
Blank 1-gang Wall Plate Cover (for Co-ax)
1-gang Wall Plate Mounting Bracket (for Co-ax)
Step by Step InstructionsA cautionary word - always take care when working with electricity.
It can be risky if you're not sure about what you're doing. But if you follow the installation instructions in this post you will be safe. Otherwise, call in an expert if you're not confident about carrying out the task. One other thing, before starting the job, ask your neighborhood building inspectors if the work needs to comply with any local codes.
Before you begin, have all the tools and components to hand - saves time and avoids frustration!
Once you have removed all the leads connected to the TV and put them aside, start by removing the cover of the lower socket.
Use a non-contact voltage tester to check whether the outlet is live or not.
If there is power you need to trip the right breaker to cut the supply. If the breaker is not clearly labelled you can use a circuit breaker finder to locate it on the distribution board. This handy digital tool detects which outlet matches its corresponding breaker on the electric panel. It comes in two parts, one is a transmitter that's plugged into the outlet and the other part is the detector that picks up the outlet's signal at the board.
Once the power is switched off, use the voltage tester again to confirm that the outlet is dead. The warning light on the transmitter section of the circuit breaker should now be out.
You can now remove the outlet from the wall to attach the cable for the new socket. Allow for extra cable length to provide for unseen obstacles. Clip or screw the cable into the back of the lower outlet and fix it back into the wall and replace the cover.
Remove the TV and put it aside.
You may need to use a step ladder for the next stages.
Before you determine where the new outlet will be placed, it's important that you check for studding behind the drywall. They're usually fixed at 16 inch centers. Knocking on the wall and using a hand magnet is an old pro way of picking up studs. If you're not confident doing that then use a stud detector - one that will detect metal or wood. It will locate the stud precisely.
Once you've decided where to cut the hole, position the PVC outlet box on the wall and draw around the outline of the body with a pencil. Use a torpedo level to keep the box plumb before you draw around it.
Cut out the aperture using a jab saw. To make it easier to start cutting, you can drill a 1/2 inch pilot hole at a corner within the penciled outline.
Tip: Put a screw into the cut-out to stop it falling into the wall cavity. Tie a piece of string between the screw head and the TV bracket to make certain.
Now fish the cable attached to the lower outlet and draw it out of the new aperture. Slide the cable through the outlet box and push the box into the hole. Make sure that the securing flanges on the box are in the correct position before pushing it into the space.
Once the box is firmly screwed in place, you need to prepare the cable for attaching to the new receptacle. You can use a knife to pare down the wires but it's safer and quicker to use wire-strippers.
Attach the wires to the outlet terminals making sure they are fixed in the correct order. Trim off any excess cable cover or wire.
Screw the new outlet into the box securely and attach the face plate to finish.
Switch the electricity back on at the breaker panel to check that the new outlet is live.
Now you can re-locate the co-axial cable which is quicker, safer and less fussy than the outlet job. But you'll need to follow the same cutting-out procedures for changing the co-axial socket position. Use a blank face plate on the lower socket once the cable has been shifted.
Once both tasks have been completed the TV can be re-fixed to the wall and the cables re-attached. You will need to trim the cable lengths to suit.
If you are a capable DIYer and apply the methods as shown, you should find the work uncomplicated and doable in a reasonable time.
You will do a neat job of hiding your TV cables if you use the listed components and tools in the ways specified.
As a result, the appeal of your wall decor will not be spoiled by ugly cables that are now safely out of the way of little fingers.