install electrical outlet on ceiling near projector? and other newb questions. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-19-2012, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all. Im a complete newb about this but i bought a projector (epson 8350) which i have fallen in love with. I'm building a HT as we speak. I've gotten all long audio and video wires to run from my projector to my devices/receiver above the drop ceiling. All that is nice and tidy. However, as im sure most already know, the power chord for the epson will no way reach to the outlet near the floor a good 17' away.

I dont want to buy a super long powercord to run from my projector in the drop ceiling because i hear its not safe.

I've seen pics where people have electrical outlets installed on the ceiling next to the projector. This looks like the best thing for me to do.
What kind of outlet is used though? i want to call a electrician or contractor to install one. Is it the standard 3 prong outlet just like the ones on all the walls? Or a surge protector type like the ones installed in the bathrooms? how much does it cost to install this outlet?

Is a super long chord really unsafe? I'll buy one if needed but rather not.

Thanks in advance for the help all
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-19-2012, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linkseo View Post

Is it the standard 3 prong outlet just like the ones on all the walls?
Can be.
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Or a surge protector type like the ones installed in the bathrooms?
GFCIs are used in bathrooms, not surge protective devices. Depending on your local code, it may require a AFCI, though. You can use a surge protective device if you want and it meets code.
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how much does it cost to install this outlet?
Prices vary, ask one or more local electricians.
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Is a super long chord really unsafe?l
For what you want to do, yes.
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post #3 of 14 Old 07-19-2012, 11:26 PM
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The National Electric Code has been adopted in all 50 states, but each state has the power to change anything it wants to. Thus you need to look up the NEC rules and any alterations or additions made by your state. Thus without knowing the state in which you live we really can't answer your question fully.

You may be able to find the code here: http://bulk.resource.org/codes.gov/ but the easiest thing to do is just call an electrician and ask. Many states require this work to be done by a license electrician anyway.

Having said that, I believe GFCIs are generally required anywhere there is water around (kitchen, bathroom, laundry), and AFCIs are required in bedrooms (considered most dangerous because that's where you sleep.) I don't *think* they are required in living rooms, which means you wouldn't have to use one.

And, having said that, I'll say that GFCIs are cheap relative to the cost of hiring an electrician to install one. $20 is a drop in the bucket compared to the $200+ you'll need to shell out to have it installed professionally.

As to extension cords, you are not supposed to use one for permanent installation. Permanent installation as I understand it, however, means closing it up somehow and/or left connected all the time. Thus I don't see why anyone would tell you not to use one so long as you aren't doing this. I don't see how stringing up an exposed extension cord to watch a movie is a problem. You are present the entire time power is being drawn, so if there is a fire you are there to stop it or make sure everyone is evacuated. (Make sure the extension cord is exposed and you unplug it though! Don't run an extension cord and then "close it up" in the ceiling! That's definitely a no-no!) I have my projector on a 15' extension cord and an automatic timer switch. When I want to watch movies, I turn on the timer. If I forget to turn off the timer, it automatically turns off 6 hours later removing power from the extension cord. The cord is not run through the ceiling, however. I feel perfectly safe with this setup.

I would be much more concerned if you wanted to use an extension cord to power some always-on or on-while-away device, but I am not an electrician so take that with a grain of salt. Don't blame me if you burn down your house with an extension cord. Instead, sue Home Depot for selling it to you. biggrin.gif

Should you decide to use an extension cord, to make sure the PJ stays securely attached to the extension cord you can use a locking extension cord like this one: http://www.qwiklok.com/
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post #4 of 14 Old 07-19-2012, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwm9 View Post

The National Electric Code has been adopted in all 50 states.
That is somewhat misleading. There is no "the NEC". True, some version of the NEC has been adopted in most places. But it has not been adopted by all states, although it may have been adopted by counties or cities within the non-adopting states. It may be anything from 2005 to 2011 version, or even earlier. And it is common for amendments to be made.
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...AFCIs are required in bedrooms...I don't *think* they are required in living rooms, which means you wouldn't have to use one.
Depends on the version of the code. Under the latest version, combination AFCIs are pretty much required for any habitable room where a GFCI is not required. AFCI breakers are typically installed in the panel. I don't think there are any AFCI receptacle in the USA yet.
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...GFCIs are cheap relative to the cost of hiring an electrician to install one...
So what? They are not cheap if you don't have to install them in the first place. Why would you install a GFCI receptacle for a projector? IMHO there is more danger in having to reset a GFCI installed in the ceiling after nuisance trips than anything it will protect against.
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As to extension cords, you are not supposed to use one for permanent installation.
This project is a permanent installation, and it is in a ceiling. An extension cord running through a drop ceiling is asking for trouble. Do it right.

OP FWIW unless your local AHJ is picky about upgrading things to current code when any change is made, probably all the electrician will do is tap into an existing circuit and install a junction box with a normal 15A 3-prong duplex receptacle. Specifiy a spec or commercial grade receptacle. It won't cost much more and will provide a better grip on the plug, initially and over the long run.
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post #5 of 14 Old 07-20-2012, 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Colm View Post

Why would you install a GFCI receptacle for a projector?

While water is a common source of leakage to ground, it is not the only source. AFCIs often have, as you pointed out, GFCIs built in to them. So why do that if you only want to GFCI water areas? The GFCI reset can be installed in another outlet and an extension of it can be run to the projector, so you needn't climb to the PJ to reset it anyway. My only point was that GFCI/no GFCI price is nearly the same and isn't really a consideration in deciding whether to use one or not.
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This project is a permanent installation.

I was merely saying that he could use one if he wanted to, as long as it wasn't in the ceiling and was disconnected after use -- that's all. Maybe the OP can't afford proper installation. I don't know. You almost sound angry...

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post #6 of 14 Old 07-20-2012, 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by cwm9 View Post

You almost sound angry...
You need to get your hearing checked, then.
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post #7 of 14 Old 07-20-2012, 03:05 AM
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Fair 'nough.

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post #8 of 14 Old 07-20-2012, 08:42 AM
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If you have viable electric line anywhere near where you'd want to mount the outlet, it's not going to cost much. Absolutely install (or have installed) a new outlet right above the drop ceiling. It will look nice and neat with the wires hidden and will be much safer than an extension cord solution. I just did mine in less than an hour - granted I have a substantial amount of electrical experience, but it won't be (or shouldn't be) super pricey to have it installed as long as you have some accessible power source nearby that is not overloaded.

In terms of materials you will need:
(1) Electrical box to mount/contain the wiring and outlet - likely a new construction type if you have direct access to the ceiling
(1) Electrical outlet of your choice, likely 15A
(1) Cover of your choice to cover exposed wiring
Misc. fasteners to attach box to joist nearest to projector
Length of wire - TBD depending on where the nearest source is and if you need to run a new line / breaker
(optional) - 15A or 20A circuit breaker if all lines nearby are at or near capacity
Misc. - Wire nuts, etc
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post #9 of 14 Old 07-20-2012, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorilla83 View Post

Absolutely install (or have installed) a new outlet right above the drop ceiling. It will look nice and neat with the wires hidden and will be much safer than an extension cord solution.
Just to clarify. Code in most places prohibits flexible cords in ceiling, even a few inches going to a receptacle just above the ceiling. So having the face of the receptacle flush with the ceiling is about as good as one can do and meet code,
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post #10 of 14 Old 07-20-2012, 05:11 PM
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The easiest way I see to do this is if you have an attic pull chain type light or any electrical outlets in your attic simply parallel off that circuit to a snap-in type box in which you install your receptacle. If the cord on the device is heavy and stands a chance of falling out of the ceiling consider using a twist lock type of outlet with matching plug that you will need to add to your cord from the projector. Go here " Snap In Electrical Outlet Box " to take a look at one. If you install it all yourself use the proper code guidelines for your location. Usually just using Romex wire of the proper gauge, probably #12, will do it. I agree with some of the other post to stay away from drop cords.
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post #11 of 14 Old 10-21-2012, 03:34 PM
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Hello all! Just joined to comment/question (though I've lurked for years now).

Would something such as this be different from the screw in outlet?
http://www.amazon.com/Cooper-Wiring-667-SP-L-Porcelain-Receptacle/dp/B000I18LJS/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1350854509&sr=8-4&keywords=ceiling+receptacle

When looking into it further, some have stated they are grounded outlets.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cooper-Porcelain-Pull-Chain-Ceiling-Lampholder-Grounding-Outlet-NOS-Box-/380490345679?_trksid=p4069.m2059&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.CURRENT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D27%26meid%3D2905785551438539992%26pid%3D100039%26prg%3D1011%26rk%3D1%26sd%3D380490345679%26

The latter one is rated 660w 125v 15amp and my projector only consumes 280 watts, so that should be sufficient, correct?

I would install a normal receptacle outlet but the ceiling fan was mounted right under the joist.
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post #12 of 14 Old 10-21-2012, 03:57 PM
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So why are these being asked in the CRT forum seems like it should be in the home theater construction forum...
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post #13 of 14 Old 10-21-2012, 10:45 PM
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I actually hadn't even noticed. I was wondering if these would be suitable options for the OP (and essentially myself), but yeah I suppose it is strange to be in the CRT section...
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post #14 of 14 Old 10-25-2012, 05:31 PM
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I can't believe there are all these posts just to install a ceiling outlet for a projector. -lol That said, it would sure make it easier to answer questions like this, which tend to be location specific, if people would list in their profile, or at least state in the post, their location.wink.gif

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