Building a riser - electrical question - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 04-08-2013, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a riser mostly built and am trying to determine how to handle the electrical for the powered seats; BTW, I don't plan to add lights, shakers, etc...just need to power the seats. I bought 6 used seats and 2 have power recline (one in 1st row and 1 in second row). The riser is in the center of the room and not attached to any walls. The easiest and cheapest solution would be for me to connect the seat plugs into an extension cord inside the riser and then run the extension cord out of the riser (under a cord cover) and connect it to a wall outlet. Any reason why I shouldn't go that route?...If so, what's the suggested approach?

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post #2 of 15 Old 04-08-2013, 10:36 AM
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If you're running something under a cord cover anyway, I would do it right. Take power off the closest outlet, run romex under a cord cover and through the riser to new outlets in the riser.

Edit: Or you can look into under-carpet wiring like this: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1420889/under-carpet-power-found-very-flat-cable/0_100

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post #3 of 15 Old 04-08-2013, 10:48 AM
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First you can wire up inside the riser like a wall with outlet boxes and romex cable. Where you want to plug it in, take an appropriate sized extension cord and bring it out an outlet box with a hole in the cover. Hard wire with twister nuts inside the box and secure the cord so it can't be tugged loose. Use a cord cover on the floor.

If I had to do it over I would trench the concrete and bury a line, but I was young and foolish.



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post #4 of 15 Old 04-08-2013, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronN View Post

If you're running something under a cord cover anyway, I would do it right. Take power off the closest outlet, run romex under a cord cover and through the riser to new outlets in the riser.

Romex is not intended/rated for in room use, Romex in a cord cover is not doing it right.
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post #5 of 15 Old 04-08-2013, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronN View Post

If you're running something under a cord cover anyway, I would do it right. Take power off the closest outlet, run romex under a cord cover and through the riser to new outlets in the riser.

Edit: Or you can look into under-carpet wiring like this: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1420889/under-carpet-power-found-very-flat-cable/0_100

That flat cable looks cool but the second post isn't reassuring and I don't want to cut into my carpet anyways.

I was thinking I'd go the extension cord route b/c I'm not very savvy with electrical and don't have a reciprocating saw which I think I'd need to install boxes. I have a feeling this isn't to code though and I don't want to do something that could be dangerous.

Now thinking I could run the cord from the seat on the riser through a hole in the front of the riser and then attach it (and the other seat) to an extension cord outside the riser; basically the same setup as I was thinking to begin with but have the seats plug into the extension cord outside of the riser. The front seats will be up against the riser so this shouldn't look any different from my original thoughts. Still probably not to code but seems less risk of any safety issues with all connections happening in the open rather than in the riser.
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post #6 of 15 Old 04-08-2013, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

Romex is not intended/rated for in room use, Romex in a cord cover is not doing it right.

I had just come across the following in the NEC:
Quote:
334.15 Exposed Work.
In exposed work, except as provided in 300.11(A), cable shall be installed as specified in 334.15(A) through (C).
(A) To Follow Surface. Cable shall closely follow the surface of the building finish or of running boards.
(B) Protection from Physical Damage. Cable shall be protected from physical damage where necessary by rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, electrical metallic tubing, Schedule 80 PVC conduit, or other approved means. Where passing through a floor, the cable shall be enclosed in rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit, electrical metallic tubing, Schedule 80 PVC conduit, or other approved means extending at least 150 mm (6 in.) above the floor.
Type NMC cable installed in shallow chases or grooves in masonry, concrete, or adobe, shall be protected in accordance with the requirements in 300.4(F) and covered with plaster, adobe, or similar finish.

I figured that as long as it's secured to the floor it should be fine. I would listen to Big though, he has much more experience in this than I.

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post #7 of 15 Old 04-08-2013, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

First you can wire up inside the riser like a wall with outlet boxes and romex cable. Where you want to plug it in, take an appropriate sized extension cord and bring it out an outlet box with a hole in the cover. Hard wire with twister nuts inside the box and secure the cord so it can't be tugged loose. Use a cord cover on the floor.

If I had to do it over I would trench the concrete and bury a line, but I was young and foolish.

This is basically the second option I was considering. The main reason I was leaning towards the other option is b/c I don't have the saw needed to install boxes into the riser. And I assume this still isn't to code when connecting the romex to cord inside the riser so wasn't sure it's worth the extra hassle/money to do.
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post #8 of 15 Old 04-08-2013, 11:33 AM
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It looks like your riser is just built on top of the carpet. While following building codes is nice from a safety perspective IMHO your riser is really just "Furniture" and codes don't apply. just drill some holes and run an appropriate length extension cord without any splices or modification. I would not connect them inside the riser as the plugs may work themselves loose.
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post #9 of 15 Old 04-08-2013, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

It looks like your riser is just built on top of the carpet. While following building codes is nice from a safety perspective IMHO your riser is really just "Furniture" and codes don't apply. just drill some holes and run an appropriate length extension cord without any splices or modification. I would not connect them inside the riser as the plugs may work themselves loose.

That's right, it's not attached to the floor. This might be what you're suggesting and it seems like the best/easiest solution - I'll run one extension cord through the riser (entering under the seat on the riser and exiting at front of riser right behind first row - leaving both ends outside the riser). I can then connect that first ext cord and the front seat's plug to a second extension cord and run that one to the wall. This way neither seat's cord passes inside the riser and it should make it easier to move seats if I ever need to in the future. And I don't see why there should be any safety issues with this setup.

Thanks for the feedback.
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post #10 of 15 Old 04-08-2013, 02:43 PM
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Extension (flexible) cords cannot be run concealed; they cannot be inside the riser, no matter what you call the riser. Could you use a typical (ie NM) wiring method in the riser, then connect with a flexible cord? Maybe, but there are guidelines for it and it's really square-peg-round-holing it. If you want to call the riser an 'appliance', you have an unlisted appliance which is subject to the approval of the AHJ.

Best case scenario would be considering the riser as an 'appliance' and connecting the appliance with a flexible cord to the premises wiring. You would still need to wire the interior of the 'appliance' appropriately (ie not with flexible cord).

Worst case, the riser is a 'floor', is for all purposes permanent (you're not going to move it out of the way and vacuum under it), and must be wired accordingly.

Tim


400.7 Uses Permitted.
(A) Uses. Flexible cords and cables shall be used only for the following:
(1) Pendants
(2) Wiring of luminaires
(3) Connection of portable luminaires, portable and mobile signs, or appliances
(4) Elevator cables
(5) Wiring of cranes and hoists
(6) Connection of utilization equipment to facilitate frequent interchange
(7) Prevention of the transmission of noise or vibration
(8) Appliances where the fastening means and mechanical connections are specifically designed to permit ready removal for maintenance and repair, and the appliance is intended or identified for flexible cord connection
(9) Connection of moving parts
(10) Where specifically permitted elsewhere in this Code

400.8 Uses Not Permitted. Unless specifically permitted in 400.7, 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 to (4): Flexible cord and cable shall be permitted to be attached to building surfaces in accordance with the provisions of 368.56(B)
(5) Where concealed by walls, floors, or ceilings or located above suspended or dropped ceilings
(6) Where installed in raceways, except as otherwise permitted in this Code
(7) Where subject to physical damage

90.4 Enforcement. This Code is intended to be suitable
for mandatory application by governmental bodies that exercise
legal jurisdiction over electrical installations, including
signaling and communications systems, and for use by
insurance inspectors. The authority having jurisdiction for
enforcement of the Code has the responsibility for making
interpretations of the rules, for deciding on the approval of
equipment
and materials, and for granting the special permission
contemplated in a number of the rules.

110.2 Approval. The conductors and equipment required
or permitted by this Code shall be acceptable only if
approved.
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post #11 of 15 Old 04-08-2013, 03:10 PM
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I did very extensive research on this as well...the riser definition gets a bit murky as it is likely considered part of the floor (non-movable). I ran my line like normal in the wall, to a junction box, then through conduit to the riser..then wired my outlets. In my case, my rise was adjacent to the wall.

I would also be very careful about having an extension cord plugged in all of the time -- they are not made for constant long term use.

John
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post #12 of 15 Old 04-08-2013, 03:18 PM
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Tim,

I'm going to have power recliners, though no riser. What would be the best way to power them? I hate the idea of having a cord that'll be a trip hazard in the dark, and a cord cover seems ugly. Is there a code acceptable way of putting a socket into the floor? I have a subfloor built up on top of my concrete, 1" of XPS foam then two layers of 1/2" plywood.
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post #13 of 15 Old 04-08-2013, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnsteph10 View Post

I did very extensive research on this as well...the riser definition gets a bit murky as it is likely considered part of the floor (non-movable). I ran my line like normal in the wall, to a junction box, then through conduit to the riser..then wired my outlets. In my case, my rise was adjacent to the wall.

I would also be very careful about having an extension cord plugged in all of the time -- they are not made for constant long term use.

Obviously I'm no electrician but I don't understand how having an extension cord constantly plugged in is any different than having a surge protector or power strip always plugged in. I've always kept extension cords plugged in for hard to reach places behind furniture. I can't run Romex to the riser without tearing up my carpet and floor so I can't avoid using an extension cord.
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post #14 of 15 Old 04-08-2013, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greedo View Post

Tim,

I'm going to have power recliners, though no riser. What would be the best way to power them? I hate the idea of having a cord that'll be a trip hazard in the dark, and a cord cover seems ugly. Is there a code acceptable way of putting a socket into the floor? I have a subfloor built up on top of my concrete, 1" of XPS foam then two layers of 1/2" plywood.


Receptacles are permitted to be oriented face-up everywhere except countertops. If it's in the floor, you need a floor box. I don't know of any boxes that will fit in 2" of depth. If you want to chop a hole in the concrete so you can get the box at least partially in the slab (you can still run the wiring above the slab), you could go that route.

Barring that, you could use a service pedestal.

Barring that, you could construct something to put the receptacle in that would move it out of the "floor box" category.

Tim


(C) Floor Boxes. Boxes listed specifically for this application
shall be used for receptacles located in the floor.
Exception: Where the authority having jurisdiction judges
them free from likely exposure to physical damage, moisture,
and dirt, boxes located in elevated floors of show
windows and similar locations shall be permitted to be
other than those listed for floor applications. Receptacles
and covers shall be listed as an assembly for this type of
location.
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post #15 of 15 Old 04-08-2013, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benunc View Post

Obviously I'm no electrician but I don't understand how having an extension cord constantly plugged in is any different than having a surge protector or power strip always plugged in. I've always kept extension cords plugged in for hard to reach places behind furniture. I can't run Romex to the riser without tearing up my carpet and floor so I can't avoid using an extension cord.

An extension cord can be any gauge and is meant for temporary use. A surge strip is a temporary power tap and is rated for 15 amps. As far as UL is concerned, they are in two separate categories intended for two separate purposes.

I don't know that there is a real-life functional difference other than if you choose a 16 gauge extension cord for an appliance that draws 15 amps.

This is also different from a power cord set, which would be something like the flexible cord on your refrigerator.

If your home is recent it will have receptacles no more than 12 feet apart. The cord length on a lamp et al is 6 feet or more. In a perfect world you shouldn't need extension cords. Alas this is not a perfect world.

Tim
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