Installing Plasma over fireplace - how to wire ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 51 Old 08-18-2005, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I am ready to buy a plasma and put it on top of fireplace - but how to hide wiring ? I need to go about 4 feet up and 4 feet horizontally. I think i better run 1.5 inch condo to it - to future-proof it. I can't go straight down from Plasma into basement - because this is where firebox is. But if i go horizontally first - I will have to cut several studs and i am afraid it will weaken my wall.

Should i just run condo outside of the house ? But it may look ugly...

Any advice\\pictures ?
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post #2 of 51 Old 08-18-2005, 07:25 PM
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1. Does the plasma mount to the wall above the FP?
2. Or does it sit in a recess of some sort that is above the FP?
3. Can you drop your cabling in from above?

For instance, drill your hole through the top of the 2x4 wall that the plasma mounts to, cut out a hole in the right spot behind the plasma and drop your cables in from above. Running conduit will make future changes easier. The top (2) 2x4's should be the only ones that you should have to drill through. You should have access to this from your attic, unless there is a room above the FP on the second story. Exterior conduit is an option for sure, if it tends to be unsightly, then plant a bush or shrub or tree in front of the conduit.

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post #3 of 51 Old 08-19-2005, 06:36 AM
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I recently mounted my plasma over a FP. I did have the advantage of having planned the whole thing before the FP was installed and wall built, so I did leave myself a small chase back there. But for what it's worth, large conduit in that wall is very useful. I ran two 2" conduits from behind the TV to the equipment rack a few feet down and to the left. This has worked out great. One thing I would do is make the conduit as large as possible. When I pulled the cables that go from the pio media center to the TV I was very glad I used 2" conduit. DVI conmnectors are somewhat large.
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post #4 of 51 Old 08-19-2005, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Plasma will be on the wall above the fireplace, there is no recess.
There is a room on second floor over fireplace - so it's 15 feet one way to attic.

Outdoor conduit probably not a good idea because - i am in Chicago, and it gets cold in winter, so i'll need to insulate conduit. My house got English basement - so there is slope outside of the fireplace and fireplace kind of hangs in the air.
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post #5 of 51 Old 08-19-2005, 08:43 AM
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Don't know what your fireplace looks like, but you could go into the wall with wires directly behind the plasma. Then run wires down and back out of the wall just above your fireplace mantle. Then run wires along mantle where it meets wall. Once you gotten your wires to the end of the mantle, go back into the wall with wires and run down to floor. Remove baseboard and run wires horizontal to equipment. Go back into wall with wires and up to equipment height. Then finally bring wires back out of wall for connection to equipment. Go back and cover exposed wires on top of mantle by adding more wood trim to mantle. Replace baseboard to cover wires at floor.

Of course you'll only want to do this once you have ALL wires run because you can't easily run future wires through all these steps. Probably a good idea to run all possible future wires the first time and be done.
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post #6 of 51 Old 08-19-2005, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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is it a good idea to get this thing:

http://www.panamax.com/products.cfm?...il&id=231&ly=h

to run power to it ?
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post #7 of 51 Old 08-19-2005, 07:10 PM
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With the room above the FP, running wire from the attic becomes difficult. It can be done, since this is an outside wall (I assume) that the FP is on. You can try snaking the wire down the wall of the room upstairs from the attic. But you will still need to get through the floor and the top of the wall of the FP. This would probably require some drywall work. This could become a lot of work. Hifi-matt's recommendation would work also and it may be the easiest option given your situation. With the cold weather issue, I agree, you should avoid the exterior conduit idea.

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post #8 of 51 Old 08-20-2005, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirill View Post

is it a good idea to get this thing:

http://www.panamax.com/products.cfm?...il&id=231&ly=h

to run power to it ?

Great idea but I wouldnt run any low voltage wiring within a foot of electrical lines.
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post #9 of 51 Old 11-30-2005, 11:17 AM
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has anyone installed their wiring actually behind the wall (i.e. in the fireplace cavity)? if so did you place your wiring (whether it was a/v or power) within some sort of conduit? my concern is heat insulation. i do not want my wires to possibly melt if they were to make contact with a warm or hot fireplace box.

any answers are greatly appreciated.
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post #10 of 51 Old 11-30-2005, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahlilj View Post

has anyone installed their wiring actually behind the wall (i.e. in the fireplace cavity)? if so did you place your wiring (whether it was a/v or power) within some sort of conduit? my concern is heat insulation. i do not want my wires to possibly melt if they were to make contact with a warm or hot fireplace box.

any answers are greatly appreciated.

I gave up on over the fireplace mounting. I opened a drywall - there is way to many studs there to route wiring horizontally. I thought about ripping insulation from between two studs (about 3 inch apart) and run all the wiring vertical thru it - but decided against it - i am afraid of cold\\moisture going thru that space. My plasma will be going on a wall next to the fireplace. Couldn't get the mantel off either.
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post #11 of 51 Old 11-30-2005, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirill View Post

I gave up on over the fireplace mounting. I opened a drywall - there is way to many studs there to route wiring horizontally. I thought about ripping insulation from between two studs (about 3 inch apart) and run all the wiring vertical thru it - but decided against it - i am afraid of cold\\moisture going thru that space. My plasma will be going on a wall next to the fireplace. Couldn't get the mantel off either.


sad to know u gave up on it. but why would u need to run the wiring horizontally? can't u just run the wiring to a wall opening slightly to the side of the panel , but close enuff so that it will be covered when the panel is mounted on the wall? also why would u need to remove the mantel? this is only an exterior barrier not any obstacle behind the wall right?
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post #12 of 51 Old 12-01-2005, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahlilj View Post

sad to know u gave up on it. but why would u need to run the wiring horizontally? can't u just run the wiring to a wall opening slightly to the side of the panel , but close enuff so that it will be covered when the panel is mounted on the wall? also why would u need to remove the mantel? this is only an exterior barrier not any obstacle behind the wall right?

My plasma less then the size of fire place, if i could remove the mantel - i can try to hide the wires between the mantel and bricks on fireplace front to run horizontally, and than go down on a side of fireplace,
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post #13 of 51 Old 12-01-2005, 01:59 PM
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I am going to run my cabling through a PVC pipe that will raise above the Firebox to about TV height. My neighbor has had sucess with his. Anyone see problems with that?
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post #14 of 51 Old 12-01-2005, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deep Pockets View Post

I am going to run my cabling through a PVC pipe that will raise above the Firebox to about TV height. My neighbor has had sucess with his. Anyone see problems with that?

my only concern with using pvc is that it is still susceptible to hot temperature which the firebox could give off. is this new construction or exsiting walls in place already?
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post #15 of 51 Old 12-01-2005, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirill View Post

My plasma less then the size of fire place, if i could remove the mantel - i can try to hide the wires between the mantel and bricks on fireplace front to run horizontally, and than go down on a side of fireplace,

so u are talking about having wiring in FRONT of the fireplace wall & not behind it??
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post #16 of 51 Old 12-01-2005, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahlilj View Post

so u are talking about having wiring in FRONT of the fireplace wall & not behind it??

that was one of the possibilities i was considering.
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post #17 of 51 Old 12-01-2005, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is what i found when i opened the drywall



high-res here http://images5.fotki.com/v80/fileN8J...1/P1050317.jpg
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post #18 of 51 Old 12-01-2005, 06:25 PM
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I'm not laughing at your picture, but it's funny because that's exactly how I got started on my project, I made a somewhat large hole in my wall to see what was back there. I just kept cutting.

Eventually what I did was to remove the entire drywall from the mantle up to the ceiling, removed the mantle, removed the bricks. I reworked the studs to be 16" on center so I could have good support for the plasma mount. Then I ran 2" conduit from the attic down. Is that an outside wall? The insulation is confusing if not (but of course I live in Florida so generally only the outside walls are insulated, maybe it's different up north).

Anyway, my point is that maybe you don't want to give up just yet. I ended up putting some built-ins on either side of my fireplace for components and tiled the fireplace (instead of the brick). Looks much nicer and probably added some value to my home. The last piece is yet to come, the plasma, but soon...

You didn't mention what the rest of the room looks like. In my case the fireplace is the center of the room so having the TV anywhere else did not make sense. Maybe in your room having it on a different wall will look good and ease the wiring.
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post #19 of 51 Old 12-01-2005, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GatorMike View Post

I'm not laughing at your picture, but it's funny because that's exactly how I got started on my project, I made a somewhat large hole in my wall to see what was back there. I just kept cutting.

Eventually what I did was to remove the entire drywall from the mantle up to the ceiling, removed the mantle, removed the bricks. I reworked the studs to be 16" on center so I could have good support for the plasma mount. Then I ran 2" conduit from the attic down. Is that an outside wall? The insulation is confusing if not (but of course I live in Florida so generally only the outside walls are insulated, maybe it's different up north).

Anyway, my point is that maybe you don't want to give up just yet. I ended up putting some built-ins on either side of my fireplace for components and tiled the fireplace (instead of the brick). Looks much nicer and probably added some value to my home. The last piece is yet to come, the plasma, but soon...

You didn't mention what the rest of the room looks like. In my case the fireplace is the center of the room so having the TV anywhere else did not make sense. Maybe in your room having it on a different wall will look good and ease the wiring.

Feel free to laugh. You absolutely right - it started as a small hole, but then i just had to see what's there .... then if it's any better on another side ...
I am in middle of similar project - that started when i decided to save 400$ on a second HDTV tivo and that turned out into whole house automation\\audio&video distribution system - i already spend 3000$ and going to spend 5000$ on equpment.... I can't really see the savings anymore...

For some reason i don't want build-ins in there. I got high ceiling in that room and i was thinking about running a crown molding about 5-10 inches below ceiling - to hide wiring for plasma, and put a rope lightning on the crown molding (facing ceiling) - that can be a nice background light to watch TV with.

Below is my floor plan - i got optional fireplace and morning room. This is outside wall, but because i am not in Florida - i am afraid if I'll mess with insulation - I'll have snow falling into my family room Stop over the fireplace is perfect cause it allows for correct 7.1 sound placement and i thought about putting an island between kitchen and family room so i can eat on it and watch the TV.

I decided to get a swing mount and put plasma on a garage wall - it be OK - if i wouldn't like it - I'll go back to plan A (but i need to finish basement first)



Hight res - http://images14.fotki.com/v249/fileJ...1/P1050318.jpg
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post #20 of 51 Old 12-02-2005, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirill View Post

Here is what i found when i opened the drywall



high-res here http://images5.fotki.com/v80/fileN8J...1/P1050317.jpg


kirill that pic is funny tho.. but only because it seems its something i would do too!

but even with insulation & esp with the opening u hjave can u just run a (2" ?)conduit down to your unfinished basement and pull wires thru it to your stereo? presuming that your stereo is on either side of the fireplace?

i agree with gatormike. it may not be necessary to give up on it just yet & i dont think u will need to rearrange things (studs,..) behind the wall to mount & wire your plasma either.
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post #21 of 51 Old 12-02-2005, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahlilj View Post

kirill that pic is funny tho.. but only because it seems its something i would do too!

but even with insulation & esp with the opening u hjave can u just run a (2" ?)conduit down to your unfinished basement and pull wires thru it to your stereo? presuming that your stereo is on either side of the fireplace?

i agree with gatormike. it may not be necessary to give up on it just yet & i dont think u will need to rearrange things (studs,..) behind the wall to mount & wire your plasma either.


I can't run it vertically - because there is a firebox - i need to go horizontally somewhat - if you look on a right side of the pic - there is 2-pack of studs, than there is a 4pack. Too many studs to go thru. i am make a large hole thru the studs - i am afraid it will weaken the structure. Rearranging the studs is very labor intensive.
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post #22 of 51 Old 12-02-2005, 12:03 PM
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the firebox only has so much in-depth (i.e. going "into the wall" direction) penetration. my point is that perhaps u can run the wiring into the wall say maybe 2 feet or so? then down vertically into the basement area. this is what i intend to do with mine.

this is the best image i could find to somewhat illustrate my point. before (fireplace as-is):
http://www.joelertola.com/grfx/grfx_img/Fireplace.jpg

then after (with wiring path shown in red) see attachment. i think there should be some open airspace behind the back of the fireplace box & the fireplace walla cavity in which wiring can be run out from the great room wall and down to the basement. hope this makes sense.
LL
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post #23 of 51 Old 12-02-2005, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahlilj View Post

then after (with wiring path shown in red) see attachment. i think there should be some open airspace behind the back of the fireplace box & the fireplace walla cavity in which wiring can be run out from the great room wall and down to the basement. hope this makes sense.

Woudn't work for me - my fireplace hanging outside the house (no basement under it)
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post #24 of 51 Old 12-03-2005, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirill View Post

Woudn't work for me - my fireplace hanging outside the house (no basement under it)

kirill, mine does to. no basement directly underneath it, but there is still support structure and access to it from the basement. the fireplace chimney extends ~3 feet from the main external wall all the way to the rooftop.
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post #25 of 51 Old 12-03-2005, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahlilj View Post

kirill, mine does to. no basement directly underneath it, but there is still support structure and access to it from the basement. the fireplace chimney extends ~3 feet from the main external wall all the way to the rooftop.

No direct access on mine - all closed down be 2x10. I just installed a new fireplace in a basement - there all kinds of clearance requirements to combustible materials - to do it right I'll need to rip siding from outside and it's no fun to do while it snows. I'll just put plasma on garage wall.

If i'll ever go back to over fireplace idea - i think i am going to my plan B - horizontal wiring in fat crown molding and vertical behind dryvall.
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post #26 of 51 Old 12-05-2005, 08:14 AM
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KAHLILJ,
It is a new house that I ran a 5 foot piece of PVC up from the basement, higher than the firebox and off to the corner. This will hopefully keep the wires off the firebox. It is behind the wall since there is lots of open space around fireplace inserts. What do you think? Is something going to melt?
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post #27 of 51 Old 12-05-2005, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deep Pockets View Post

KAHLILJ,
It is a new house that I ran a 5 foot piece of PVC up from the basement, higher than the firebox and off to the corner. This will hopefully keep the wires off the firebox. It is behind the wall since there is lots of open space around fireplace inserts. What do you think? Is something going to melt?


deep pockets, i am still learning about this myself. one thing i was informed of was, that the fireplace external wall does not get very hot. some electrical pvc i have seen (usually gray colored not the white for water service) is rated to 90°C which is ~194°F. the firebox does not reach that temp so i believe the pvc should provide adequate protection & no melting should occur. but i have also read that the maximum safe temp for pvc pipe is ~140°F. can someone verify this?

also check out this site for physical props of their PVC pipe.
http://www.harvel.com/piping-pvc.asp
although i think it is for the water service pvc (i.e. white color). it's probably close to electrical pvc pipe. notice the softening (or melt initiation) temp.

lastly check out this site specifcally for electrical pvc:
http://www.iewc.com/Tech18b.htm

hope this helps & does not confuse you too much.
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post #28 of 51 Old 12-06-2005, 07:16 AM
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Thanks, I used 2" white PVC and will investigate the melting point...before I burn the house down?
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post #29 of 51 Old 12-06-2005, 08:14 AM
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Great info here. I have no issues running the wires for the components down to the crawl space and over to the cabinet. I am running them through the back and into one of theose "fake" pre-fab chiminey thingy s and in to the crawl space. the fireplace is gas logs, so I don't really have too much problem there. The issue is where to get the power from? Should I hire an electrician to put a box in the wall, or run the cable to the outlet some how or what?

What are you guys doing about the power part of the equation? I don't feel comfortable running an extension cord down to the crawl space, yet. but the longer I wait, the more impatient I get...

Chris
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post #30 of 51 Old 12-06-2005, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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What are you guys doing about the power part of the equation? I don't feel comfortable running an extension cord down to the crawl space, yet. but the longer I wait, the more impatient I get...

Chris

Power have to be in condo. If you can route condo there - than go ahead.
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