Safely covering a power outlet with insulation - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 30 Old 12-05-2019, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Safely covering a power outlet with insulation

Behind my baffle wall there’s a double power outlet in the concrete wall. (See arrow in picture attached). I will fill up the baffle wing with fluffy pink (which isn’t pink over here but yellow, but it’s still fiberglass based).

I’d like to use one outlet to connect my subwoofers, but I have no use for the other one. How do I safely treat this behind the fluffy pink?

a) just put the fluffy in front of it, there will be no fire hazard
b) keep the fluffy a certain distance from the wall (will this help with bass trapping as well?)
c) cover it with duct tape
d) other, ....

Any advice?




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post #2 of 30 Old 12-05-2019, 02:50 PM
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vote for "a" but put your power cord in first, maybe secure it so it doesn't come loose. Your local codes may have a different opinion.
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post #3 of 30 Old 12-05-2019, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
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It’s the European kind that doesn’t easily come loose so that’s a good idea. But what about the one that I’m not using? Plug it with a dummy?


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post #4 of 30 Old 12-05-2019, 03:33 PM
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post #5 of 30 Old 12-05-2019, 04:10 PM
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post #6 of 30 Old 12-05-2019, 04:17 PM
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I know here if it isn't easily accessible it isn't legal, I'd make sure you have some way to gain access to that outlet just in case you ever need to. Is it possible to get it relocated so its in the wall?
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post #7 of 30 Old 12-05-2019, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewaves View Post
I know here if it isn't easily accessible it isn't legal, I'd make sure you have some way to gain access to that outlet just in case you ever need to. Is it possible to get it relocated so its in the wall?


Hmm. That’s a good point. I checked the regulations and indeed it must be accessible. Presumably to be able to disconnect whatever’s plugged in in case of trouble. I could just plug-in an extender and plug the sub in that extender where I can reach it, but that’s strictly not according to the rules.

I’ll see if I can make a tunnel in the isolation and baffle so that I could reach the outlet.


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post #8 of 30 Old 12-05-2019, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Option d would then become:



If I put this 6” tube through the fluffy, I could wire the sub through the side tube and reach the outlet through the front tube. Just have to make a 6” hole in the baffle wall and attach one of the foam tiles with Velcro

Option e would be to keep the entire bottom of the baffle wing open and start the pink fluffy and wings only above the level of the outlet. Not sure if that would be sturdy enough.


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post #9 of 30 Old 12-05-2019, 05:05 PM
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you can make that whole corner assembly easily removable for access.
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post #10 of 30 Old 12-05-2019, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
you can make that whole corner assembly easily removable for access.


If it would be a false wall maybe, but the wall will have mdf + drywall + gg + drywall so quite heavy to make removable.
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post #11 of 30 Old 12-05-2019, 05:08 PM
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It is definitely against the rules of the NEC here in the USA to cover, block or otherwise restrict access to any any device that has electrical wiring in it, with that said are you going to be selling your house with it like this? If so then you should put it where it can be seen/accessed without obstructions. Otherwise if you will be removing the wall (temp wall during theater viewing, Temp via the NEC means a lot of things... LOL) then I would say all is fair game within your comfort range knowing that blocking it is a potential hazard.

Just words of encouragement!

Carry on!!
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post #12 of 30 Old 12-05-2019, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynkage View Post
are you going to be selling your house with it like this?

It’s not likely that would happen any time soon but it’s likely the room would be sold as a theatre as-is so another reason to keep it accessible somehow. Thanks!



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post #13 of 30 Old 12-05-2019, 05:32 PM
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If it were me, and based on what has already been established about codes (although you should always verify against local codes as they vary from place to place) I would repopulate it. You are already committed to putting up framing so just cut that drywall out to the left or right and put the receptacle outside the false wall.

Looking at the above picture you will either have extra wire to the right or left (which would choose my direction) and you would just need to trim up the excess and then reattach to a new box - this is considering the receptacle is end of line.. Worst case, the line comes from above and you will need to get some extra wire - make absolutely sure its the same kind and then extend. You will need a sealed junction box for the "splice". Another worse case is if that receptacle is "in the middle" meaning you have a line to the left and right.. similar problem - you will need to trim one side and then connect the new box into the line and probably use a junction box where the existing receptacle used to be.

After that - put the dry wall back and hit it with some mud to clean it up. Paint it with some PVA and then whatever color you want and you should be gtg. If you use some instant 45 min mud you could probably pull off a 'good enough' job in about a day that is going to be hidden behind your new construction.
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post #14 of 30 Old 12-05-2019, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliRaftDude View Post
If it were me, and based on what has already been established about codes (although you should always verify against local codes as they vary from place to place) I would repopulate it. You are already committed to putting up framing so just cut that drywall out to the left or right and put the receptacle outside the false wall.

Looking at the above picture you will either have extra wire to the right or left (which would choose my direction) and you would just need to trim up the excess and then reattach to a new box - this is considering the receptacle is end of line.. Worst case, the line comes from above and you will need to get some extra wire - make absolutely sure its the same kind and then extend. You will need a sealed junction box for the "splice". Another worse case is if that receptacle is "in the middle" meaning you have a line to the left and right.. similar problem - you will need to trim one side and then connect the new box into the line and probably use a junction box where the existing receptacle used to be.

After that - put the dry wall back and hit it with some mud to clean it up. Paint it with some PVA and then whatever color you want and you should be gtg. If you use some instant 45 min mud you could probably pull off a 'good enough' job in about a day that is going to be hidden behind your new construction.
Hiding a junction box is just as bad as leaving the receptacle where it's at. I agree with moving it, just make sure there is access. Where are the other receptacles at?
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post #15 of 30 Old 12-05-2019, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Safely covering a power outlet with insulation

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliRaftDude View Post
You are already committed to putting up framing so just cut that drywall out to the left or right and put the receptacle outside the false wall.

If it were drywall then that would probably be my first choice too. However it’s a poured concrete basement. I can’t even drill or cut into the wall without risk of leakage (or voiding warranty on the isolation of the basement). The box for the current outlet was probably poured directly into the concrete.

(The framing is attached only to the ceiling because of the ‘no drilling’ requirement).


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post #16 of 30 Old 12-05-2019, 05:54 PM
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If it would be a false wall maybe, but the wall will have mdf + drywall + gg + drywall so quite heavy to make removable.

Make a man sized porthole that is screwed in place but can be removed for access out of MDF/DW/GG/DW maybe 2x2 ft, similar to putting an inline duct fan in a double drywall ceiling, you need a removable access hatch.
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post #17 of 30 Old 12-05-2019, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by elitemikes View Post
Hiding a junction box is just as bad as leaving the receptacle where it's at. I agree with moving it, just make sure there is access. Where are the other receptacles at?
I thought NEC codes allowed for TYCO-like push together connections to be covered (I still put them in a junction box). I have no idea what is allowed in OP's spot. The fact that its concrete makes that moot.
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post #18 of 30 Old 12-05-2019, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by CaliRaftDude View Post
I thought NEC codes allowed for TYCO-like push together connections to be covered (I still put them in a junction box). I have no idea what is allowed in OP's spot. The fact that its concrete makes that moot.
I believe the entire connection and box must be of a maintenance free design, which is rare with junction boxes. Anyways, depending on the electrical layout of the room, there is probably a way depending on how much work the OP wants to do as far as wiring and maybe some new framing to conceal the wires. Could also go with surface mounted electrical if he could disconnect that old outlet.

I'd probably just make some way to open up that corner and call it a day though.
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post #19 of 30 Old 12-05-2019, 06:43 PM
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Cover it up and delete post lol

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post #20 of 30 Old 12-05-2019, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elitemikes View Post
I believe the entire connection and box must be of a maintenance free design, which is rare with junction boxes. Anyways, depending on the electrical layout of the room, there is probably a way depending on how much work the OP wants to do as far as wiring and maybe some new framing to conceal the wires. Could also go with surface mounted electrical if he could disconnect that old outlet.

I'd probably just make some way to open up that corner and call it a day though.
Fair enough... good know. thx!
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post #21 of 30 Old 12-05-2019, 09:39 PM
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We do have here in the US a "Romex" Non-Metalic splice kit to extend direct wires "in-wall". You should check your local codes but you might find you can do that in your area. If this is in concrete, my guess is, it is in conduit and probably can not be buried behind a wall, so creating access would be your best bet. I hope you find an answer!
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post #22 of 30 Old 12-06-2019, 01:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Safely covering a power outlet with insulation

Near the right wall the wing is about 30” from the back wall. At the other end of the wing it’s 2” from the back wall wall. So it’s a huge triangular space behind it. If I stuff that entirely with fluffy pink, would it make sense to make holes in the baffle wall so it can double as a bass trap? How big would such holes need to be? And does the position of the hole matter? Since I kept the frame separate from the concrete walls there’s a long vertical gap on the side of about 1.5” anyway.


Perhaps I could combine those holes with one hole that gives access to the outlet.


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post #23 of 30 Old 12-06-2019, 06:21 AM
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Most of Nyles wing wall baffle designs leave ample open space at the top and bottom, You could easily leave 2 ft open at the bottom (covered by a fabric panel) and have all the access you need to make the outlet "permanently accessible"
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post #24 of 30 Old 12-06-2019, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmm yes that’s a possibility too, although other designers seem to have the opinion that the baffle should extend vertically too. But there’s room for a vertical piece of baffle since the outlet is at about 12” from the floor.

Good. Plenty of options after all. Will ponder this a bit more and update the result in my build thread.


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post #25 of 30 Old 12-06-2019, 02:24 PM
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Accessible and visible are two different things.

It is perfectly fine (in the USA, under NEC) to have a receptacle outlet inside a cabinet,, for instance. It is not visible when the cabinet is closed - but it is accessible for usage and service. (A recep inside a cabinet wouldn't count toward the "required receptacles" at least every 12 linear feet of wall space - not that anyone asked that question...)

In this situation, if you had an access panel that popped out or swung open, and through that you have room to work on the box and service the wiring inside, then it is "accessible."

Obviously local codes vary but that's the general principle.

I wouldn't do the PVC port thing as one would not be able to service the inside of the electrical box through that opening - "not accessible."

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post #26 of 30 Old 12-06-2019, 07:24 PM
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For outlet access I would imagine that the rule only applies to permanent access, not stuff like furniture. I don't see why that section of baffle wall cannot be made as a removable structure. It doesn't have to be readily removable, just a structure that can be detached if necessary.
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post #27 of 30 Old 12-16-2019, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I solved it by making a small plateau above the outlet, so that I can fill everything above it with fluffy pink while easily being able to access the outlet:



The supports are glued to the concrete since I can’t drill in it. Fluffy pink isn’t heavy though so this should work fine.

I think I’ll leave the hole in the baffle open, and covering it only with a fabric panel in front of it.
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post #28 of 30 Old 12-16-2019, 04:14 PM
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that would leave a big cavity with hard surfaces, I'd stick some stuff in there behind the fabric to mitigate any resonances. Doesn't really matter what just something that absorbs sound. Old pillows for example.
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post #29 of 30 Old 12-16-2019, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
that would leave a big cavity with hard surfaces, I'd stick some stuff in there behind the fabric to mitigate any resonances. Doesn't really matter what just something that absorbs sound. Old pillows for example.


Good point. If I line the floor and side with leftover insulation or foam, and leave the wall with the outlet as is, would that be enough?


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post #30 of 30 Old 12-16-2019, 07:05 PM
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probably just make sure you don't have two parallel hard surfaces without something.
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