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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings!

Getting ready to mount a TV over my fireplace. Here is what I'm working with:
-First floor family room
-On slab
-Windows on either side of fireplace

SO, what I'm proposing to do is pull power from an outlet under the right window via conduit running outside of the house back into the fireplace bump-out.

For the three HDMI cables, I was planning to run those from the left side of the fireplace (cable outlet is on that side) also outside under the vinyl siding and back in.

The reason for running the power and HDMI cables outside and back in is because between the sources and the TV are at least five studs.

QUESTION 1: is the HDMI under vinyl siding OK and if so will bends affect the cable?
QUESTION 2: what kind of electrical cable should I use inside of the conduit? I was just going to use Romex but doing some research yields more questions than answers.

Thanks!
 

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So your big enemy in this is a little thing called "bending radius". It is calculated as a multiple of the cable's diameter (overall thickness). Ideally you don't want to bend a shielded cable more than a factor of 8 and certainly no more than 6. For example, if your HDMI cable is 1/4" thick, you wouldn't want to bend it into a circle less than 2" in diameter (measured at the interior of the cable sheath). You can see you will want as thin of cable as you can find. If you start compromising that spec by smashing the cable into a hard 90 degree angle, the shielding is likely to be damaged , if not immediately, then over time from temperature changes. Speaking of which, what kind of region do you live in? The bigger the temperature swings, the harder it will be on the cable.
Is there any way to remove some of the siding and channel out a path in the foam insulation board (I am assuming is there) for the HDMI cable to bend where it exits and enters the house?
As far as the electrical wire, I believe what you want is referred to as THHN, which will be an individually sheathed electrical wire. You'll need three spools, one white, one black, one green. Probably 12 gauge. If you can ID the gauge of what's feeding the outlet you're branching off of, match that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So your big enemy in this is a little thing called "bending radius". It is calculated as a multiple of the cable's diameter (overall thickness). Ideally you don't want to bend a shielded cable more than a factor of 8 and certainly no more than 6. For example, if your HDMI cable is 1/4" thick, you wouldn't want to bend it into a circle less than 2" in diameter (measured at the interior of the cable sheath). You can see you will want as thin of cable as you can find. If you start compromising that spec by smashing the cable into a hard 90 degree angle, the shielding is likely to be damaged , if not immediately, then over time from temperature changes. Speaking of which, what kind of region do you live in? The bigger the temperature swings, the harder it will be on the cable.
Is there any way to remove some of the siding and channel out a path in the foam insulation board (I am assuming is there) for the HDMI cable to bend where it exits and enters the house?
As far as the electrical wire, I believe what you want is referred to as THHN, which will be an individually sheathed electrical wire. You'll need three spools, one white, one black, one green. Probably 12 gauge. If you can ID the gauge of what's feeding the outlet you're branching off of, match that.
Weaslfest- I live outside of Atlanta. Hot summers, mild to cold winters.

The cables I have in mind are the thin RedMere HDMI cables from Monoprice. Thanks for the info on radius. Will mind the bend.

I can try and angle it into the box on both ends and wide radius it as much as possible.
 

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QUESTION 2: what kind of electrical cable should I use inside of the conduit? I was just going to use Romex but doing some research yields more questions than answers.
Thanks!

Careful with this. Romex is not supposed to be run through conduit. You also cannot run it exposed (or tucked under siding).

What you need for conduit is individual wire as mentioned by weaselfest. This is typically run through metal conduit designed for electrical wire. Low voltage cable (i.e. HDMI) and electrical cable should not share the same conduit. I believe that violates code.

You also need to find out if what you want to do complies with nationals and local codes. Different areas have different rules for this kind of thing.

HDMI isn't a safety issue. However, screwing up a power cable could potentially burn your house down. Even if you don't, it becomes a problem when you try to sell the house and the buyer's home inspector raises a red flag. Or you want to get a work permit for something else and the local inspector issues a violation for the poorly run line.

To run a power line, best to call a licensed electrician. They may not only have a better way to do it, but it may also be less expensive than you thought. It is almost guaranteed to be safer. At the very least, find a local electrician who is a friend (or friend of a friend) and get their advice on how to do it safely and comply with all local electrical codes.
 

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Something else to consider is the effect of sunlight. Does the sun hit that siding? If so, the temperature of the HDMI might get sort of high and cause rapid aging of its insulation plus in winter there might be condensation that saturates it with moisture. Interior wiring is a poor choice for such an exterior job. Most likely it will work fine...?

Wiring that hides in unexpected places tends to get damaged by unsuspecting laborers e.g. when they remove and replace the siding. Electrician friend of mine once drilled into a cinderblock wall at a school and hit the buried conduit that was powering the drill.:rolleyes: At another school, careless plumber blasted holes through two power lines that were stapled to the other side of the floor joists.:rolleyes:

You can drill through studs with a right angle drill if you have enough clearance to insert the head and bit. I would try that first instead of running exterior. Then again, if there is nothing but solid wood between the fireplace stone and the window frame, this is not going to work.

You can also run surface wiremold on the interior of the room. It can be unobtrusive if done with skill and would be my second choice.

I would leave the exterior wiring option as a last resort. Penetrations that travel clear through the wall tend to be messy to seal against weather. They also tend to disturb any vapor barrier or air infiltration barrier, not that it matters much where you live.

Your final option is to run the wire through the flue.:eek::D

Good luck. Hope you find a good solution. If you have any issues with building permits or inspections you can always remove the wiring, just be sure you install it safely and be aware that if your work is not legally performed and approved and it causes a fire or injury you are fully liable for damages, not your insurance.
 

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As far as the electrical wire, I believe what you want is referred to as THHN, which will be an individually sheathed electrical wire. You'll need three spools, one white, one black, one green. Probably 12 gauge. If you can ID the gauge of what's feeding the outlet you're branching off of, match that.
Officially you want THWN which is suitable for wet locations (conduit outdoors is considered a wet location). Just about all THHN you find at Home Depot or lowes will be THWN but it's better to check and be safe. Also, if this is a short run (couple feet) you could use UF cable. It's harder to pull through conduit, especially if there are tight turns, and it'll heat up slightly more due to the casing, but it's safe to use in conduit. Also, matching the feeder gauge is very important. Make sure you have a gauge at least as thick as the feeder. Also I'll add the caveat, I'm NOT an electrician, just someone who has done research on this before.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Officially you want THWN which is suitable for wet locations (conduit outdoors is considered a wet location). Just about all THHN you find at Home Depot or lowes will be THWN but it's better to check and be safe. Also, if this is a short run (couple feet) you could use UF cable. It's harder to pull through conduit, especially if there are tight turns, and it'll heat up slightly more due to the casing, but it's safe to use in conduit. Also, matching the feeder gauge is very important. Make sure you have a gauge at least as thick as the feeder. Also I'll add the caveat, I'm NOT an electrician, just someone who has done research on this before.
Thanks dman.
Yeah, I plan on using THWN. Already priced out a roll at HD. It's a 15 foot run. 12 ga. is what I plan on using.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Careful with this. Romex is not supposed to be run through conduit. You also cannot run it exposed (or tucked under siding).

What you need for conduit is individual wire as mentioned by weaselfest. This is typically run through metal conduit designed for electrical wire. Low voltage cable (i.e. HDMI) and electrical cable should not share the same conduit. I believe that violates code.

You also need to find out if what you want to do complies with nationals and local codes. Different areas have different rules for this kind of thing.

HDMI isn't a safety issue. However, screwing up a power cable could potentially burn your house down. Even if you don't, it becomes a problem when you try to sell the house and the buyer's home inspector raises a red flag. Or you want to get a work permit for something else and the local inspector issues a violation for the poorly run line.

To run a power line, best to call a licensed electrician. They may not only have a better way to do it, but it may also be less expensive than you thought. It is almost guaranteed to be safer. At the very least, find a local electrician who is a friend (or friend of a friend) and get their advice on how to do it safely and comply with all local electrical codes.
I will be using THWN jrm21. Absolutely NO plans on running that under the siding.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Something else to consider is the effect of sunlight. Does the sun hit that siding? If so, the temperature of the HDMI might get sort of high and cause rapid aging of its insulation plus in winter there might be condensation that saturates it with moisture. Interior wiring is a poor choice for such an exterior job. Most likely it will work fine...?

Wiring that hides in unexpected places tends to get damaged by unsuspecting laborers e.g. when they remove and replace the siding. Electrician friend of mine once drilled into a cinderblock wall at a school and hit the buried conduit that was powering the drill.:rolleyes: At another school, careless plumber blasted holes through two power lines that were stapled to the other side of the floor joists.:rolleyes:

You can drill through studs with a right angle drill if you have enough clearance to insert the head and bit. I would try that first instead of running exterior. Then again, if there is nothing but solid wood between the fireplace stone and the window frame, this is not going to work.

You can also run surface wiremold on the interior of the room. It can be unobtrusive if done with skill and would be my second choice.

I would leave the exterior wiring option as a last resort. Penetrations that travel clear through the wall tend to be messy to seal against weather. They also tend to disturb any vapor barrier or air infiltration barrier, not that it matters much where you live.

Your final option is to run the wire through the flue.:eek::D

Good luck. Hope you find a good solution. If you have any issues with building permits or inspections you can always remove the wiring, just be sure you install it safely and be aware that if your work is not legally performed and approved and it causes a fire or injury you are fully liable for damages, not your insurance.
CherylJosie, yeah, out and back in is what it's going to be.
My house is newish construction (10 years old) with a firebox/flue setup in a void. So no stone or brick to drill through.
Great thought on the sun beating up the siding. It is the west side of the house so it gets the sunsetting in the late afternoons. The HDMI cable I'll be using (once they get it back in stock) is the Monoprice 15ft RedMere Active HDMI cable (9169).
 

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Like to hope this is stating the obvious, but please make sure to test your HDMI cables BEFORE you install them and if possible, immediately after, before you clip the siding back together.
 

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Like to hope this is stating the obvious, but please make sure to test your HDMI cables BEFORE you install them and if possible, immediately after, before you clip the siding back together.
Lol. Yeah, I plan to do that before punching holes in the wall.
Thanks!:)
 
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