Safe to run wire through a dryer vent?

NotDIYAugust 14, 2014

I'm looking to install an exterior security camera at my home. The closest power source is in the garage. The only opening which connects the garage to the exterior is a dryer vent. Would there be any problems running the power cord from the camera through the dryer vent to reach an outlet? Would it be necessary to wrap the cord with a heat resistant tape?

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Ron Natalie

You can not run cordage through walls (dryer vent or otherwise).

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 12:07PM
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If you are talking having the cord inside the duct of the dryer vent, its all kinds of a bad idea with the eventual result likely being a dryer vent fire. Dryer vent fire are a common enough hazard on their own you really don't want to try to cause one.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 12:08PM
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As ronnatalie points out, you can't run a power cord through the wall anywhere, so here is what I recommend: install an exterior, weatherproof, GFCI receptacle for your purpose. Judging by your screen name, I'm assuming you're not very handy, so you should hire a licensed electrician to do this.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 5:57PM
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Thank you all for the advice!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 6:37PM
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Most people who decide to install security cameras at home now are using the preassembled kits made in China and marketed everywhere. The power wiring is 12vdc, and can be run just about anywhere - a dead short will result only in a camera not working, so the wire itself doesn't pose a hazard.

That said, running ANYTHING through a dryer vent is a fail idea. The wire (or other obstruction) gives lint something to cling to, and the resulting buildup/clog is a serious fire hazard. If you run your camera wire through the dryer vent, I can rather guarantee you won't have an electrical fire because of it - but you WILL likely have a NON-electrical fire.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 11:24PM
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Ron Natalie

What people "do" doesn't make it legal to run cordage (low voltage or oherwise) through walls.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 8:46AM
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Are you saying low voltage cordage can not be run through walls? How about low voltage wire, such as in a door bell?

What is the difference? The covering?

Just curious.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 2:49PM
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Ron Natalie

You can't run cordage through the wall period.

Doorbell and other approved LV wiring (like thermostat and speaker wiring) are not CORDAGE.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 4:04PM
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So the answer is indeed the different cover material. Tnx for the nice answer.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 4:54PM
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Ron Natalie

Well it's the entire design. Not just the cover material. Cordage is typically more flexible, but not designed for enclosure. Cabling wants to be fixed in place and desined for such.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 8:55AM
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