Male to Male Cord

greg33December 5, 2009

I have a 40" HDTV on the bedroom wall. On the other side of the wall is the closet. On the closet shelf I put our DVR, PS3, and wireless phone jack all plugged into a Monster surge protector. I have a 4 hole outlet in the closet and a one hole outlet behind the TV on the wall. The TV outlet is recessed a little into the wall. I can plug the TV power cord into this outlet but there is no direct power. The "power" is run from that outlet up into my attic and then down to the outlet in the closet. This is so my TV can also be plugged into the surge protector and as there is no room by the TV to put one. How it is plugged in is with a homemade male to male 2' extension cord that goes from the outlet in the closet and then into the surge protector. It basically helps plug in the TV from the other wall. It is against code to just run the TV power cord through the wall and into the surge protector.

Any comments about this set-up? Safe? Alternate suggestions?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hexus

You're current set up is far from safe or code compliant.
Male to male cords are dangerous and illegal. If that one end comes loose for whatever reason the exposed prongs will be energized.
You're better off to run your TV's power cord through the wall. Though it may not be UL approved to do so I doubt you would have any problems and it would be much much safer.
From what I understand from how your set up is you would just need to run the cord straight out from the back of the TV through a 2x4 sheet rocked wall (Im assuming) to get into the closet? Personally I see no safety hazard in doing that.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 4:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
petey_racer

WOW! Just wow!

A male-to-male cord is NEVER ever safe. Period. End of story.

I fail to see ANY valid reason for you to even consider doing this. And honestly I cannot visualize your situation.

If you want to plug the TV into a surge protector why not just install a surge protection receptacle behind it?

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 5:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hexus

another thing that kind of gets me....

why didn't you research if doing such a thing would be ok BEFORE you did it?

I've re-read your post several times and still don't fully understand the entire thing. Regardless though, I don't need to. Like petey said, male to male cords are never ok, safe, approved, etc...

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 5:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mike_kaiser_gw

I read it too and it seems kind of confusing. What I think he has is two duplex receptacles in a double gang box. The first receptacle is part of the household wiring and provides power for the surge suppressor. The second receptacle is not connected to the household wiring but rather simply serves to "feed" (via the suicide cord) the single receptacle behind the TV the on the other of the wall.

To the OP: There's a reason that a male to male cord is often called a "suicide cord". It's a good way to kill yourself (or someone you love).

Why not call in a licensed electrician and have him wire things correctly and safely. If you feel capable of doing the work yourself, I'm sure someone here can help out.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 12:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pjb999

You can run the proper wire up into attic, across, down into wall with outlet (you can add a surge protector outlet into the tv power recessed box) and join to the 'load' screws. Up and over is a permissible method of wiring, but male-to-male-plug is stupid and irresponsible.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 1:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joed

The outlet on the wall feed up to the attic needs to be an inlet. Then a regualr male-female cord can be used.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 10:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fix_it

Use a MALE OUTLET and then you can use a regular extension cord. But, a quick we search did not turn up what I was looking for. I have seen these before.

Another idea: What if he put a blank cover on the box in the closet. Then passes some SO cord thru a cord-grip connector and terminated it in a male cord cap. This cord would then plug into a surge protector and in turn into the regular receptical.

I am not sure that would be legal, but it would have to be a lot better that a suicide cord.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 6:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pharkus

You're not finding a "male outlet" because it's called an "inlet", and there is another current thread on here about them - see the one about making a circuit that plugs into a UPS.

It would also be acceptable to replace your current outlet-used-as-an-inlet with a blank plate with a knockout in it, install an SO clamp in that knockout with a short length of cord coming out and a plug on the end.

Some other thoughts:

- they make hardwired surge suppressors that set into an electrical box and have flat flush fronts. You could install one of these. I have also seen a surge-suppressing outlet that looks like a gfci.

- The NEC states quite clearly that an electrician cannot run an appliance cord through a hole in the wall. While it technically does apply, nobody's going to enforce the NEC against the end user. Nobody's going to waltz into your house and inspect what you've got plugged in where. You, as a consumer, can certainly drill a hole in the wall and poke the TV cord through, and I reckon it'd be a lot safer than this thing you've currently got hacked together.

I'm voting for a hardwired surge suppressor. My second vote is for the piece of appropriately-clamped SO cord into a blank plate.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 11:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
greg33

Thank you all for your replies. I appreciate the knowledge. I know nothing about this topic. It was installed by an electrician. I will let him know your opinions. We will have to work to improve it.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 3:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
daveho

You need to find a new electrician! A male to male cord is a big no-no.

-Dave

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 3:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
homebound

That reads like a riddle. Can this guy simply put a plug on the end of the wire that feeds the tv receptacle? At least it would still have a female end (receptacle) and male end (which can be plugged into the surge suppressor.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 6:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
steve_fl

Take that Male to Male cord, cut it in half and get rid of it NOW.
No self respecting electrician would EVER think of doing this, much less actually do it.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 6:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kudzu9

And unplug the cord before you cut it in half...

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 4:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hendricus

And unplug the cord before you cut it in half...

Lady friend of ours got mad at the TV and literally cut the cord. She made sure it was safe to do so by turning the TV off first, never did unplug the cord. I asked but she said it never sparked or tripped the breaker. Go figure.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 9:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
homebound

Was her name Phyllis Diller?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 10:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
groundrod

They don't call those cords widowmakers for nothing. It is criminal to make one, and just let somebody get hurt by it and you will find out just how criminal.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 10:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
andrelaplume2

If you can poke the cord thru the wall and plug it in in the closet...why didn't the electrician just tap that outlet and add one right in back of the tv. They sell a supressor single plug....just plug it into the outlet and the tv into the plug...mine has a dot on it that turns a color once it goes bad.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 12:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
greg33

Again, thank you for all the information!!!
Just an update...
I talked to my electrician and he said we could do two options:
1. put in a commercial grade surge protector (made for hospitals and costs $25). It is installed behind the TV. It's bright orange.
or
2. he said the male to male plug will work but it is dangerous if you plug in the hot outlet first. First plug into the "dead" outlet and then the surge protector last. Then it is not dangerous. He has witnessed low voltage electricians use this method many times in million dollar homes for high end theater set-ups, etc.

Any suggestions which way to go? If the orange protector I may have to paint it red to match the wall. Not sure how really good the surge protector is. The TV is expensive. The male to male plug will cost $15.
Thank you

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 2:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pharkus

Definitely #1.

Your electrician is a hack, plain and simple. For one thing, properly-educated, trained, licensed electricians follow the electrical code, which this guy clearly does not. They also don't tend to learn much from the low-voltage guys.

The need for safety extends beyond you. What if somehow the cord gets unplugged accidentally? Say you're moving some equipment around in the closet and something snags the cord. Now you've got a live end floating around.

What you are talking about doing is, like it or not, both unsafe and illegal. Your electrician needs to be, at the minimum, cursed out. If this particular project is any sign of how he does other work, sued-into-oblivion might not be too severe.

IT'S AGAINST CODE. YOUR ELECTRICIAN EITHER DOESN'T KNOW WHAT HE'S TALKING ABOUT OR IS LYING TO YOU.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 3:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mike_kaiser_gw

I talked to my electrician...he said the male to male plug will work but it is dangerous if you plug in the hot outlet first. First plug into the "dead" outlet and then the surge protector last. Then it is not dangerous. He has witnessed low voltage electricians use this method many times in million dollar homes for high end theater set-ups, etc.

He's an idiot. Fire him and find someone competent.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 4:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
billhart

If you have building inspection where you live, take a picture of this "work of art" to the officials and tell them who set that up. He will no longer be licensed, or at the very least will be reprimanded.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 5:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hexus

just to try to get the point across even more so....

he doesn't have a clue what he's talking about. What the hell is a "low voltage electrician"? If they're licensed and can work on 120v and higher why not call them just "electricians"? I sometimes pull in low voltage, but never would I call myself a "low voltage electrician".
If all they have is a low voltage license (which some states require) then they have no right to even touch 120v and them doing so and then making male to male cords is a double whammy.

I would demand he come take the male to male cord out and make it right, if he doesn't, start making phone calls and working up the chain.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 7:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fix_it

I'm not sure where he came up with the orange hospital surge protector. I was at the local Lowes and in the home theater section, there is a receptical that has the surge protector built in. It resmbles a normal receptical. What you have is just nuts.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 9:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
azlighting

Electrician is an idiot...

cords in walls are ILLEGAL per NEC code...

Orange surge protector was most likely a left over from another project. HD or Lowes has the correct surge protector receptacle for around $30.00

    Bookmark   December 15, 2009 at 12:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
homebound

I'm sorry to get this thread started again.

I wonder if installing a "power inlet" plug into the closet would have solved this? Then a short, heavy gauge cord would make the connection between the surge suppressor and the inlet.

Yes, no?

    Bookmark   December 30, 2009 at 3:27PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Lights Flickering...
We paid an electrician to put in a ceiling light in...
regina_phalange
How to get garage freezer to work in cold weather
I have a 7-year-old GE refrigerator/freezer in my unheated,...
amyf5
Well this sucks
Just when you thought the idiot popup ads in the gardenweb...
Ron Natalie
Multiple Fluorescent Ballasts in one light fixture
Hello GardenWeb. I'm not new here, but couldn't log...
MikeM21
Reuse electrical panel
I replaced a 24 circuit Square D panel with a new 40...
zver11
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™