Change an outlet to a hard wired connection?

8 Jun 2019
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I have a working outlet on a finished wall.

I’m turning that blank walls space into a faux hearth... building a very shallow (6” deep) framed bump out under a shelf, and installing an electric fireplace/heater insert into that.

My issue is that the fireplace connects with a bulky 3-prong plug, the outlet is located behind the silhouette of the fireplace/box, and I can’t make the bump out any deeper to accommodate the plug’s depth without losing the aesthetic of the shelf overhanging the face of the hearth.

Is there a way to safely cut the plug off the end of the cord, remove the outlet, and connect the cord directly to the hot/neutral/ground with wire nuts and then cover the junction box sub a plate or something?

Am I better off removing the outlet, extending the connection 18” or so just to get it into another box that’s out of the way of the fireplace’s depth, and maybe turned 90 degrees so the fireplace’s plug can plug in conveniently?

Is having a plugged-in connection essentially contained in a framed and finished box problematic or unsafe in some way? The fireplace is relatively easily removed (a few screws into the frames opening) even after it’s installed.

What’s my solution here? I can’t imagine this is especially unusual. The “fireplace” would look pretty tacky just wall mounted with a cord coming out of it to the nearest outlet or God forbid an extension cord along the baseboard of the room.
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I’m more so interested in the feasibility of the connection methods

In the UK, we don't like wirenuts, but we have an accessory designed to do the job you want. So it is perfectly feasible.

For example this one includes a neon/LED "on" indicator (optional), a DP on/off switch (optional) and an (up to) 13A fuse (different accessories do not have this, but for the purpose you describe it would be usual). We call it an FCU (fused connection unit) and the one shown is an SFCU (switched)

Inside, it contains screw-clamp terminals for 2P plus earth. There are six terminals; three for supply cable and three for load. The earth connections are permanent and not switched.

You can't see the flex outlet because it comes out of the bottom edge (not visible in photo). It is provided with a blanking plug when the hole is not in use.


And this one is a plain flex outlet, 20A rated, screw-clamp terminals for 2P plus earth, cord grips, no switch, no flex, no fuse. This would be used where the switch and fuse were upstream of the outlet, perhaps in a handier location.


Many of our accessories include fuses because our design of domestic wiring circuit is different to yours. Different fuses are available but the highest permitted for this kind of accessory is 13A which in our system gives 3kW max (approx). Higher ratings have a different sort of circuit, and a different (often larger) design of switch and connector (e.g. cookers). We use single-phase and neutral in domestic circuits.

Incidentally, our plugs do not project so far, because they are designed with the flex going downward. This is to discourage users trying to yank them out by pulling on the flex, and also to prevent dirt or liquid falling or running into the cable entry. Our plugs are quite large. The socket is usually equipped with a DP switch so the plug does not have to be removed to isolate the appliance.

Maybe someone will know what accessories are allowed and available in your country.