Would like to change a single switch, which controls an outlet, to a
dual decora switch to control two outlets for cabinet lights. Incoming
wire is 12/3 (black, white, grd), while current outgoing wire is 12/4
(white, black, red, grd). I haven't bought a new outlet yet as I am
unsure what to buy.
Do I need to run seperate service to each outlet and break steel tab on
Or Can I use existing wiring to service outlet so both switches work?
The new outlet could be the problem. The switch is just a switch no
problem. Putting in a new outlet means running new wires to it. You can't
just cut an existing wire in a wall and add an outlet. It does not sound
like you have the experience and knowledge to do this safely.
However if all you want to do is change out the switch and change the
outlet to now both the top and bottom plugs are switched, that is doable. Is
that what you want to do?
I wonder if making both outlets switched could cause a local code
violation with not having an outlet available over X number of feet of wall
space, since both would become switched outlets?
I will have two outlets available over a 100" opening. The new outlet
is actually going to be hidden so I can connect low voltage cabinet
florescent lamps. I would like to be able to switch these on and off
at the wall, rather than plugging and unplugging. There will also be
lights in the glass cabinets above that will be switched on/off.
This ground you refer to, is it an uninsulated wire? If so, you
have 12/2 and 12/3 wire, because that one isn't counted.
What is the point of breaking the steel? tab?
Is the current outlet on the way to the second new outlet? Or is it
in another direction? If the first is true or can be thought to be
true, you run a new piece of 12/2 from the current outlet to the new.
Does the existing wiring go to this outlet that doesn't exist yet?
That would be surprising!
I think most of the replies are misinterpreting what you're trying to
do. I'm thinking you are referring to an existing duplex outlet in which
one half is switched and the other half is constant. You want to have
both half's of the outlet independently switched to power two sets of
lights in a cabinet that will be in front of the outlet in question.
It sounds like the existing wiring is 12/2 for power coming in to the
switch box and 12/3 heading to the outlet with one leg switched. The
wiring would be the black hot leg from the incoming 12/2 connecting to
the switch and also to one of the outbound wires, probably also black,
heading to the outlet. The other outbound wire, probably red, connects
to the other switch terminal. At the outlet the black wire connects to
the unswitched half and the red to the switched half. The link tab on
the hot side of the outlet is of course removed.
Ignoring any code issues re: spacing between non switched outlets, it's
an extremely simple matter to convert this setup to both switched, as
long as there are no connections heading out from the outlet to provide
unswitched power to other outlets. Assuming the 12/3 wire from the
switch box terminates at the outlet in question, all you have to do is
wire the double switch with the black hot from the incoming 12/2 to the
common terminal of the double switch, and wire the outbound red and
black wires of the 12/3 to the outlet to each of the two switch
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