How do I do this? I have done some wiring work (safely). My thought was to
disconnect the hot wire from the switch and run it to the outlet with the
new wire (black conductor of course), then run the white wire from the outlet
recoded as black to the switch. Will ground everything properly. The switch
only controls a small outside light. Is this the right way to do it ?
On Sat, 25 Jan 2014 19:16:34 -0600, DerbyDad03 wrote
The light was once always powered (that way when I bought the house) and I
had an electrician install a spst swittch to it so I could turn it off
without unscrewing the bulb. There is only one 2-conductor wire to the
switch and I want to power an electrical outlet from that switch wiring if
See the second part of my answer first.**
Only one 2-conducter cable to the switch. Where does the cable come
from? The outside light, I'll bet, but regardless.
Have you measure the voltage between ground and each side of the switch
when the swiitch is off? Maybe you have. But have you measured the
same voltages when the switch is on? They won't be the same as the
first set of measurements.
Have you measured the voltage between the two wires when the switch is
Off? Maybe you have. But have you measured the voltage between them
when the switch is On? That will probably surprise you.
Have you used a meter with 110Volt current? If not, post back so we
can discuss safety measures. For a start, never measure resistance
until after you have measured voltage between the same two places and
found that there is NO voltage. Otherwise you risk a big spark and
ruining the ohmmeter.
**No. You're trying to put the outlet (receptacle) in parallel withr
the switch. If you do that, when the switch is off it will be like
paragraph B below. When the swtich is On the new light will get no
voltage and it won't light.
B) Or say you're putting in the receptacle in place of the switch:
When you do that, say you plug a lamp into the receptacle. Then all the
electricity that would have flowed through the switch will flow though
the new lamp. And where will it go after that? To the outside light.
So the two bulbs will have to share 110 volts. Say each bulb is the
same size and type. Then each will use 55 volts and neither will shine
bright enough to be useful.
You need to make a drawing of all the wires currently there, and in
another color, all the wires you plan to add, and look at it closely
and hopefully you'll see why this can't work.
Hold on there, Phil. We need to know what is in his existing box, and
the location of the new outlet.
James, you first have to determine if you have a "neutral" in the switch
box. If the answer is no, then you will have to find another means of
installing an outlet. A white wire does not necessarily mean that the
wire is a neutral. However, your method of pig tailing the hot to the
switch is correct. Pig tailing the "white/neutral" to the switch is
Please get back to us with what you actually have present in the switch
You are right...there could be a 'cold' wire in the box...
I jumped to a conclusion because /usually/ there is not.
I think the OP should call an electrician as this is /very/ basic
and if he does not understand it...should not be dealing with it.
However, he should not feel bad about it.
When I was in engineering school, one of my room-mates made the same
mistake when trying to wire a switch to an outlet and I had to fix it
He went on to be on the design team for the CT-scanner at GE (Fast
Fourier transform development)
and later on the design team for the Cray-1 computer. (Logic designer)
He really was quite brilliant.
I ended up being an engineering "flunky" in the industrial
battery-charger business where I did not work with anything more hi-tech
than hi-frequency conversion and IGBT's.
On Saturday, January 25, 2014 10:08:58 PM UTC-5, SteveF wrote:
Until the OP clearly explains what already exists and
what he wants to do, no use trying to decode all the possibilities.
Another critical piece of information, does the outlet have to be
powered all the time, or is it OK if it's controlled by the
light switch too?
I may have read what you have written wrong. How many wires do you
have in the switch box you are describing?
If you only have two wires and a ground it won't work. If you have a
white wire in the box with a wirenut on it, you can do what you are
You still haven't explained how the switch and receptacle will interact.
Will the switch control both the receptacle and the light or will the
receptacle always be hot?
There's another item to consider: Right now you have 2 conducting wires, a
ground and switch in the box. It sounds like you are planning to add 3 more
conductors and a ground to the box. The switch box might not be big enough
to meet code with all of those wires.
How does that address my comment about two many wires in the box?
Regardless of the method used to originally wire the switch, I don't think
the switch box is big enough for all the wires.
The fact that the OP has said "run it to the outlet" my guess is that he
does not want the receptacle in the same box as the switch.
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