switches & outlets


Old 09-12-00, 06:43 PM
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Can I replace a light switch with a switch and outlet in 1 piece. The switch is currently being used for an outside light. I want to have an outlet and switch in this spot. Can this be done?
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Old 09-12-00, 09:39 PM
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Hi Webbs,
It depends. If the power to the outside light originates in the box you can, if it doesn't you can't (easily). The way to tell is this:
If there are only two wires in the box, a black and a white, you can't. The incoming power is at the light, the white wire should carry the hot down to the switch and the black wire carries it up (switch leg). So you only have a "hot" (even though one is black and one is white) wire, no neutral.
If there are two or more sets of wires you probably can. Turn off breaker and examine your box. You should see two or more whites tied together. You should also see at least two black wires, one or more going to the switch and one (only) going to the light. If this is the case, determine which black going to the switch is live (If there is a pigtailed black going to the switch, this is your live wire, the single black will go to the light). All you have to do then is add a pigtailed neutral wire for the outlet. The switch/outlet will have instructions on how to wire. This is hard to explain, if you don't understand, please hire an electrician.

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