Switch/outlet

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  #1  
Old 01-14-03, 11:58 AM
sme
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Question Switch/outlet

I need help! I want to change a light switch on the bathroom wall of a house built in the '50's to a combination light switch and three prong outlet. Can I do this by myself? & What could keep this from working?
 
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  #2  
Old 01-14-03, 12:26 PM
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The first thing to take into consideration in attempting this is there power at the switch and not just a switch loop from the fixtures. Open the box at the switch up and see how many wires you have there. If only two wires are there then your in for some work to bring power down to that box. If you have more then that post back with what you found and the colours of the wires And we can help you out
 
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Old 01-15-03, 09:33 AM
sme
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I found only two wires. One black and one white.
The box that this switch was in looks really secure in the wall. Old looking. Is there a chance that I could really mess things up if I try to continue myself? Thanks for your response!
 
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Old 01-15-03, 10:06 AM
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If there are only a black and a white at the switch then you can't put any type of switched outlet in without running more wires.
the configuration you are describing is just a switch loop. No neutral present the white in this case brings the hot power feeding the fixture to the switch and the black returns it to power the fixture. In order to have an receptacle at this point you must have both a hot and neutral as well as the two wires already connected to the switch.

Whether or not you can continue and do this is dependent on a lot of things. How easy it would be to fish another cable to the switch box? How much experience you have in electricity? Where everything is located in the room (easy access)?
My suggestion is get a hold of a good book or two and read them over they may give you some insight in the easiest way to accomplish what you wish to do. Or at the very least give you alternate ideas.
 
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Old 01-15-03, 01:23 PM
sme
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Thank You for your advise.
In one bathroom, I replaced the light fixture with one that had an outlet on it. I suppose I should try they same thing in this other bathroom. This will at least give me a plug. I appreciate the chance to ask this question.
 
  #6  
Old 01-16-03, 06:35 AM
brickeyee
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sme,
Unless the light fixture is on a circuit protected by a GFCI, you have a very dangerous receptacle. Many older houses are wired this way and the hazard was recognized and the GFCI requirement added. If you can find a receptacle that is in the line feeding the bathroom fixture, I would replace it with a GFCI recep, and place the bathroom wiring on the LOAD side of the GFCI. This will effectively protect that bathroom receptacle.
 
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Old 01-16-03, 09:14 AM
sme
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Thank You for the Information.
I have read alittle about GFCI and I will make sure that this is in place before I continue. I appreciate the help!
 
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