Light switch switched


Old 10-16-04, 07:06 PM
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Light switch switched

I need help. Replaced a prehistoric Fred Flintstone style light fixture in my bathroom. It had an outlet installed in the base. New light fixture went up without a hitch. I want to replace the old single light switch to a combination single light switch/outlet. The wires to the switch are 1 black and 1 white. Yep, that right, no more, just one and one. According to the instructions on the box for the new outlet/switch, it says to hook the positive to the top left screw, the negative to the bottom right screw the ground to the ground screw and to run a jumper from the top right screw to the bottom left screw. Did all that except for the ground since remember I said I only have two wires, and when I turned the power back on, guess what? Hmmmm, I was still in the dark. I broke the little metal tab off because I want the outlet to stay hot at all times, even when the light is off.
Can someone please tell me what I need to do to make this work? I have no outlet at all in my bathroom since updating the new light. I have worked all day on this think and the only thing that I accomplished at the end of the day was a major attitude Even my dog ran from me. Pleeeese help.
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Old 10-16-04, 07:20 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
This question is asked about ten times a week. The answer is always the same. It's impossible. If you want an outlet, you'll have to run power to it from the light fixture, not the switch. Give us a complete inventory of the wires and connections in the fixture box, and we can help with the details. But it's going to take more cable in the wall no matter what.
Old 10-16-04, 07:28 PM
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Red face

I am understand what you are saying, yet still confused, if that makes any sense. It sounds like you are describing the new outlet to be hooked the same way the old one was. In order for the old outlet to work, the light switch had to be on because it was wired directly to the light fixture. The new light fixture has no outlet in it.
I am trying to install the new light switch that has the outlet at the bottom of it so that I can use the outlet even when the light switch is off.
Does that make since or am I just confusing myself more?
I guess what I am trying to say is that I don't understand why the wiring has to come from the light fixture and not the switch.
The only wires that I have are the one black and one white, that is in both the switch box and the light fixture box. The outlet in the old light fixture was piggybacked. I'm sorry to sound so stupid, but the truth is.....I am.
Old 10-16-04, 07:40 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
If there is only one black wire and one white wire in the fixture box, and also only one black wire and one white wire in the switch box, then there must be another junction box somewhere. The unswitched power is in that junction box, and from there is where the power must come.

However, I strongly suggest that you check the fixture box and the switch box again. Look carefully in both boxes to verify that there are no more wires tucked into the back of the box.

The key point is that you need both a neutral and an unswitched hot to make a receptable work all the time. In the switch box, you have no neutral (the white wire is not a neutral), and in the fixture box, you have no unswitched hot (if your prior assertions are correct).
Old 10-17-04, 02:52 AM
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The only way this is going to work is if you run a three core cable instead of the two core in there at present.

What you have at your wall switch at present is just a switch loop, which basically is running from the incoming live at the ceiling fixture to one side of your switch and then from the switch back up to the hot side of the fixture, which basically means there is no Neutral in the switch box which means there is noway you can power a recepticle there.

The only way you could do it is to fish in a 3 core cable (14-3 i would imagine), which would mean the you could have a hot, neutral and a switched wire.
Basically connect the hot wire to one side of your switch recepticle and one side of the switch (Piggytail is proberbly required) and the connect the neutral to the other side of the recepticle and which leaves you with a switched wire which goes to the other side of your switch.

To fish in a 3 core cable is proberbly fairly easy but then it can be hard if you never done it before. Basically SHUT OF THE BREAKER which im sure you have already done you would be suprised.
Disconnect the cable at the ceiling fixture and switch. Then using some electrical tape, tape on some 3 core to the existing wire at the switch and pull it back from the ceiling rose. If your not confident then dont bother trying this method because if the cable pulls of you will be puling your hair out .

Hope this helps you out.

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