replacing switch

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  #1  
Old 01-04-05, 11:08 AM
lumw
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replacing switch

Have front and back switch in garage. Is it legal to replace front switch with a recepticle? I guess it is called a 3 way switch. Switch has black, red and white wire. If it is legal to replace, how will the wires connect to the plug in recepticle?
 
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  #2  
Old 01-04-05, 12:37 PM
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It's legal (as long as the receptacle is GFCI protected), but it won't work correctly. If the box only has one black wire, one red wire and one white wire, all connected to the switch, then this is a switch loop. There is no neutral in the box which would be required to support any receptacle.
 
  #3  
Old 01-04-05, 01:40 PM
lumw
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Thanks J. Nelson

Your information is good enough for me. It is not that important to change the switch just to shorten my extension cord. Therefore your infor. tells me to stop.
 
  #4  
Old 01-04-05, 02:17 PM
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Slow down.

If you are using an extension cord as any sort of permanent wiring then you should do something. Extension cords should never be used for more than TEMPORARY wiring.

Depending on the wires that go into the other switch, you may very well be able to install a receptacle in place of the switch.

However, that brings up another issue. You should not remove the switch. 3 and 4 way switches are used to provide a means to control a light from more than one location. They are generally required at the top and bottom of stairs, and in certain rooms where there is more than one entrance. Your garage sounds like it needs to have a switch at both doors.
 
  #5  
Old 01-04-05, 05:12 PM
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You need to do some wiring at the other switch or the light and it may be possible to make this work. It depends on how the 3way switch is wired.
 
  #6  
Old 01-05-05, 09:05 AM
lumw
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Eng. Bob

O. K. I am all ears. Point my nose in the right direction. My switch is using a red, a black and a white wire. The black and red are hooked up at one end and the white is connected at the other end.
If it is possible to make the replacement, and I am guessing, should the black and red wires be connected to the BRASS side and the white wire to the SLIVER SIDE of the plug-in recepticle?
Much thanks for the feedback.
 
  #7  
Old 01-05-05, 09:51 AM
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With more wires and/or different connections, absolutely anything is possible.

As I said in my original reply, you cannot make this work merely by reconnecting things at the switch. You would also need to make new connections at the other switch and/or the fixture, and you may need new wire. Of course, with new wire you can get your new receptacle without giving up this switch.

To futher advise you, we need to know all the cables, wires and connections in the other switch box and in the fixture box.

Or you can stick with your earlier decision to just stop.
 
  #8  
Old 01-05-05, 09:59 AM
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We need to know the wiring at BOTH switches and at the light to determine if using the existing wiring is possible.

If I were a betting person I would say that it is not possible, but if the power comes into the first switch (on 14-2) and there is 14-3 going to the second switch, and 14-2 going to the light then you could do the rewire. The rewire would require changes at both switches.

However, this completely ignores my warning about the necessity of having two switches.
 
  #9  
Old 01-05-05, 08:30 PM
lumw
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all feedbackers

At 79, I rather sit than stand and I rather lie down than sit. But, I am smart enough to know that I am ahead by stopping and drag out the ex. cords instead of dealing with a can of worms. Better if I chase a skirt with legs in it. The outcome will be the same, but it is easier.
My sincere thanks to all who were helpful.
 
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