combination switch/outlet


Old 02-03-05, 09:21 AM
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Question combination switch/outlet

I bought a combination switch/outlet to replace a single pole wall switch, but the installation instructions on the box aren't very clear. Can someone tell me how to wire it so the outlet is always hot and the switch turns the light on and off.
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Old 02-03-05, 09:38 AM
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Tell us all the wires in the switch box and how they are currently connected (or were connected if you have already removed the old switch). The instructions are going to depend on whether or not you currently have a switch loop, which we will be able to figure out from this information.
Old 02-03-05, 09:38 AM
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This one's simple

1. Connect the Black (hot) to the "line" or "brass" side of the combo unit.
2. Connect the existing white line in the switch box to the silver screw for the switch.
3. Connect the Ground Wire to the Green Ground Screw.

Now the Hard part. You need to run a Common from the light fixture circuit to the switch box and connect it to the silver screw of the outlet part of the combo unit.

The other option is to break the brass tab off and connect the black and white to the switch screws and run another 12/2 from another outlet to the new outlet.
Old 02-03-05, 09:44 AM
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John is right Micheal......we really need to know whats in the many wires and so on.......

If the house is before 1960 you might only have 2 wires in the box and guess what....only ONE of them can assist you.....but not having a neutral will put a HALT to your install....and thus gets MORE complicated...
Old 02-03-05, 04:20 PM
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I was told house was built in 98. The old switch has 2 screws on the right side and none on the left. The black wire from the power source is hooked to the bottom screw. The black wire from the light fixture is hooked to the top screw. Here's where I get confused. There is a third set of wires coming into the box from the side. One of these wires is white and one is red (which I assume is the ground, although I've always thought they were green). All the white wires are spliced together. The red wire is hooked to the bottom screw along with the wire from the power source. So, to sum up, the black wire from the light fixure is connected to the top screw, the black wire from the power line and the red wire are connected to the bottom screw and the white wires from all three locations are spliced together.
Old 02-03-05, 04:42 PM
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I would strongly suggest that before you continue this project you find a couple of wiring books and read them. There are many details to wiring, and if you get them wrong, it is quite likely that you could get something that 'works', but is much less safe than it should be. Your question about the red wire being 'ground' should trigger alarm bells.

A couple of additional questions:

Are there any _bare_ wires in the box?

Are the wires in metal conduit?

Is the 'switch outlet' combination that you bought described as 'self grounding' anywhere on the packaging? What is the part number of the device?

Old 02-03-05, 05:09 PM
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one is red (which I assume is the ground
The red wire is never ground. Treating it as such is sometime fatal.

The explanation is that the red/white pair is carrying unswitched power downstream to some other load. It doesn't really matter what this other load is.

Here's the solution:
  1. Look carefully at the combo device you bought. There are two brass screws on one side that are connected by a tab. On the other side should be one brass screw and one silver screw. If this description does not match your device, stop now and post back with more details about what your device looks like.
  2. Connect the black power wire and the red wire to the two brass screws on the side with the two tab-connected brass screws.
  3. Connect a white pigtail wire in with the three white wires in the box. Connect the other end of this pigtail to the silver screw.
  4. Connect the black wire to the light fixture to the brass screw on the same side of the device as the silver screw.
  5. If you have any bare or green grounding wires you didn't mention, connect them all together to a pigtail to the green screw on the device. Else, if the box is metal, run a jumper from the green screw to the metal box. Else, leave the green screw unconnected.
Old 02-05-05, 08:59 AM
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Works great, guys! Thanks for your help.

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