Switched receptacle and new overhead lighting


Old 02-04-05, 12:23 PM
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Switched receptacle and new overhead lighting

Sister-in-law wants two ceiling fans installed in rooms that currently have no overhead lighting. These are track homes and have switched receptacles in each room. Is there any way of ‘disconnecting’ the switch from the receptacle and using the switch for the ceiling fan instead? I would have to rewire each receptacle so it could work without using the switch. I figure I could then run romex from the switch to the center of the room where the ceiling fan would be installed. On paper this just seems a little too easy. Am I missing any steps? I know I would still have to properly mount the ceiling fan to the joist. Thanks for any help.

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Old 02-04-05, 12:31 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
This is an extremely common project. We get asked about this several times a week. If there is an attic above the room, it's a pretty straightforward project.

But before you start, you need to figure out how this thing is wired now (there are several possibilities). Here's how:
  1. Before you turn off the power, figure out exactly how it works now. You'll need a lamp or radio for these tests.
  2. Is there just one switch? Or are there a pair of 3-way switches at two entrances to the room?
  3. Does the switch control just one receptacle, or more than one receptacle.
  4. Does the switch (switches?) control both halves (top and bottom) of each receptacle (receptacles?), or just one half? If just one half, which half?
  5. Now shut off the breaker.
  6. Open up the switch box and pull the switch out of the wall without disconnecting any wires. Tell us all the cables, all the wires and all the connections.
  7. Do the same in the receptacle box.
Old 02-04-05, 12:41 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply. I knew people have asked this question before but or the life of me couldn't find a thread on it.

Just called my sister-in-law and asked her a couple questions about the switches. There is only one switch in each room and the switch controls only half of one receptacle. I will have to go over to her house at future date to look at the connectins and wires. Thanks again.


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