switch to switch + outlet problem

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  #1  
Old 05-18-05, 01:32 AM
vicentino
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Question switch to switch + outlet problem

I have a 50's house with no hallway outlet. It does have a light switch though. I want to convert the switch into a dual box switch + outlet. Problems are
1. there is only one wire to and from the switch (hot no ground)
2. the single box is hooked onto a metal pole. I cannot get the hooks bent to release the box and the pole is in the way of the new box.
Is there a way to add an outlet with no ground or how do I see if the box is grounded?
can I cut the pole?
Am I screwed?
Thanks,
Robert
 
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  #2  
Old 05-18-05, 04:33 AM
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Location: Central New York State
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The lack of a ground wire is a problem. However, it is not the biggest problem with your plan. You don't have a neutral in this box. Put the cover back on this box and look for another source of power.
 
  #3  
Old 05-18-05, 01:32 PM
vicentino
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I opened up an outlet in one of the rooms and it only contains one wire going in and out of the outlet. I suppose there is a ground to the back of the box. I know the whole house trips the fault warning on surge protectors. I don't believe any outlet has a neutral running from it. Is it safe for me to cut the metal pipe running along side the wall stud so I can remove the old box? I also made the mistake of cutting the wall for the new double box over this pipe. Otherwise, I will need to learn how to patch a wall
Thanks,
Robert
 
  #4  
Old 05-18-05, 02:09 PM
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Yes, your house has neutral wires. All receptacles and all lights need a neutral wire to work properly.

However, your light switch does not have a neutral, at least it doesn't based on what you have told me. Light switches do not need a neutral, although they may have one in the box.

Find another source for your power.

I have no idea what pipe you are talking about in the wall. However, if this switch box has only two wires, those two wires are not enough for a receptacle.

By the way, if you don't have grounded receptacles, throw away the surge suppressors, as they are useless.
 
  #5  
Old 05-18-05, 05:39 PM
manythumbs
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This isn't wired in conduit is it? The "metal pole" makes me thing that it might be. Do you have cable entering the box or individual wires coming out of a conduit?
 
  #6  
Old 05-18-05, 08:13 PM
vicentino
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There is only one wire coming in, attached to one screw on the side of the switch and then going back out of the switch from a 2nd screw. The same goes for the electrical outlets in the other room.
The pole is more like a beam that holds up the box. The beam runs along the wall stud.
It looks like I have to learn how to patch my wall now, live with no outlet in the hallway and have extension cords throughout the house.
Thanks for all of the help.
 
  #7  
Old 05-19-05, 04:28 AM
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What you need to do is to learn how to run a new circuit from your panel to where you need it.

Extension cords are not meant for permanent installation, and are only for temporary use. For permanent installation you need to run a new circuit.
 
  #8  
Old 05-19-05, 12:16 PM
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Two wires running to switch can not be used for a receptacle.
Any existing receptacle can be be used to extend to an new receptacle.
 
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