3 wires to switch/receptacle combination

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  #1  
Old 06-26-05, 01:29 PM
TeeDeck
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3 wires to switch/receptacle combination

I want to replace existing receptacle with one that has one switch and one receptacle and add a light to the switch. I have three wires to the existing receptacle plus the ground. How do I reconnect this so the light is operated independently from the receptacle?

Thanks

btw, new light has 2 wire and ground and the receptacle has to stay hot
 

Last edited by TeeDeck; 06-26-05 at 01:37 PM. Reason: more info
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  #2  
Old 06-26-05, 01:56 PM
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Tell us more about the three wires. What color are they? Do they all come from the same cable? How are they connected to the receptacle?

Is the receptacle currently switched? Or maybe half switched?
 
  #3  
Old 06-26-05, 02:10 PM
TeeDeck
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One black, one red and one white plus ground (bare copper). They are all from one cable. The black is connected on one dark screw on top right side of receptacle (if your looking at it, the ground plug is down), red on the screw below (also dark), white is on the other side on a silver screw (level with the black screw connection) and the ground to the ground screw.

I'm no expert so i hope is this understanble
 
  #4  
Old 06-26-05, 03:06 PM
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Look carefully at the brass-screw side of the receptacle. Then compare it with the silver-screw side. Is the brass tab connecting the two screws intact on the silver-screw side and removed on the brass-screw side?

This receptacle is (or was at one time) either split wired (to two separate circuits) or one half was switched. You should figure out which. Is there a switch in this room that controls half of the receptacle? Or maybe a switch in the room that doesn't seem to do anything? Do you need to shut off two breakers to completely deaden the box?
 
  #5  
Old 06-26-05, 03:33 PM
TeeDeck
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Originally Posted by John Nelson
Look carefully at the brass-screw side of the receptacle. Then compare it with the silver-screw side. Is the brass tab connecting the two screws intact on the silver-screw side and removed on the brass-screw side?
yes, the tab is still there on the silver side


Is there a switch in this room that controls half of the receptacle? Or maybe a switch in the room that doesn't seem to do anything?
Doesn't appear so


Do you need to shut off two breakers to completely deaden the box?
Yes, they are tied together
 
  #6  
Old 06-27-05, 04:27 PM
TeeDeck
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John,

Have you figured this problem out? I sure could use a hand since the wife wants the damn thing put back.

If anybody else knows how to connect a combination switch/receptacle with the items mentioned above.

Thanks
 
  #7  
Old 06-27-05, 04:56 PM
Bob33
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Is the tab there on the brass screw side?
 
  #8  
Old 06-27-05, 04:58 PM
TeeDeck
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yes, it is
 
  #9  
Old 06-27-05, 05:02 PM
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That's funny. I'm sure I already responded, but I don't know where that response went. Are you sure that tab isn't broken out on the brass screw side?
 
  #10  
Old 06-27-05, 05:08 PM
TeeDeck
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This is a new switch (switch/receptacle). My old switch has the pin removed on the brass side. The new switch has a tab on the brass side. The other side has a silver screw and a dark screw without a tab
 
  #11  
Old 06-27-05, 05:13 PM
TeeDeck
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From what I can gather, there isn't much at all on this type of switch. So far, I figured that the hot (Black) goes to the brass side with the tab. The white pigtails to the white of the light and connects to the silver screw. I just don't know what to do with the red which is also hot? correct? and what of the black of the light? to the other brass screw on the un-tabbed side?

btw, if this helps, the new switch that I have is a single pole switch/receptacle.
 
  #12  
Old 06-27-05, 06:16 PM
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My old switch has ...
What "old switch"? I don't remember this story having an old switch.
 
  #13  
Old 06-27-05, 06:34 PM
TeeDeck
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Ok, let me start again. I want to replace and existing (old) receptacle with a switch/receptacle combination unit. I have three wires for power (black-hot, red-hot, white-neutral + a ground). I believe this to be 208/240v since it uses a double breaker.

The existing connection for my 'old' receptacle is as follows:

Black was connected to the brass side (no pin), red was connected to the same side (lower screw), the white was connected to the other upper side (with pin) and the ground as it should be (on the green).

What I need to know is how to connect a single pole switch/receptacle and a light (black and white + ground) with this 3 wire combination. The switch is to operate a single light and the receptacle is to remain hot at all times.

I did not do the original install so i'm a bit lost here.

p.s. Do I need a different switch/receptacle? The one I have on hand is a 15A/120v single pole switch/receptacle.
 
  #14  
Old 06-27-05, 06:45 PM
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Okay, so there is no old switch after all.

If this is in a kitchen, bathroom or laundry area, stop now as this project is almost certainly a code violation.

Here's what to do:
  1. Remove the receptacle.
  2. Run a new 12/2 cable (14/2 is okay if on a 15-amp breaker) from this box to the new light.
  3. Break the tab off the only side of the combo device that has a tab.
  4. Use a wire nut to connect both white wires to a short segment of white wire (a "pigtail").
  5. Connect the other end of the pigtail to the silver screw on the receptacle half of the combo.
  6. Connect the red wire to the brass screw on the receptacle side of the combo.
  7. Connect the two black wires to the two screws on the switch side of the combo.
 
  #15  
Old 06-27-05, 08:09 PM
TeeDeck
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Thanks John...fyi, its in the basement by my computer desk....don't know why they set up wiring like that here but I can't see it connecting to anything else (I think the laundry room was supposed to be in this corner but changed after the house was finished). The light I had previously was a pull light in the ceiling. Since the basement is half completed, I was able to run new wire for a new light to this switch.

Again, Thanks
 
  #16  
Old 06-28-05, 04:55 AM
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TeeDeck,

This is a multiwire circuit. It was put in to provide twice as much available power as a single circuit. It uses a three conductor cable (plus ground) for two circuits instead of two separate two conductor (plus ground) cables.

Because it is a multiwire circuit, care must be taken when working on the circuit for any reason. Leave the single 240 volt breaker in place. Having a 240 volt breaker in stead of two single 120 volt breakers will guarantee that both halves of the circuit are turned off at the same time. It will also (depending on the type of panel) ensure that the circuit is properly fed by both halves of your incoming 240 volt service.
 
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