using a wall switch as a power feed?

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  #1  
Old 10-09-05, 05:29 AM
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using a wall switch as a power feed?

I thought I'd start a new thread because my other question wasd answered, now I don't want to mix things up.
I am installing a ceiling fan with a light. I want to tap into a power source.
Here is my situation.
I have a wall switch that controls an wall receptacle.. I looked behind the switch and there are 3 wires entering the switch, the black, white and ground. As I mentioned this switch controls a wall plug. Is there a way I can tap into the switch and use it as power for the fan?
Secondly, is it possible to tap into the switch, and not depend on it to control the fan, i.e. just as a power source, but continue to use the switch for the wall receptacle.
I'd like to know my options.
Thanks, again
George
 
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  #2  
Old 10-09-05, 05:47 AM
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If when you checked the box you saw only a black, a white, and a ground, all from a single cable, then you do not have enough wires to do what you wish.

What you are describing is a 'switch loop', where the cable has an 'unswitched hot' from the receptacle, and a 'switched hot' going back to the receptacle. There is no neutral that you could use to supply power to a downstream load.

If you remove the switch and reconnect the wires in the receptacle box, then you could turn the cable into a power feed, but lose the capability of controlling the receptacle with the switch. If this switched receptacle is the required switched lighting for the room, then you would need to replace it with switched overhead lighting.

-Jon
 
  #3  
Old 10-09-05, 07:28 AM
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Thanks.
Do you mean if I connect the black and white together where the switch was, the wall receptacle would always have power? And there would be no switch. Would I just connect the black and white together with a connector?
Thanks
George
 
  #4  
Old 10-09-05, 07:40 AM
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Yes, if you simply connect the black and white wire at the switch location (say with a wire-nut), then the receptacle would be always on. But this is not what you initially said you wanted to do. You described tapping power for a fan from this switch box.

In order to make the cable between the receptacle and the switch box into a power feed, you would need to do the following:

At the switch box, disconnect the switch.

In the _receptacle_ box, map all of the connections. Draw a diagram that shows all of the cables entering the box, the receptacle, and which color wire from which cable connects where. This diagram will help you figure out what you did wrong if things don't work out quite right.

You will find a set of _neutral_ wires. These are generally white. You may find a supply cable, a cable going out to another receptacle, and a wire going to the receptacle itself.

You will find a set of _unswitched hot_ wires. These are generally black.

You will find that one of the wires feeding the switch is connected to the receptacle, and that the other wire feeding the switch is connected to the black (hot) wires that feed the receptacle. Note that this means that you might see a _white_ wire (going to the switch) connected to the set of black wires.

Disconnect the switch loop. Connect the white wire to the other white wires. Connect the black wire to the other black wires.

Connect a short length of black wire to the terminal on the receptacle, and connect this to the other black wires.

You will now have an unswitched receptacle and a continuously hot power feed to the switch box. You can now wire in your fan/light/switches at the switch box.

-Jon
 
  #5  
Old 10-09-05, 08:22 AM
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Thanks, again everyone....decided to go the easiest way for me-the pigtals in the original receptacle. Took old box out and replaced it with a deeper one, that sticks out a bit, but connections are easy to make......would appreciate if someone can give me an idea about being able to better cover the box with the wallplate?
Thanks, again for your patience.
George
 
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