Outlet and a switch

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Old 12-22-05, 08:04 PM
williams.1753
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Outlet and a switch

I have an outlet that is controlled by a wall switch. I would like to have the outlet on all of the time and install an overhead light onto the switch. What would be involved in doing something like this? Is this something a somewhat handy person like myself could do or would I be better in bringing in a professional? I am also interested in adding an overhead light in another room and adding a 3rd switch to an existing double switch. Is this also something that is doable. This may also belong in the lighting section.
Thanks for any help.
 
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Old 12-22-05, 08:54 PM
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First, you can make the outlet hot all the time. It both sides of the outlet are controlled by the switch, you can make it hot all the time by removing both wires from the switch and connecting them together with a wire nut. If only one half of the outlet is switched, you can make both sides hot by replacing the outlet with a new one. Do not remove the jumper bar, and one of the two hot wires ( probably a red wire) will simply be not use.

The light is a different matter. A lot will depend on whether or not there is a neutral wire present in your switch box. If it is just a switch loop, it is not possible to run directly from here to a light.
 
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Old 12-22-05, 09:04 PM
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Yes, if you have the patience to study up, and the willingness to follow the electrical code (even if you don't fully understand why), then you can do these tasks.


Let's just concentrate on the switched receptical conversion and light addition. We need some details:
1. Assuming this is a duplex receptical, are both halves switched, or is just one half switched?
2. Does the switch control this receptical only, or are others also switched?

The next thing we'll need to know about is the wiring at the receptical, as well as the wiring at the switch. Tell us how many cables enter each box. Then tell us how many wires each cable has, what colors they are, and exactly how they connect to each other/the receptical/switch. Shut off power before opening these boxes!
 
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Old 12-22-05, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by 594tough
If it is just a switch loop, it is not possible to run directly from here to a light.

Not true. Once the receptical is made unswitched, the cable that was used for the switch loop can be reused as a power feed to the switch.

Of course, we need to determine whether the OP has a switch loop or not.
 
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Old 12-22-05, 10:58 PM
williams.1753
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The only info I know without looking is that the switch controls both outlets. After I get home I will look and find out about #/color of wires.
Thanks for the help so far.
 
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Old 12-22-05, 11:02 PM
williams.1753
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Sorry it also only controls this outlet, and both halves are controlled by the switch.
 
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Old 12-23-05, 01:24 PM
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The only info I know without looking ...
We also need what you know after you look. Follow chirkware's instructions and shut off the breaker, open up each box, and describe what you see.
 
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Old 12-23-05, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by chirkware
Not true. Once the receptical is made unswitched, the cable that was used for the switch loop can be reused as a power feed to the switch.

Of course, we need to determine whether the OP has a switch loop or not.

My point was, we do not know if there is a neutral available in the present switch box. I sounds like he needs to install a NEW light fixture where one does not presently exist, so he needs a complete circuit.
 
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Old 12-23-05, 02:35 PM
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594tough,

There may or may not be a neutral wire in the present switch box. However, it is possible to put a neutral wire there after making the switched receptacle unswitched.

Whether this can be done legally depends on the wiring. If one of the wires is white and it there is a ground then it is possible to get a hot, a neutral and a ground at the switch without adding an y new wires.
 
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