Where's the missing wire?


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Old 02-04-06, 09:59 AM
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Where's the missing wire?

I am changing a single-pole light switch to a switch/outlet. There is only a Blue and Yellow wire connected to the switch. The light fixture has a White and Blue wire. I found an outlet between the two with a White coming in to one side of the outlet and continuing out of the J-box, a Yellow from the opposite side of the outlet going out of the box and a Blue that passes through the box. From this J-box, I think the Yellow the Line is going to the switch and the Blue is the Neutral passing through from the switch to the light fixture.

The Outlet/Switch needs a 1)Line (hot), 2) Neutral, 3) Load (single-pole) and 4) Ground. I can use the Yellow as Line, Blue as Load and attach Ground to the J-box. I'm missing the Neutral. How do I get the 4th wire to the new Switch/Outlet?

- Chuck
 
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Old 02-04-06, 10:07 AM
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You cannot make this change unless you run new wire. The switch is wired as a switch loop, which means there is no neutral in the switch box. The blue wire that passes through the receptacle box is not a neutral, but is the switched hot wire going to the light. The white wire is the neutral.

To get a neutral to the switch you need to replace the existing cable with a new one.
 
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Old 02-04-06, 10:10 AM
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The house is wired with single wires through conduit. Is there a way to pull the wire I need?

Thanks,
Chuck
 
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Old 02-04-06, 10:16 AM
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Yes, you can add the extra cable. Depending on the distance you can use a fish tape and add the new cable without disturbing the existing ones, but you may need to use one or more of the existing cables to pull replacement wires through the conduit. If you have to use a wire to pull new ones, then either replace what is already there, or use them to pull a string or fish tape through and then pull all the necessary wires back through.

Use white wire the neutral wire you are adding, of the correct wire type and gage for the circuit.
 
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Old 02-04-06, 10:29 AM
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Thanks.

Regards,
Chuck
 
 

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