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Converting light switch recepticle to a combination switch and outlet

Converting light switch recepticle to a combination switch and outlet


Old 08-07-06, 07:30 AM
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Converting light switch recepticle to a combination switch and outlet

I have a single light switch recepticle that I need to convert to one with both a switch and outlet.

I've got the new recepticle with both, but have a novice's question: I know I need to connect the black wire to the copper screw, the white wire to the silver screw and the copper grounding wire to the green screw. However, there are 2 each of black and white wires coming in. Why are there 2? Do I put both wires of the same color together under their corresponding screws? Or just grab one of each?

FYI, I don't want the switch to control what is plugged in to the outlet. The switch currently controls the overhead light in my basement. I need the outlet to plug in my dehumidifier. (but i don't want the light to be one all the time I have the dehumidifier on!)

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Old 08-07-06, 08:07 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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You are fortunate that you have two black wires and two white wires, or you would not be able to use this combination device.

The two white wires need to get pigtailed to the silver screw for the receptacle.

The hot black wire (the one that has power on it all the time) needs to get connected to the common connection that is the brass receptacle screw and one side of the switch. The black wire that carries switched power to the device gets connected to other terminal of the switch.

However, before you proceed, make sure you know what else is on the circuit. A dehumidifier take quite a bit of current. If the circuit is already loaded, you may trip the breaker. even if the circuit is not heavily loaded, the proper solution is to run a new circuit for a large load like this.

Also, if the basement is unfinished, then you should probably be using a combination GFCI receptacle and switch instead of a non-GFCI switch.

Might I suggest that you purchase the book Wiring Simplified. Your post indicates you lack a basic knowledge of home wiring. While it is okay to not understand everything and need to learn as you go along, you really should not attempt to replace a switch or receptacle without at least some understanding of what you are doing. The book is less than $15.00 and is available at the big box stores, or from on-line retailers. It is well worth the cost.

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