light switch with receptacle


Old 11-14-06, 05:08 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 9
light switch with receptacle

Hi all: I searched much of the forum, but I didn't find an answer; forgive me in advance if this is answered somewhere else.

I have a light switch that is at the end of a circuit. The cable used is 14/2 w G.

The box has a "feed cable" coming from some receptacles, and then the cable going directly to the ceiling light.

This is for a child's room; I want to use a switch with a receptacle on it for a night light. It initially seemed like a basic wiring job, but for whatever reason, I got a little confused and need clarification (the box the device came in is for a different device, guess it was mis-boxed, so the diagram doesn't make sense to me).

For orientation: The receptacle is on top, switch on bottom. Looking at the front of the device, there is-- from top to bottom-- one each silver, gnd and brass screw on the left side, and two black screws on the right. The tab between the black screws is intact; I want the receptacle to operate independently of the switch.

Here's what I'm thinking:

Feed comes in to the box, hot (black) is pigtailed and goes to the brass on the left (next to switch) and the top black screw on the right (next to receptacle). Neutral (white) goes to the silver on the top left. Gnd is pigtailed and goes to the gnd screw.

Line to the light: hot (black) goes to the bottom black screw on the right (next to switch), going to the light. The neutral gets capped w/ a nut, the gnd is connected to the gnd pigtail.

How close am I?

Thanks for you help.
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Old 11-14-06, 06:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 433
STOP!! if you are going to be doing anywork in a child's room please make sure you are very confident and proficient at any electrical tasks! This isn't the place to learn.
Old 11-14-06, 08:34 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 9
I don't mean to minimize, but it's just a switch. Usually pretty straightforward, have installed them and receptacles before: hot to hot, neutral to neutral, etc.

This device is new to me, got disoriented by it being in the wrong box.

I guess I could go back to [big blue DIY store] and ask for help, just trust you guys more.

Don't know if it matters, but when I "oriented" you to the device, didn't mention that the switch, when towards the brass screw, says "on".

My initial proposed scenario was:

hot feed is pigtailed to brass and black screw next to receptacle
Neutral feed goes to silver, next to receptacle
hot to light is on black screw next to switch
neutral to light is capped w/ a nut
all gnds are pigtailed and connected to gnd.

Now, let me try this scenario:

-- hot feed is on the black screw next to receptacle
-- hot to light is on the brass screw (next to switch)
-- neutral are pigtailed together and on silver
-- gnd are pigtailed together and on green (duh).

Thanks for any help.
Old 11-14-06, 09:33 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Whenever you get confused, you should draw a diagram on paper.

In most devices of this sort, the side of the device with the tab corresponds to the hot side of the receptacle (the smaller receptacle slot). My answer assumes this.

Connect the white wires together and pigtail to the silver screw.

Connect the ground wires together and pigtail to the ground screw and to the metal box.

Connect the black power wire to either of the two black screws.

Connect the black light wire to the brass screw.

Last edited by racraft; 11-15-06 at 12:16 PM.
Old 11-14-06, 09:45 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 9
Yeah, I usually do a diagram, but I have the device physically in front of me so didn't.

Your recomm. makes sense. At first I wondered about the brass screw, but now I wonder if it's used if the tab is disabled.

Old 11-15-06, 05:22 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Of course the brass screw is used. It is one side of the switch.

A switch needs two terminals. One side is the "input" and the other side is the "output". On a switch like this either terminal can be input and the other is the output.

A receptacle needs to terminals. One for the hot wire, the other for the neutral.

The tab is provided so that you do not have to pigtail or add a connection if you need one, the tab provides it.
Old 11-15-06, 06:22 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,675
A switch/receptacle combo has four screws.
1. green ground. pigtail all your ground wires and connect to green.
2. Silver. pigtail your two whites and connect to silver.
3. switch/receptacle common hot. Connect your incoming hot black to this.
4. switch. Connect your light black to this one.

If it turns out the receptacle only works when the light is on then swap the two black wires.
Old 11-15-06, 11:26 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 9
Racraft: I know the receptacles/switches need the "input" and "output", etc. In your first response you didn't say anything about the brass screw.

Anyway, thanks to everyone, I think I got this now. I figure that when the tab is intact, either black screw will activate the whole thing.

So, incoming hot goes to either black screw, outgoing hot is on the brass one. Neutrals are pigtailed and put on the silver. This would be akin to a regular receptacle that has a hot and neutral, and a regular switch that just has two hots with the neutral bypassing it via wirenut.

If I slowed down and thought this through, I would have come up with this. (Let me know if there are any other opinions about how this goes together)

I'll try it this weekend and will report back. Thanks.
Old 11-15-06, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You are right, and I have modified my post.

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