wiring a combination switch

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Old 07-19-07, 09:41 AM
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wiring a combination switch

Could someone please explain (detailed) the steps to change a light switch to an outlet/switch combination. There are 2 romex coming into the box. I have a combination electrical switch that has 2 copper colored screws in the middle on the left side and three screws on the right side: brass then green then brass. thank you
 
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Old 07-19-07, 10:02 AM
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Do you have white wires that are now wirenutted in the back of the box and not landing on anything? You need a pigtail from these to the SILVER screw on the big-prong side of the receptacle. The bare coppers get a pigtail to the green screw.

Find out which of the two black wires on your current switch is from the hot side of the circuit and this goes to the BRASS screw on the side of the small-prong of the receptacle. IIRC, there is a tab between this screw and another one next to the switch. You break the tab if you want this receptacle to itself to be part of the switched circuit; leave it there if you want it to be hot all the time. If you break it, the hot wire stays with the switch and you run a wire from the swtched screw (pigtailed from what goes to the lights) back to the receptacle's brass screw.

You'll have to verify with your model which brass screw is from the switch. That gets the wire that goes to the light. It should be a brass screw, too.

Which means something is wrong about the colors of the screws you described. Did it come with directions?
 
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Old 07-19-07, 10:59 AM
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Right and left mean nothing when discussing switches and recepacles. They can be installed either end up, and left means one side when looking at the front, and the other side when looking at the back.

Tell us how the existing wires are connected to anything. Also tell us where in your house this is and what else is on the circuit. It may not be legal (within code) for you to do this.
 
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Old 07-19-07, 01:13 PM
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Mac,

Don't break the tab either way, as doing so forces a pigtail to be needed when none is actually needed.

If you want the receptacle always hot, then connect the input hot wire to the side with the tab. If you want the receptacle to be switched, then connect the input hot wire to the other side.
 
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Old 07-19-07, 04:56 PM
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Yeah, that makes sense. Hah, now ask me if I read the directions...
 
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Old 07-21-07, 07:41 AM
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wiring a combination switch

Here is how the light switch is now wired.

The 2 white wires are pigtailed toghether and go no where. They have the plastic cap on them.

The two bare wires are pigtailed and run to the green screw.

ONE black wire connects to the top brass screw.

ONE black wire connects to the bottom silver screw.

Where do I now go with these wire to wire my combination light/outlet switch?
 
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Old 07-21-07, 08:20 AM
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You need to know which of the black wires comes from the circuit power, and which goes to the light.

With the switch off, only one will have power.
 
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Old 07-21-07, 09:53 AM
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wiring combination switch

Well, I pigtailed the whites and ran them to the screw on the big prong side of the receptacle.

I ran the black wire to the brass screw by the small prong of the receptacle.

The other black wire, I ran to the screw directly below the screw near the small prong of the recptacle (below the divider). I left the divider in.

The outlet works!! The lights wirk!!! BUT THE LIGHTS WON'T TURN OFF.

I obviously did a little something wrong! At least I'm close. Thanks, especially to MAC07
 
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Old 07-21-07, 09:57 AM
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Swap the two black wires.
 
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Old 07-21-07, 10:06 AM
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Yep! Swap the blacks. I guess I could have just said try one and you can always swap later.

You know the 50-50-90 rule, don't you?

If you have a 50/50 chance, you'll be wrong 90% of the time.
 
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