Replacing on/off switch with on/off/receptacle outlet.


Old 08-18-07, 02:58 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New Denmark,NB CANADA
Posts: 75
Replacing on/off switch with on/off/receptacle outlet.

I have on old home which originally had an on/off switch to control the bathroom lights. The switch is at the end of the line. In other words power travels to the lights and then to the controlling on/off switch.

I've been trying to figure a way to have a receptacle at the switch end of the circuit.

The home used to have a receptacle under the light fixtures, but they were old and had to be replaced, but that left with me without any receptacle.

Basically its like this and I hope you can see it.


I would prefer to have the receptacle at the original location where the switch is on the wall.
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Old 08-18-07, 03:24 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 133
You will need to find the hot circuit in the attic and connect a 2 wire cable and run it down inside the wall to the location you want the GFI receptacle. The switch leg will not work as it is wired now.
Old 08-18-07, 08:11 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Bras D'Or, Nova Scotia ,Canada
Posts: 173
The switch leg will not work as a 2 wire but if you can change that wire to a 3 wire, in other words , if you can use the existing 2 wire as a pull string and pull in a new 3 wire from the light box to the switch box, then you will have a third wire, one (the black) can be used to carry 120 volts down to the switch, the other ( the white ) will be your neutral, and the third ( the red ) will be the switched return to the light fixture.

At the switch box, run another 2 wire out to where you want the new receptacle and splice the white wires together ( wire nut ) and splice the blacks together with a pigtail (wire nut these also). U se this pigatiled black wire to feed one switch screw and put the red wire on the other one.
Old 08-18-07, 08:25 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 973
Check the code on this before you follow advise you have been given already...

I don't know the code in Canada, but in the US, you would almost certainly have to run a new 20A circuit into this bathroom. There would only be two exceptions:

1. You have an existing 20A circuits that only feeds bathroom receptacles (including receptacles in other bathrooms, but NOTHING other than receptacles in bathrooms). In this case, you could extend this circuit into that bathroom for that receptacle.
2. You have an existing 20A circuit in THIS bathroom that serves NOTHING outside this bathroom.

Both of these exceptions are extremely unlikely.

But again, this is US code, so your Canadian mileage (or do you guys use kilometers?) may vary.
Old 08-18-07, 08:43 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Bras D'Or, Nova Scotia ,Canada
Posts: 173
Good point ,Chirkware.
I sometimes forget that this is a predominately American site and the advice I just gave is based on Canadian codes, which would allow us to do this unless the bathroom was undergoing a complete renovation. At that time we would have to bring the entire room up to code.

And yes..... we use the darned metric system, or at least the rest of the country does. I still measure things in feet and inches. LOL

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