Switch with plug outlet

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  #1  
Old 12-03-07, 08:38 AM
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Switch with plug outlet

I have 2 way switches on a stairwell light. I would like to replace the lower switch with a switch/outlet combo. Is this possible and how do I do it?
 
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Old 12-03-07, 08:49 AM
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Maybe maybe not. We need to know how the switch is wired. If it is wired with the neutral through the switch then you could place a combination device receptacle there. If it is wired as switch loop then you can't.

If it does have the neutral, then it needs to have unswitched power available or the receptacle will be switched .
 
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Old 12-03-07, 08:51 AM
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If there is a red wire connected to the switch, then the answer is "maybe". If there is no red wire connected to the switch, but there is a white wire connected to the switch, then the answer is "no".

So, to start the investigation, turn off the circuit breaker, gently pull the switch out of the box without disconnecting any wires, and tell us about all the wires connected to the switch.

We may need more information after that, but let's start there.
 
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Old 12-03-07, 10:35 AM
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There are 2 red and 1 white wires in wall. 1 red and 1 white are wired to one side of the switch and the other red is wired on the opposite side. There are only three terminals on the switch
 
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Old 12-03-07, 10:38 AM
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Are there any other wires? Are these all from the same side and are they all connected to the switch?
 
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Old 12-03-07, 10:59 AM
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There is another smaller black wire in the box not connected. The 2 red and 1 white are from the same source and connected to the switch.
 
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Old 12-03-07, 11:09 AM
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The answer is no, you cannot use replace this switch with a duplex switch/receptacle device. Find another source for power for a receptacle.

Finding another source has the added advantage that you can put the receptacle right where you need it, rather than placing it at switch height.
 
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Old 12-03-07, 11:19 AM
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I have no other available power source without tearing out a wall. I needed to locate a cordless phone base due to the only location of a phone outlet. The home was built before cordless phones. What is the reason I cannot replace it?
Thanks to all who replied.
 
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Old 12-03-07, 11:28 AM
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You have no neutral wire. You do not have full power in the box.

Very rarely do you have to "tear out a wall" to add a receptacle or a phone jack. Sometimes small holes are needed, but often even this is not necessary.

Why don;'t you give us the bog picture and maybe we can work out a solution.
 
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Old 12-03-07, 11:38 AM
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Ok light switch is located on kitchen wall which goes upstairs to bedrooms. The phone jack is about 12 inches above light switch. Below the switch and jack is a doorway going from kitchen into living room. The nearest outlet box is on the opposite side of the doorway and on the living room side of the wall.
 
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Old 12-03-07, 11:43 AM
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You just made it worse by putting this in the kitchen. You could not legally change this anyway, even if the wires allowed it.

Do you have access to the floor/walls from the basement or crawl space below?
 
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Old 12-03-07, 12:47 PM
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Tell us all the wires in the switch box. I think this is might be possible. If you have two reds you should have two blacks and two whites also. Or you have a conduit system and then you can easily add more wires to the conduit.
 
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Old 12-03-07, 01:21 PM
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Different Approach

One thing that you should consider and might be easier and ultimately more satisfactory is to move the phone wire to someplace more convenient.
 
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Old 12-03-07, 03:10 PM
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And please tell us what city you live in. Better yet, change your profile to have that information in the "Location" field.
 
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Old 12-04-07, 12:27 PM
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Relocate the phone jack, much easier than dealing with power wiring.
 
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