Adding outlet from existing double wall switch..help!

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Old 01-03-08, 08:15 PM
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Adding outlet from existing double wall switch..help!

Hi,
I would like to add a single gang double outlet directly below an existing double wall switch. I'll be able to fish the romex straight down the wall to the new opening with no problem. On one wall switch there are two black wires both on the right hand side of the switch. On the second switch there are two red wires on the right hand side of the switch and a white wire on the left hand side of the switch.

What I need to know is how and from which switch do I pull power for the new outlet? Being as specific as possible would be helpful. Thanks so much for any advice!

Regards,
wvdthree

PS If any one know of any websites with any basic how tos with photos/diagrams it would be great.
 
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Old 01-03-08, 08:27 PM
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Do you want the outlet to be controlled by either of the switches or just a stand-alone outlet?

Do you know if the two switches are fed from the same breaker? If they are, there are probably 3 wires coming into the box. One of them is coming from the breaker and the other two are coming from the items that are powered by the switches. You need to take power from the terminals that are connected to the wire coming from the breaker.
 
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Old 01-03-08, 08:38 PM
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stand alone outlet

Frankart,
Thanks for the quick response. I do want it to be a stand alone outlet. A couple questions based on your response.

1) How do I determine which wire is coming from the breaker?
Is it typically the white red or black wire.

2) Could you please refresh my memory as to what what the color coding of white,red black stands for. Is white neutral and Red/Black hot/from the breaker?


Thanks so much,
Vance
 
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Old 01-03-08, 08:38 PM
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You are going to get power from one of the two black wires on the first switch you described, and the white wire that shares the same cable. You'll need a voltmeter to figure out which of the two black wires to use. Do you have a voltmeter, a multimeter, a non-contact voltage tick tester, or a simple neon circuit tester?

Before we give you specifics, we'll need complete information about all the wires and connections in the box, not just the ones attached to the switch.

Please put your city in the Location field of your profile so that we can give you the best advice.
 
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Old 01-03-08, 08:47 PM
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Thanks John

Thanks for the response John. I'll get back with more specifics when I get a chance to open the box up again and examine the wiring more closely. I'm in Wisconsin and will try to ad that info to my profile.



wvdthree
 
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Old 01-03-08, 09:29 PM
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O.P. Wrote:
On one wall switch there are two black wires both on the right hand side of the switch. On the second switch there are two red wires on the right hand side of the switch and a white wire on the left hand side of the switch.
Is the[ switch with the white wire a "three way" switch? It sure sounds like it. If so and there is no other white wire in the box you can't do it. You don't have a neutral. In this case the white wire on the switch is not a neutral.
 
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Old 01-04-08, 07:04 AM
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three way switch

Ray,
Yes I believe the only white wire in the box is connected to the switch that does turn on/off at two switch locations so it is a 3 way. It's for a hall light. In this case what function is that white wire providing?

So,theres no way I can pull power from this switch box to create an outlet? If not I'm glad I asked as I wouldn't have wanted to cut the whole for the box and then discover the task could not be done.


Thanks,
wvdthree
 
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Old 01-04-08, 07:21 AM
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If you tell us ALL the wires in the box and describe how they are connected, we can help. Tell us what cables exist, what wires are in those cables, and how those wires are connected to anything.

With a white wire attached to the switch AND with the other wires you describe, I can't imagine you don;t have a neutral, but providing ALL the information we need will tell us.
 
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Old 01-04-08, 08:38 AM
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Yes I believe the only white wire in the box is connected to the switch that does turn on/off at two switch locations so it is a 3 way. It's for a hall light. In this case what function is that white wire providing
It is one of the three hot wires for the light controlled by the three way switch. By current code it should have been relabeled another color such as blue or black but that is often not done. (Note: The neutral is never switched in a correctly wired circuit.)
 
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Old 01-04-08, 06:35 PM
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I've got an electric diagram!!

Hi all,
Everyone has been so encouraging to supply detailed wiring descriptions so I took the outlet plate off,pulled out the switches and wires and made a diagram of what I saw. I've set up an account at Photobucket and I think the link below should take you to a photograph I made of the diagram I sketched. I hope it works.

http://s264.photobucket.com/albums/i...lecdiagram.jpg


I do have to add that although I believe the sketch to be quite accurate I failed to be certain of which black wire went to which terminal (top or bottom) on the switch on the left hand switch. Same thing for the two red wires on the right hand switch.
This may be important than I know but I guess I got caught up in sketching all of the various wires and where they came from.

Hopefully this will assist someone in helping me wire an outlet from this double switch wall switch. Lastly,the left hand switch is a three way switch. Thanks for all of your help.


Cheers,
wvdthree
 
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Old 01-04-08, 06:48 PM
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To get power for your receptacle, tap into the cable at the top right of your drawing.

That is, tap into the two white wires connected together with a wire nut, the bare (ground) wires connected with a wire nut, and the wire nut containing the black wire, the red wire from the leftmost cable and the red pigtail.

By the way, the extra red wire is a pigtail. What you have labeled pigtails are actually wire nuts, used to connect wires together.
 
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Old 01-07-08, 09:32 AM
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Thanks racraft

It's clear to me now. I'm going to give it a try this week-end. Thanks so much.


wvdthree
 
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