Adding an outlet/switch combo to an existing switch

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Old 08-25-09, 05:31 PM
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Adding an outlet/switch combo to an existing switch

Hello, this is one of my first posts, and also one of my first electrical DIY projects. I have previously installed recessed lighting throughout my basement, so I'm not a total novice, but this is one of those little things that I definitely want some advice on.

So basically, I have two switches on either end of my garage. Both control the overhead fixture. I want to replace one of the switches with an outlet/switch combo (I need a place to plug in my radio).

Here is the existing switch (from both sides):



And I suppose I'll be using a 3-way switch/receptacle combination. Something like this I guess...

Leviton Leviton 3-Way Switch/Receptacle (Non-Grounding Switch) - Switch/Outlet - Leviton 5245 - LevitonProducts.com

Can anyone walk me through this? Thank you so much...

- Nick
 

Last edited by mickberna; 08-25-09 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 08-25-09, 06:05 PM
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The switch you picture won't work as you need a three way switch/receptacle combo. You are lucky in a way, since you have power coming into one of the switches (you will have to determine which one) and place the switch there. Here's an example of what you need Leviton Duplex Combination Switch, 3-Way Toggle Switch & Receptacle, Commercial Grade - White - Westside Wholesale Store View
 
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Old 08-25-09, 06:08 PM
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Funny, I just edited my post because I realized I need a 3-way switch, and you posted your reply at that very moment. Heh! Okay, but if I have the correct item, this shouldn't be a problem?
 
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Old 08-25-09, 06:09 PM
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Probably not with that particular switch/receptacle combo. You do appear to have the requisite "hot" and neutral wires available for a receptacle but you need a "three-way" switch. Combos with a three-way switch and single receptacle ARE available but you may need to go to an electrical supply house to get one. I kind of doubt that you would find what you need at a home improvement megamart.

Something that you might consider is to install an extension ring to the existing box and then a conduit nipple to a surface mount box and then a duplex receptacle in the new surface mounted box. It wouldn't be as pretty as the combo device and you would have to do some patching around the extension box but it would give you a place to not only plug in your radio but also a work light.

Another option would be to use a Wiremold extension box and then Wiremold surface raceway to another receptacle box. Wiremold products are available at the big box stores.
 

Last edited by Furd; 08-25-09 at 06:27 PM. Reason: Change bog box to big box.
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Old 08-25-09, 06:15 PM
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As Furd said, it would be a waste to just have one receptacle. I would cut out more wall, add an extension to the "line" end switch and install a duplex receptacle. That way you can charge you phone at the same time you listen to hip-hop.
 
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Old 08-25-09, 06:17 PM
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furd, you're right, this was the only switch/outlet combo at my Home Depot, which is probably why I didn't give the 3-way issue another thought until just now. I suppose I'll have to order one if I can't find it nearby.

I think I'll simply use the combo switch with the single receptacle (assuming I can find it), since I do have outlets around the garage. I just don't want to run an extension cord to plug in my radio when I have a power source right next to it.

Thanks for the info!
 
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