Help,Light switch to Outlet/light switch

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Old 05-22-10, 10:17 AM
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Help,Light switch to Outlet/light switch

How do I convert a wall light switch in to a wall outlet/light switch?
 
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Old 05-22-10, 10:40 AM
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It would depend upon what wires and cables you have available in the switch box. If you can provide those answers more help can be given.
 
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Old 05-22-10, 10:48 AM
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It is a regular light switch that turns on the bathroom light on
 
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Old 05-22-10, 10:57 AM
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Without knowing the info requested above, no help can be given.

You question is akin to asking how much a car costs without specifying the car.
 
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Old 05-22-10, 12:30 PM
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There are multiple ways to wire a regular light switch. Some ways you can add a receptacle and some you can't. Answer the question and we can help. As Pcboss asked you:
It would depend upon what wires and cables you have available in the switch box. If you can provide those answers more help can be given.
 
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Old 05-22-10, 04:56 PM
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All the wire there are is 2 black 2 white and 2 ground. I tried to replace the reg. pole switch with a combination device that has a toggle switch to turn the light on and it has a outlet aswell. But it did not work.
 
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Old 05-22-10, 05:47 PM
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does anybody know whats up with the outlet?
 
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Old 05-22-10, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by dfrogo View Post
All the wire there are is 2 black 2 white and 2 ground. I tried to replace the reg. pole switch with a combination device that has a toggle switch to turn the light on and it has a outlet aswell. But it did not work.
First off, if you're not sure what you're doing, post some photos. Because what I am telling you will give you enough rope to hang yourself.

Under code in most places, you may only add a receptacle like this in a bathroom if the feed serves only the bathroom and it is protected by a 20 amp fuse or breaker. This will require 12 AWG conductors.

For use in the bathroom, make sure your device is GFCI similar to this: Leviton R12-07299-0NW G.F.C.I. Combination Switch/Receptacle White

So do you have two cables like this:

Cable 1:
Black, White, Ground

Cable 2:
Black, White, Ground

If not, do you have individual conductors in conduit instead of cables?

If so, were they connected originally:

Grounds wirenutted together
Whites wirenutted together
Both blacks on switch?

If that's not the case, state how they were originally connected.

... and if that is the case, you figure out which black goes to the fan.

Then you turn the power off again.

Connect the "feed" black to the brass-colored terminal on the combo GFCI switch. If new, these are usually manufactured with a jumper between the two brass terminals.

Pigtail the whites to the silver-colored terminal on the GFCI. Pigtail the grounds to the green terminal on the GFCI and the switch.

Now, connect the black from the fan to the other terminal on the switch.
 
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Old 05-22-10, 07:16 PM
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There is no fan attached to the wiring. All it is is a bathroom light, the switch is a reg. toggle switch that just flips up or down for on/off. I want to add a Combination Device that has a toggle switch that turns on and off the light, and an outlet for my wife to plug in her hair dryer. There in no outlet in the bathroom at all.
 
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Old 05-22-10, 07:21 PM
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ArgMeMatey's instruction will work. You will need a GFCI version.
 
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Old 05-22-10, 07:24 PM
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I changed the medicine cabinet that had lights and an outlet inside it to just a regular light unit.
 
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Old 05-22-10, 08:10 PM
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How many 2-conductor cables at the medicine chest? How were they wired? At the switch were the two whiytes tied together? Was one black to each screw on the switch? Were there any other cables?
 
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Old 05-23-10, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by dfrogo View Post
There is no fan attached to the wiring. All it is is a bathroom light, the switch is a reg. toggle switch that just flips up or down for on/off.
Sorry, I'd had a beer with dinner. I meant "light".

Originally Posted by dfrogo View Post
I want to add a Combination Device that has a toggle switch that turns on and off the light, and an outlet for my wife to plug in her hair dryer. There in no outlet in the bathroom at all.
Maybe I wasn't clear enough in my previous detailed post. I am not a doctor (or an electrician), but when I go to the doctor with a problem and she asks me questions, I try to answer them. We can't help you further unless you answer the questions already posed.

In most case if your house was built in 1936 (or whenever) and the electrical met code at that time, it's grandfathered. However when somebody does go in and change something, like add a receptacle, a permit is usually required and the work must be done to current code. This is what will probably cause you problems.

Now, I'm not living in a jar. I know a lot of people don't bother to get a permit for various reasons. But the intent of this forum is to help DIYers do work to code, so take that for what it's worth. Proceed at your own risk.
 
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Old 05-23-10, 06:03 AM
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On the switch it was black wires on each screw, the white wires were wired togther and pushed into the box not attached to anything. On the wall unit I took out, there were only 3 wires black, white and ground. they were all split to the wiring for the lights and for the outlet attached to the unit.
 
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Old 05-23-10, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by dfrogo View Post
On the switch it was black wires on each screw, the white wires were wired togther and pushed into the box not attached to anything. On the wall unit I took out, there were only 3 wires black, white and ground. they were all split to the wiring for the lights and for the outlet attached to the unit.
Then it should work fine. One cable in the box is hot. One cable in the box goes to the light. Use a meter to determine which is hot.

As stated earlier you can only use a GFCI combo device. There is one set of connections marked line. The black and white of the hot cable go to those connections.

One side of the switch portion of the combo will have NO tab connecting it to any other screw. The black of the cable to the light goes there,

The white of the cable of the switch goes to the silver screw marked load.

There are other ways to wire this but I have given you the simplest. If you don't want the light on the GFCI, just the receptacle, the wiring would be different.

What would be simpler for a beginner to understand and do in my opinion would be to remove the single gang box, install a double gang box and a separate switch and duplex GFCI receptacle.

GFCI Combo
 
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