Converting Switched Receptacle to Overhead Fixture

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Old 12-18-12, 06:08 AM
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Converting Switched Receptacle to Overhead Fixture

I want to remove outlet from switch and add overhead light. I have spliced in my overhead light wire from switch wire that runs to outlet. I have no clue what wires go where in the outlet box or in the switch. Do I need to run another wire to switch? Any feedback would be helpful.
 
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Old 12-18-12, 06:16 AM
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We are going to need to know the number and colors of the wires connected to the switch and if any other cables are in the switch box. You will also need to find the receptacle that the switch controls.
 
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Old 12-18-12, 06:27 AM
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There is one line feeding the outlet, one line that feeds other outlets and one line that goes to switch.
Behind the outlet I have black in, black out and white to switch are connected. Black to switch is connected to top right of outlet. White in is connected to top left of outlet and white out is connected to bottom left of outlet. At switch, black and white from outlet box are connected.
 
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Old 12-18-12, 06:35 AM
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Since receptacles can be installed with ground up or ground down, we need to know the colors of the screws the wires are connected to.

When you say lines do you mean wires? Wire are the conductors that carry the power. Cables are a collection of wires inside an overall sheath.
 
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Old 12-18-12, 06:38 AM
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I dont know its an older house and the screws look the same. Yes I do mean wires. Sorry
 
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Old 12-18-12, 07:04 AM
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If the house is old enough the wiring might not be grounded and should not be extended. Are your receptacles 3 prong or 2 prong?
 
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Old 12-18-12, 07:10 AM
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3 prong but there is no ground wire.
 
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Old 12-18-12, 07:17 AM
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the screws look the same
Look closer at the ones on the side with the wide slot. It should be silver. Look at the side with the narrow slot it should be brass.

How many 2-conductor (+ground) cables into the box. How many, if any, 3-conductor cables (+ground) in the box?

You wrote:
one line that goes to switch.
Then you wrote:
Yes I do mean wires.
Your use of line sounds like a cable not a wire since you need at least two wires to a switch.

I have spliced in my overhead light wire from switch wire that runs to outlet.
Where did you splice it? You can't just splice into a cable mid run. It must be done in a junction box. In this case best practice either the switch box or the receptacle box.

It sounds like you have a switch loop. That is a single 2-conductor cable to the switch box with a black wire on one screw of the switch and a white wire on the other. If so you will need to reconnect the cable for the switch loop at the receptacle so it is hot not a switch loop to the switch.
 
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Old 12-18-12, 07:29 AM
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yes you are correct in the screw colors.

there are (3) 2-line cables in the outlet junction box. (1) feed (2)cable out to other outlet (3)cable to switch.

Yes I have put a junction box in the attic where I have spliced in.
 
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Old 12-18-12, 08:38 AM
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Am I reading correctly you have three cables into the switch box for a total of three black wires and three white wires? Can you post a picture of the switch and receptacle with the devices so we can clearly see the wires?
 
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Old 12-18-12, 09:55 AM
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Hopefully this helps. One cable in from live outlet. One cable out to another outlet. Last cable out to switch.
 
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Old 12-18-12, 10:14 AM
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I have spliced in my overhead light wire from switch wire that runs to outlet... Yes I have put a junction box in the attic where I have spliced in.
Does this mean you now have a continuous cable from the ceiling outlet to the switch box? If so, we can tell you how to rewire the receptacle and the switch to have the receptacle always be hot and to have the switch control the ceiling light.

That said, there are two other issues that need to be addressed first:
[The receptacles are] 3 prong but there is no ground wire.
Originally Posted by pcboss
If the house is old enough the wiring might not be grounded and should not be extended.
These are both violations of code because they create unsafe conditions. The issue of the missing ground wire may be easier to correct but, unless you correct it by installing a ground wire from the panel, that will not remove the prohibition on extending an ungrounded circuit.
 
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Old 12-18-12, 10:19 AM
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yes I do have a continuos line from ceiling ligh fixture to switch. there is some newer wiring in attic that is grounded to the panel. where would I need to run the ground to hopefully just to the new ceiling fixture
 
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Old 12-18-12, 11:38 AM
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yes I do have a continuos [cable] from ceiling ligh fixture to switch. there is some newer wiring in attic that is grounded to the panel. where would I need to run the ground to hopefully just to the new ceiling fixture
I hope that my changing your word "line" to "cable" is accurate. If not, ignore the rest of this post and post back with the correction.

If the wiring between the light outlet and the switch has a continuous ground in it, then yes, you can extend the ground just to the light fixture and, by splicing all of the grounds together, take it to the switch box.

At the receptacle, replace the existing receptacle with a GFCI receptacle. Terminate the black and white wires from the cable feeding out to the LOAD terminals on the GFCI. Terminate the black feeding in from the panel and the black going to the switch to the brass LINE terminal. Terminate the two remaining white wires to the silver LINE terminal. If there are any ground wires, terminate those to the ground terminal and, if the box is metal, to it. Splice them together and add a pigtail if you need to, since the ground terminal will only accept one wire.

At the switch, bond the ground wire to the box if it's metal. Also terminate it to the ground screw on the switch. Splice the two white wires together and fold them into the box. Terminate the two black wires to the two brass screws on the switch.

At the ceiling outlet, bond the ground wire to the box if it's a metal box. wire the fixture by splicing all bare and green wires together, white to white and black or red to black.

By supplying ground to from the panel to the light and the switch, you should meet the necessary condition for extending your existing circuit. By installing a GFCI receptacle at the first location (it appears) in the chain, you will have made your 3-slot receptacles compliant with code. They should not have been installed without either a ground from the panel or GFCI protection.
 
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