Change light switch to switch and outlet

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  #1  
Old 01-22-13, 12:51 PM
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Change light switch to switch and outlet

I have no electrical outlets in my bathrooms. Each one has this situation:
there are two switches (one fan, one light). The fans (in each bathroom) are on their own 20 amp breaker. I'm wondering if I can put an outlet beside the fan switch, using the same wires. There are 3 wires coming in - black, white and a ground. Sheathed in black with writing "12/2 with ground" in one bathroom and "12/2 NM" written on the sheathing in the other bathroom.
I know how to add a new outlet from an existing one - does it work the same to add an outlet where only a switch exists?
Thank you
 
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Old 01-22-13, 01:35 PM
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There are 3 wires coming in - black, white and a ground.
Assuming the black and white* wire are on the switch and there are no other wires you lack a neutral. Without a neutral you can't add a receptacle. You would need to replace the existing 2-conductor cable with a 3-conductor cable.

*The white wire was re-purposed as a hot for a switch loop and by code should have been remarked as a hot but often it isn't.
 
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Old 01-22-13, 02:40 PM
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There must be more than one 2 wire coming into the box if you have two switches
 
  #4  
Old 01-22-13, 05:23 PM
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Two switches, one in each bathroom - three wires coming into each switch: black, white and ground wire. The house was built in the early 70's. I've just replaced all the outlets because NONE of them had 3 holes. Also there are very few outlets throughout the house so I've been adding them where I can - simple additions near existing outlets. The grounds were all cut way at the back of the boxes so I had to extend them. It's been a little tedious but I'm getting there. Biggest problem now is no outlets in bathrooms. Looks like I won't be able to fix that, but I was hopeful! Tomorrow I will see if I can add an outlet or two on one wall in the kitchen - the wall with the refrigerator - from the electricity coming in to the range hood.
Thanks for your help!
 
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Old 01-22-13, 06:26 PM
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You would need to put in a GFCI breaker. Even then, the odds are the circuit has more than just the fan on it, so it would be a code violation.

But of course that doesn't matter since you just have a switch leg.
 
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Old 01-22-13, 06:47 PM
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I've just replaced all the outlets because NONE of them had 3 holes.
What did you connect to the ground?
 
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