Light Switch to Outlet - Double-tap safe?

Old 05-06-13, 08:43 AM
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Light Switch to Outlet - Double-tap safe?

I want to install an outlet in my closet and after watching a "how-to" on powering an outlet off of an existing light switch, it looked easy so I started.

When looking at the light switch I want to use however, it appears that something is already tapping that switch. My question is: Is it safe to tap that switch again for an electrical outlet? I plan on plugging in a power strip to the outlet so I can run my computer off of it.

Here's a pic of what I see when opening the light switch panel:
Photo May 05, 10 30 17 PM | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Photo May 05, 10 57 49 PM | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Can I move forward or is this a no-go ? If no-go, can anyone suggest a safe solution? All honest feedback is much appreciated!
Old 05-06-13, 08:58 AM
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What you have there is a "three-way switch."

Mod Note: what is shown is a single pole switch that is splicing power in and power out on the bottom of the switch. It is not a three way.
Old 05-06-13, 09:08 AM
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We cannot tell how much load is already on that circuit. However, what is have is power in and power out being spliced internally in the switch. The other wire is the switched hot.

To add another cable, if the box has enough capacity cubic inch wise, you would splice the new hot the the other two blacks and add a pigtail to power the switch. Whites to whites. Grounds to grounds and to the switch.
Old 05-06-13, 09:09 AM
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If that is a single pole switch, with 1 conductor under the screw and the other backstabbed, there is no code violation.
Old 05-06-13, 11:02 AM
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Thank You

All of the feedback is much appreciated!

I'm almost sure the existing tap is for the other light switch on the opposite side of the wall. I didn't think there was a huge hazard with what I wanted to accomplish but wanted to get some expert advice first.

As a first time visitor and poster, I'd like to thank each of you for sharing your knowledge and providing prompt feedback. I'll be finishing up the install tonight.

You guys rock!

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