How to wire a plug in place of a 3 way switch?


Old 06-19-13, 01:08 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 1
How to wire a plug in place of a 3 way switch?

I have Jack and Jill bathroom ( one that has 2 doors therefore 2 light switches, 1 at each entrance) . Recently I permanently closed off one entrance with drywall, and have an un-used 3 way switch, that operates the 1 light in the bathroom. My question is: How do I wire the plug in the receptacle? I tried wiring the black to the hot and the white to the neutral, but it doesn't work. There is a 3rd wire, a red wire in the box, should I have used this as the hot wire? Note: this is an ungrounded switch as the house is over 60 years old.
Sponsored Links
Old 06-19-13, 01:39 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,594
Depending on how the switch was originally wired you may not be able to add the receptacle.

Do you only have the black, red and white at the switch location?
Old 06-19-13, 01:53 PM
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 428
Ah, the joys of three-ways and receptacles.

Three-ways work by alternating which wires are hot between the switches Sometimes Red is hot, sometimes black is hot. Depending on where the switches are in relation to each other, the breaker, and the light, this can be difficult.

Here are some examples of possible wiring you have
Installing A 3-way Switch With Wiring Diagrams - The Home Improvement Web Directory

I think that you will be able to do it no matter what the setup is, but you may have to change how things are connected at the other switch and/or the light. Be prepared for continuity and voltages tests and several trips to the breaker box.

Your goal is to find the constant hot from the breaker box and get that tied directly to the former-switch-now-receptacle.

You could also make it so that the receptacle is powered only when the light is on.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes