Can you add an outlet from a light switch?

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Old 10-15-13, 07:19 AM
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Can you add an outlet from a light switch?

Hi,

I'm just trying to learn more about electrical work. If I have an existing light switch, can I add an outlet from this light switch?

From researching online, I've found out that most light switches use 15 amp breaker with 14 gauge wire. And outlets are mostly on 20 amp breakers with 12 gauge wire.

So if the light switch is on a 15 amp breaker with 14 gauge wire, is it NOT possible to add an outlet because it needs to be run from a 20 amp breaker with 12 gauge wire?

I'm guessing if I was adding a light switch to an existing outlet, that this would be fine since I'm downgrading and going from a 20 amp outlet to a 15 amp light switch using 14 gauge wire?

Thank you!
 
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Old 10-15-13, 07:35 AM
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And outlets are mostly on 20 amp breakers with 12 gauge wire.
Not necessarily. Generally it is special purpose receptacles such as bathroom, kitchen, garage, etc that are 20 amps. Other rooms are often 15 amps.

So if the light switch is on a 15 amp breaker with 14 gauge wire, is it NOT possible to add an outlet because it needs to be run from a 20 amp breaker with 12 gauge wire?
No reason you can't but only if the switch box has a neutral. Many switch boxes do not have a neutral. Be aware while all neutrals must be gray or white just because a wire is white does not mean it is a neutral. If you have a black and white wire on a switch with no extra functions the white is not a neutral. If you have a group of two or more neutrals connected only to each other then probably you have a neutral.

I'm guessing if I was adding a light switch to an existing outlet, that this would be fine since I'm downgrading and going from a 20 amp outlet to a 15 amp light switch using 14 gauge wire?
No "downgrading" involved. You are simply running a perfectly normal receptacle circuit. In most homes most receptacle circuits are 15 amps.

Lots of bad info on the internet. I suggest you buy the book Wiring Simplified available from Amazon and other book sellers. Also available in the electrical aisle of some building supply stores.
 
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