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Old House/Wiring & adding a new socket in place of a switch.

Old House/Wiring & adding a new socket in place of a switch.

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  #1  
Old 01-22-14, 10:41 AM
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Old House/Wiring & adding a new socket in place of a switch.

Hey ALL!

I am removing an old switch that only powered a night light and wanted to replace it with a regular outlet. I rewired the new socket exactly like the switch was wired and it tripped the fuse. One side (right side as you are looking at it) of the old switch is labled "load".

Two black wires in each side of the top screws and two white wires in each side of the bottom side screws.

I'm not sure how to hook this back up so it will work. Do I just not connect the other side of the switch and cap off those wires?

Thanks for the HELP!!!
 
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  #2  
Old 01-22-14, 11:15 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

I am removing an old switch that only powered a night light and wanted to replace it with a regular outlet.
From your pictures, it appears that you're replacing a switch-and-light combination device with a standard duplex receptacle. (In electrical jargon, a socket is the threaded cylinder a light bulb screws into.)

I rewired the new socket exactly like the switch was wired and it tripped the circuit breaker. One side (right side as you are looking at it) of the old switch is labled "load".
Not sure what that means.

Two black wires in each side of the top screws and two white wires in each side of the bottom side screws.
It sounds like you attached one black wire and one white wire to each side of the switch. If so, and if you connected the black/white pair from the panel to the same side, you created a dead short which tripped the circuit breaker.

I'm not sure how to hook this back up so it will work.
Assuming that one pair of wires in the box is power in from the panel and the other is power out to other loads, then the best way to terminate them to a standard duplex receptacle is to splice the two black wires in the box to a 6" to 8" pigtail - a piece of black wire the same gauge as the wires in the box - and terminate the pigtail to one of the two brass screws on the receptacle. Splice the two white wires to a white pigtail and terminate that to one of the two silver screws on the other side of the receptacle.

Alternatively, you can terminate one of the existing black wires to each of the brass screws and one of the white wires to each of the silver screws.

Splice the two ground wires together with a pigtail and terminate that to the green screw on the receptacle.

There is no top, bottom, upper or lower on a switch or receptacle, since there is no standard orientation. On a receptacle, brass terminals indicate "hot" and silver terminals indicate "neutral." On all devices, green indicates "ground."

Do I just not connect the other side of the switch and cap off those wires?
If you mean the second pair of wires, leaving those disconnected is likely to leave other outlets without power.

Now, one question: In your pictures, it appears that the outlet (box) where you're working is above a counter. If so, is this outlet in your kitchen or bathroom or above your garage workbench?
 
  #3  
Old 01-22-14, 11:23 AM
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Two black wires in each side of the top screws and two white wires in each side of the bottom side screws.
As described that is a direct short. Edit: Rereading too ambiguous for me to be sure I am reading it correctly.

I rewired the new socket exactly like the switch was wired and it tripped the fuse.
(Breakers trip, fuses blow.) There is no certanty the old device can be used as a guideline when it is a different type of device. Also different manufacturers do things differently. The one constant is white (if neutral) to silver and black to brass. A modern receptacle has both brass screws on one side and both silver screws on the other so black on brass side and silver on the other side. Both blacks would never be together on one end. (Receptacles have no top or bottom.)

The above assumes a power in cable and power out cable.
 
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