switch/outlet combo install

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  #1  
Old 04-16-14, 09:22 PM
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switch/outlet combo install

How's everyone doing? I'm new to home owning and the one I get to experiment with is rather old.
I'm trying to remove a double switch and put in a switch/outlet combo. The problem I'm having is this.
I have 2 sets of wires coming in. One black and one white on both sets. I have no green wire on either set. One of the sets for some reason only has 30v. The problem is the white wire I believe. No matter how I wire it, the switch controls the outlet. I still have the tab in place. Is there any way to hook this up so the outlet is hot all the time and the switch just controls the light?
I'm at my last bit of patience and ready to call an electrician. But my ego is getting in the way haha.
 
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Old 04-16-14, 09:34 PM
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Connect the power to the side with a removable tab.
 
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Old 04-16-14, 09:51 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

We need more information.

If you only have 2) two wire cables coming into that box and you have two switches presently in that box then it sounds like you have two switch legs there. That means you don't have the necessary neutral there.

Was there a black and white wire on each switch when you opened the box ?
 
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Old 04-16-14, 10:06 PM
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When I opened the box at first the black wires were both attached to the one side of each switch and both whites were attached to the other side, 1 to each switch. The bottom switch never did anything as long as I know.

When I used a volt meter to check I'm only getting 120 out of 1 set, and 30 from the other.
 
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Old 04-16-14, 11:32 PM
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It is very possible that the switch that appears to have low voltage on it may have been used to control a receptacle in the room. Your low voltage measurement could be the result of that wire being in close proximity to a live wire.... an induced voltage.

On the switch that has 120v on it. If you check the voltage on the white and black wires you'll measure 120v with the switch off. When you turn the switch on you measure 0v. That is a switch leg and doesn't supply neutral.
 
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Old 04-17-14, 05:47 AM
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You are correct. That is how it works. That said, the outlet would never work in conjunction with the switch correct?
 
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Old 04-17-14, 08:18 AM
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the outlet would never work in conjunction with the switch correct?
Correct. You could still use a combo but you need another source of power. If the switch which doesn't seem to work is connected to a receptacle so long as a switched receptacle isn't required to meet lighting requirements where it is located that could be used as your power source with just a bit of switching connections at the receptacle.
 
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