Convert a Light Switch into an Electrical Outlet

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Old 08-15-14, 07:37 PM
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Question Convert a Light Switch into an Electrical Outlet

Hi, my room was redone and my closet was cut in half, so my closet light is now nonexistant and I plan on getting a ceiling light with a wireless switch. Right now the closet light switch doesn't power anything, but I'd like to turn it into an outlet. In the box it was different that what I've been reading online. I have two white wires that were screwed together in the back of the box, two black wires that were connected together and on the top screw of the light switch, and one red wire on the bottom screw of the light switch. I have no ground wire. If neither the light switch or outlet is connected, the rest of the power in my room goes off. I've had it so that the circuit was complete, but there was no power coming out of the outlet. I'm really confused. Here's a picture of what the light switch looked like with the wires connected.

Okay so it's not letting me upload the pictures, but basically on the left side there is only one screw which I'm pretty sure is ground, I had nothing on there. On the right side I have two screws, on the top both black wires were attached, and on the bottom screw the red was attached.

For my electrical outlet, I on the left I have three screws, one on top, one on the bottom, and at the very bottom a green one. On the right side I have two, one on top and one on bottom.

Any help is appreciated, thanks.
 
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Old 08-15-14, 08:03 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
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Welcome to the forums!

To add the receptacle:

Connect the two blacks to one of the brass screws. You can add a pigtail wire to the two blacks and cap with a wire nut.

Add a white pigtail to the group of whites in the box and cap with a wire nut. The white pigtail will connect to the silver screws.

The red wire will not be used and should be caped with a wire nut.

You will need to add a ground wire if your existing box is steel and it is grounded. If it is not grounded, you will have to install a ungrounded receptacle which only has two slots. If it is grounded, connect a ground screw, or clip, to the steel box and install a bare ground wire to the green screw/clip and the green screw on the device.
 
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