Replacing switch and switch outlet combo

Reply

  #1  
Old 11-15-14, 08:00 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 7
Replacing switch and switch outlet combo

I am trying to replace an existing switch and switch outlet combo witch a double switch and a gfci outlet. There is a black white ground wire that is hot and a second black white ground. This is in a bathroom and the one that is hot I believe comes from the light. The other is not hot and I believe goes to the exhaust fan. I was able to get the double switch connected and can turn the light and fan on and of separately but am getting frustrated trying to connect the outlet. Any help would be great.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 11-15-14, 08:11 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,058
This is in a bathroom and the one that is hot I believe comes from the light.
That is unlikely. A single cable from the light would be a switch loop and not hot. You can confirm this by checking the wiring at the light.
I was able to get the double switch connected and can turn the light and fan on and of separately but am getting frustrated trying to connect the outlet.
That would indicate you do not have power at the switch. You instead have two switch loops.

How did you determine the cable at the switch was hot. If you used a non contact tester then you don't really know.
 
  #3  
Old 11-16-14, 09:00 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 7
After disconnecting the switch and switch/outlet combo I turned the breaker back on and tested with a multimeter and got 110 on the one white and black and the other had 0. I can only deduce by the two pairs that one comes from the light and the other goes to the fan.
 
  #4  
Old 11-16-14, 09:18 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 46,231
You currently have a receptacle in that location that is operating correctly....... correct ?

If you have two CABLES in that box..... then one must be the feed in and the other goes to whatever is switched.

So one cable from the light and one from the fan could not be correct. It sounds like there are missing cables in your description.
 
  #5  
Old 11-16-14, 09:40 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 7
This is what was originally in the double gang box. I will take the cover off again and take a pic of the cables in the box. There is nothing missing from my description. That is exactly what was in the box.

Name:  20141116_113734.jpg
Views: 194
Size:  28.5 KB
 
  #6  
Old 11-16-14, 09:50 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 46,231
I'm not doubting the devices. Either you are short a cable in that switch box or there was some unsafe wiring done.
 
  #7  
Old 11-16-14, 09:53 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 7
Well, this house was built in 1962 so it would not surprise me.
 
  #8  
Old 11-16-14, 09:59 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 7
Here is a pic of inside the box and what I would like to be there. The left pair is the one that I measured the 110 on.

Name:  20141116_114600.jpg
Views: 123
Size:  30.5 KB

Name:  20141116_114122.jpg
Views: 115
Size:  17.9 KB
 
  #9  
Old 11-16-14, 10:02 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,058
I was able to get the double switch connected and can turn the light and fan on and of separately but am getting frustrated trying to connect the outlet.
As PJ says that means two cables not including any power cables. How was the wires connected to the duplex switch? Which wires on the tab side? Did you remove the tab?

As I asked earlier: How did you determine the cable at the switch was hot.
 
  #10  
Old 11-16-14, 10:04 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 46,231
Ok.... we agree the left cable is the hot cable. In the right cable you are only using the black wire as a switched out wire. That means only one device is switched. It could be the fan AND light together.

A question......... have you actually plugged anything electrical into that receptacle. Not a tester.... an actual 120v appliance ?
 
  #11  
Old 11-16-14, 10:21 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 7
Ray2047
As PJ says that means two cables not including any power cables. How was the wires connected to the duplex switch? Which wires on the tab side? Did you remove the tab?
When you say duplex switch you mean the new one? I did take the tab off without thinking so there is a wire that connects the two on the side with the white wire then the two blacks are connect to the top and bottom. The top being the light and the bottom being the fan.

As I asked earlier: How did you determine the cable at the switch was hot.
I did answer this and said that I used a multimeter on the black and white on the left pair and got 110V but got 0 on the right when the breaker was turned on .

PJmax

have you actually plugged anything electrical into that receptacle. Not a tester.... an actual 120v appliance ?
Prior to me removing the old switch and switch/outlet combo we did use the outlet all the time from charging razors to toothbrushes and my wife has used it for her curling iron. I have not really connected the new gfci outlet because I am not sure how to connect it in this situation, hence my post.
 
  #12  
Old 11-16-14, 10:57 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 46,231
Some thing is missing.

See if you can follow me. You have a hot wire and neutral entering the box on the left cable. This connects to and runs the receptacle. Now you have ONE switched line (black) being used in the right cable. The white wire is capped off. That tells me that only ONE thing can be switched at the present time.

You can't have two items being switched independently on one wire. If you said that capped white wire was being used.... that would be different.
 
  #13  
Old 11-16-14, 11:37 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,058
Please, if possible, show us pictures of the wiring connections at the fan and light.
I used a multimeter on the black and white on the left pair and got 110V
Sorry I forgot that. I do remember now because 110 sounded strange. What does your meter read when you measure a receptacle on another circuit?
 
  #14  
Old 11-16-14, 06:07 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 7
I did forget one thing. The wirenut that you see on that one white wire was on the other with two black wires coming off of it and one going to the switch and one going to the switch/outlet combo.

As for pictures of the fan wiring and light wiring I won't be able to provided those as I am not going to be taking down the light or taking out the exhaust fan to provide those.


I have also given up on the idea of being able to have two outlets in the bathroom and bought a new single switch and a switch/gfci outlet combo.
 
  #15  
Old 11-16-14, 07:00 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,058
A switch GFCI won't work either if you don't have power at the switch. Only the switch half will work. Would you mind connecting a receptacle to the cable you believe is hot and plug in a lamp with an incandescent light bulb. The 110 you got is lower then expected and could be from measuring across a switch leg.
 
Reply

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