Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Electrical, AC & DC. Electronic Equipment and Computers > Electrical - AC & DC
Reload this Page >

Want to convert OLD light switch to Light switch and receptacle

Want to convert OLD light switch to Light switch and receptacle

Reply

  #1  
Old 06-24-17, 02:02 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 34
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Want to convert OLD light switch to Light switch and receptacle

My aunt has an older home and bathroom just has a switch for light and power plug at the light base.

I would like to take out switch and replace with switch that still controls the light but also has a plug in with ground. Even though ground in not available.

It appears that the old current switch just breaks the circuit of the BLACK (hot?) wire. There are 2 white (neutral?) wires not used ...spliced together.

Is it possible to do what I want to do without running new wires from breaker box?

I would like the switch to control the light and old 2 prong plug and the new receptacle HOT all the time. Even with the switch OFF. If that's not possible At least plug hot when switch is on.
Thanks in advanced for your help

I can't upload pics SIte says I exceed my quota by 31kb.. I reduced pic still not able to upload. Hopefully my description is good enough
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 06-24-17, 02:28 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
the old current switch just breaks the circuit of the BLACK (hot?) wire. There are 2 white (neutral?) wires not used ...spliced together.
Then yes you can add a receptacle. You will need to determine which black is hot using a multimeter. (A non contact tester won't work.)
I would like the switch to control the light and old 2 prong plug and the new receptacle HOT all the time. Even with the switch OFF.
Yes it is possible.

You will need to install a GFCI receptacle and if the switch has no ground mark the GFCI receptacle No Ground with one of the stickers included with the GFCI receptacle.

Do you want to replace the existing switch box with a double gang box or use a combo switch/GFCI receptacle in the existing box?

Your description is fine. Picture loading doesn't work at this time. You would need to remote link.
 
  #3  
Old 06-25-17, 03:53 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 34
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I had already bought a switch/receptacle combination. Will a GFCI still trip at the switch even though no ground?
I will go back to ace hardware and see what they have. The metal box currently in wall is only big enough for 1950s switch. A regular switch/plug or 2 plugs is too big so it needs replaced anyway.

I guess the less I have to cut in to tile the better. I think a combo switch/GFCI would be a smaller footprint if I'm understanding it.

Here are a few pics via link.
Thanks for your time.
Dean
I hope I did the links correctly. I don't remember the html to make them come up automatically

http://www.dcrossantiques.com/clocks...alTOGETHER.jpg
http://www.dcrossantiques.com/clocks...itchTOObig.jpg
http://www.dcrossantiques.com/clocks...HERcloseUP.jpg
http://www.dcrossantiques.com/clocks...UALswitch2.jpg
http://www.dcrossantiques.com/clocks...UALswitch1.jpg
http://www.dcrossantiques.com/clocks...switchback.jpg
 
  #4  
Old 06-25-17, 05:34 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Because this is a bathroom you need to use a combo GFCI receptacle/switch.

Name:  1FD37_AS01.jpg
Views: 352
Size:  10.2 KB

If the receptacle over the sink is not GFCI you need to connect one side of the switch to the load side of the GFCI and the other side of the switch to the black power out to the sink.

White to the sink to the load side of the GFCI.

Black and white of power in to the line side of the GFCI.

Name:  GFCISwitch_zps80fd9690.jpg
Views: 285
Size:  31.7 KB
 

Last edited by ray2047; 06-25-17 at 05:58 PM.
  #5  
Old 06-25-17, 07:48 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,229
Received 18 Votes on 17 Posts
Will a GFCI still trip at the switch even though no ground?
GFCI does not need ground to operate. What it does it compare current going out from hot and current coming back to neutral. If there is difference (5mA for most gfci outlets), then the GFCI trips. The ground is not used at all. It is for the devices plugged into it.

I guess the less I have to cut in to tile the better. I think a combo switch/GFCI would be a smaller footprint if I'm understanding it.
A combo switch/GFCI is larger than a combo switch/receptacle.
What I'd suggest is just installing another junction box below the switch and run wire down from the switch junction box.
Removing old junction box, especially the metal one without cutting the wall it very hard if not impossible.

Is existing wiring 2 wire non metallic cable or does it have spiral metal sheathing?
If it has metal sheathing (aka BX cable) and also has bonding wire, it can be used as ground.
Otherwise, what I recommended technically is illegal because non-grounded cables cannot be extended.
But, I think it still is better than trying to fit everything in that small box or replacing it.
 
  #6  
Old 06-27-17, 12:31 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 34
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the explanation on GFCI. I didn't see an metallic sheathing. Old wiring. I don't know why the black wires were so long to begin with but thought all would fit
if I cut those back. I will let you know. I have a blue plastic box that is deeper and may try
and use that if I find all is too tight.
 
  #7  
Old 06-27-17, 01:04 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 34
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Okay. I know the wiring looks awful but obviously the red is NOT being used. Just to show a temporary picture of what I understand. White wires too short to show it hooked to GFCI to take pics.

I was able to remove another metal shroud inside the existing box which give me additional room and once I cut the long black wires back I think it will all fit without having to cut the tile.

The switch leads I just noticed I have them backwards per the enclosed instruction sheet.. see picture. I will swap them with each other

I used my volt meter and the more I do the more I understand the terminology. Basically line hot is if from the breaker? Then load is to the device ... either light or switch.
So the hot line and neutral line are what is showing 122 volts . Then the other 2 go to the light fixture (load).

This one is a little backwards from the other schematic but I believe all the wires are hooked to the right terminals. .. other than the switch lead wires.

Obviously I will need to cut the black wires down but I think this will fit okay into the current gang?? Also I will put the sticker about NO GROUND on the GFCI.

Also I read if it is hooked up wrong and you push the test button then it won't reset. So I guess that's my end test.

Comments welcomed. I'm open to constructive criticism :-). Once again. It's just a temporary snapshot of where I understand the wires need to be. The only problem I see is I have to switch leads on the wrong load/line.

Thanks for everyone's help. I do have the book wiring simplified 44th someone suggested I get on another project.
If there are any specifics pages that pertain to this project please let me know.

I almost gave up today and was going to call an electrician but the 2 electricians I called couldn't get to this for a week the other two weeks.

I tried to insert pics but no luck. here are links on just a temporary set up to see if I"m on the same page. Thanks,

http://www.dcrossantiques.com/clocks...witchleads.jpg

http://www.dcrossantiques.com/clocks...sideTERM50.jpg

http://www.dcrossantiques.com/clocks/GFCI_FRONT.jpg

http://www.dcrossantiques.com/clocks...INfinished.jpg

http://www.dcrossantiques.com/clocks...LUSwires50.jpg

http://www.dcrossantiques.com/clocks/lightSWITCH.jpg
 
  #8  
Old 06-27-17, 05:29 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 34
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Okay. I reversed the 2 switch leads. Wired as instructed and when I went to turn the light on after all connections made.... light didn't turn on. HMMMMM.... I was so sure it was hooked up right then pushed the reset button and all is well. Receptacle is hot all the time. Hit test button. Trips switch. Hit reset and green light comes on. It's all working. Front bezel plate was goofy so got one that screws on. Here are my end pics. Didn't have to cut any tile. I'm happy. Thanks for everyone's help.

http://www.dcrossantiques.com/clocks...WITHplate1.jpg

http://www.dcrossantiques.com/clocks/GFCIinstalled1.jpg
 
  #9  
Old 06-27-17, 06:23 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Congratulations! Looking god complete with required labeling. Thanks for letting us know.
 
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
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: