Converting light switch to receptacle

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Old 12-14-17, 09:10 AM
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Converting light switch to receptacle

Brand new to this forum. I have a basic (I hope) question. Doing some kitchen remodeling very soon. We presently have an under the cabinet light with wall switch. We are doing away with this cabinet and do not need the light. We will be adding a microwave to a floor to ceiling cabinet on this wall. I want to convert the present light switch to a receptacle for the microwave. Is it as simple as replacing the light switch with a new receptacle or more complicated? What steps do I need to follow to convert to a receptacle?
 
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Old 12-14-17, 09:54 AM
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It's a little m ore complicated than that. The problem is you won't have neutral at the switch. The neutral will be at the light. You will need to connect one of the wires from the switch to the neutral; at the light.
 
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Old 12-14-17, 10:05 AM
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Sorry but I don't follow. I am totally removing the light and the switch which operates it. Does that make sense?
 
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Old 12-14-17, 10:11 AM
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Yes I understand, can you post a pic of the wires at the switch ?
 
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Old 12-14-17, 10:25 AM
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Not able to do that right now. Thanks for trying.
 
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Old 12-14-17, 10:28 AM
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Not positive, but don't you typically want a microwave on a 20A circuit? Dedicated at that.
 
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Old 12-14-17, 11:35 AM
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Normally in an application like that..... power is sent to the switch and then to the light. That means there is hot and neutral at the switch location. At one time an undercounter light would just be connected to any nearby circuit.

That means that light is probably on with some or all of the counter receptacles. That light won't be on its own circuit. If you just want to power a countertop mictrowave..... you may be ok. If you want to power an undercabinet microwave and exhaust combo..... then you need a dedicated 20A circuit. It cannot be connect to the countertop receptacles.

You should start by checking what circuit that light is on and determine everything else that's on the same circuit. Let us know. You may find that to be a busy circuit depending on the age of the wiring,
 
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Old 12-14-17, 11:37 AM
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This is a 1200 watt countertop microwave if that makes any difference.
 
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Old 12-14-17, 11:38 AM
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That can be plugged into a counter top receptacle.
It doesn't need a dedicated circuit.
 
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Old 12-14-17, 11:45 AM
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This is getting a little more complicated. Right now this cabinet light is on the same circuit as my over-the-stove microwave with exhaust hood, and two wall outlets in the nearby den. However, I will be doing away with the over-the-stove microwave during the remodel. The present microwave has its own receptacle which will also be eliminated and is in a different location to where I need the new one. It is on a 20 amp breaker. In effect, when the present microwave is eliminated only the den outlets will be on the circuit. I hope this all makes sense.
 
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Old 12-14-17, 12:52 PM
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Let me take one more stab at this. I just took the cover off the switch. Black wire coming into switch is connected to bottom screw on switch. Black wire from light is connected to top screw on switch. BOTH white wires are connected to each other. Both bare wires are connected to ground screw on switch. So, if I remove the switch from the wall and disconnect the wires from the light switch, I will then be left with one black wire, one white wire, and one ground wire. Can I then connect these 3 remaining wires to a new receptacle and get power to it?
 
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Old 12-14-17, 12:55 PM
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Yes.... and to add one further thing.... it should be GFI receptacle.
At one time it was only if near a sink. Now it's all countertop receptacles.
 
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Old 12-14-17, 01:25 PM
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Thanks very much. I will give it a shot and see how it works.
 
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Old 12-14-17, 02:32 PM
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It worked!!! Thanks very much.
 
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Old 12-14-17, 03:08 PM
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You're welcome. Good job.
 
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