Disconnect Outlet from Switch

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Old 08-26-18, 08:06 AM
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Disconnect Outlet from Switch

Hello,

I have two switches to my bathroom, one which is for the light and outlet and the other one controls the fan. I would like the outlet to be disconnected from the switch so I can use the outlet without turning the light on. I have attached pictures of the switch and the outlet. I am happy to provide more details or pictures as needed. Any instructions or advice on how to resolve my problem would be greatly appreciated.

Regards
 
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Last edited by monkeymonkey; 08-26-18 at 08:12 AM. Reason: Added 2 more images
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Old 08-26-18, 09:32 AM
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It might not be possible without installing new cables. If the wiring goes to the light or receptacle first, and then to the other, new wiring will need to be need to be installed.

However, if a separate cable goes from the switch box to the light and the receptacle, then just changing some wiring in the box(s) is all that is needed. If you can post some pictures of the wiring inside the box with the devices hanging we might be able to see more. I see 3 wires on the switch which might be a good sign.

On a side note: The receptacle should be a GFCI if not protected elsewhere.
 
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Old 08-26-18, 09:50 AM
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Thank you for the quick reply. I have attached the requested pictures, which are hopefully what you requested. Please let me know if you need more.

In regards to the receptacle being a GFCI, does that mean it needs a test button on it?
 
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Old 08-26-18, 10:10 AM
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Good pictures.

Look at the switch box. I see two incoming cables (not wires)...... is that correct ?
Which switch controls the receptacle ?

Feed in to left switch via push in. Bridged over to right switch.
The left switch feeds out to black of three wire.
Right switch feeds out to red of the three wire.

I can confirm one cable in receptacle box which means you can close that up as no change is made there. So far...... it looks like the receptacle is connected at the light which may mean it can't be live all the time.
 
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Old 08-26-18, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by PJmax View Post
Good pictures.

Look at the switch box. I see two incoming cables (not wires)...... is that correct ?
Which switch controls the receptacle ?

Feed in to left switch via push in. Bridged over to right switch.
The left switch feeds out to black of three wire.
Right switch feeds out to red of the three wire.

I can confirm one cable in receptacle box which means you can close that up as no change is made there. So far...... it looks like the receptacle is connected at the light which may mean it can't be live all the time.
Thank you for the reply.

Correct, there are 2 cables in the switch box.

The switch on the left controls the receptacle and the light. The right switch only controls the fan, nothing else. I apologize for the disoriented pictures, it seems like they get rotated when I upload from my phone to my computer.

Great, I will seal up the receptacle box.

So what would be the best solution to disconnect the light switch from the outlet based on the configuration I have?
 
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Old 08-26-18, 10:39 AM
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The board will rotate pics if they fit better sideways..... especially if they are very large.

The three wire cable leaving the switch box carries neutral and the two switched outputs. That cable may go to the light or the fan first. It doesn't really matter as there is no always live power in it. You'd need to get your receptacle line to the switch box directly.
 
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Old 08-26-18, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by PJmax View Post
The board will rotate pics if they fit better sideways..... especially if they are very large.

The three wire cable leaving the switch box carries neutral and the two switched outputs. That cable may go to the light or the fan first. It doesn't really matter as there is no always live power in it. You'd need to get your receptacle line to the switch box directly.
Is that something I would be able to do myself or would it be much better to call in an electrician? I would have to take off the receptacle from the switch and connect it to a point before the switch?
 
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Old 08-26-18, 12:35 PM
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Ultimately you need a cable from the receptacle to power. In your case that would be from the receptacle directly to the switch box. Many times people will consider a new direct circuit for that bathroom receptacle depending on what it's used for.
 
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Old 08-26-18, 01:51 PM
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What sort of tools would be needed to get a cable from the receptacle to the switch box? What are the advantages and disadvantages of a new direct circuit?

Ultimately, it would be great if I could save some money and do it myself. However, I am okay with calling an electrician if the price is right in terms of price and time to complete it as opposed to how much I would need to invest in time and tools to do it myself.

Thank you so far for all the assistance.
 
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Old 08-26-18, 02:28 PM
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I see 4 black wires connected to the left switch, two on the screws and 2 in the back stabs. Are you sure that one doesn't go separately to the receptacle? Are you sure that there is only 2 cables in the switch box? I also see 3 neutrals (white)

Also the receptacle box is a remodel box which tells me that it was added later. Is the receptacle box close to the switch box? Perhaps in the same stud cavity?

Tools need would include a drill with a spade bit, Drill or screw gun, drywall saw, and some electrical tools.
 
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Old 08-26-18, 02:33 PM
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You're right. I only saw three wires. The top pushed-in wire could be for the receptacle.
 
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Old 08-26-18, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
I see 4 black wires connected to the left switch, two on the screws and 2 in the back stabs. Are you sure that one doesn't go separately to the receptacle? Are you sure that there is only 2 cables in the switch box? I also see 3 neutrals (white)

Also the receptacle box is a remodel box which tells me that it was added later. Is the receptacle box close to the switch box? Perhaps in the same stud cavity?

Tools need would include a drill with a spade bit, Drill or screw gun, drywall saw, and some electrical tools.
I am not sure if one of the black wires goes to the receptacle box. Would the way to test that is to disconnect one of the black wires and then flip the switch on to see if the receptacle no longer is on?

Looking at it further, there appear to be 3 cables in the switch box.

The switch is outside the bathroom and the receptacle is inside the bathroom. It has a horizontal distance of maybe 4-5 feet maximum between each other.

What would my next step be then?
 
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Old 08-26-18, 05:09 PM
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Try disconnecting/removing the black wire from the top of the left switch push in connection.
That should kill the receptacle.
 
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Old 08-26-18, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by PJmax View Post
Try disconnecting/removing the black wire from the top of the left switch push in connection.
That should kill the receptacle.
I disconnected the wire attached to the screw on the left switch and nothing changed.

However, reading more into your comment it sounds like you meant the other black wire above it? I tried to push in with a small screwdriver, but it was not loosening up. I tried on the bottom push in connection and I could feel when I pushed the head of screwdriver in and it released the wire. However, I was unable to push in on the top. Any tricks for that?

I attached two pictures just as reference of what I did originally.
 
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Old 08-26-18, 08:34 PM
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The wire on the screw is the line to the light via the three wire cable. Now.... your light should be dead.
You need to remove the pushed in wire. It will require a SMALL flat heat screwdriver. Usually I'm removing the wire with no thought to putting it back in..... so I'll twist and pull and it will come out.
 
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Old 08-26-18, 08:53 PM
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Those pictures are after I removed the the wire from the screw and the light was still on when the flip was switched on. The power to the receptacle was still on as well when the switch was on. Does that mean something is incorrectly configured?

I'll try to remove the top push in connection tomorrow morning. The bottom one was definitely much easier.
 
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Old 08-30-18, 10:32 AM
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I apologize for the long delay. I've had a lot of projects going on at the same time so it's been a bit hectic.

I removed the push-in wire at the top and the light did not turn on and the receptacle did not have power either. Would this mean the receptacle is attached to the light? What would be the next step for me to try?

As a side note, it appears all the wires come in from the attic as well.

Thank you again for all the help so far.
 
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Old 08-30-18, 07:02 PM
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Very strange to have two switched wires on a switch. You have a light and receptacle on that switch and they appear to be both on only one of the wires. That begs the question..... what is the other switched wire doing ?

You're back to getting a line from the receptacle to the switch box.
 
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Old 08-30-18, 09:12 PM
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We had a fan installed in that bathroom so I'm not sure if the electrician changed anything. I wasn't around when that was happening. It's very odd because when I removed the wire attached to the side with a screw, nothing changed. The light was still on and the receptacle was still dependent on the switch. Then removing the push in wire at the top, the light was off and the receptacle had no power.

So I need to find the connection from the receptacle to the light and change it from receptacle to switch or the power feeding into the switch (before the switch)?

I will have to go up in the attic then this weekend and see if I can find all the proper wires. Expect more pictures soon!

Thanks for your patience.
 

Last edited by monkeymonkey; 08-30-18 at 09:15 PM. Reason: Fixing typos (on mobile)
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Old 09-30-18, 04:56 PM
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Could I go up to my attic and splice the connection coming from the main box to the bathroom and use one cable to the outlet and the other to the switch? Or is there an easier way? My attic has decent access and my entire breaker is exposed since I am redoing drywall and took off the existing drywall and insulation.
 
 

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