Converting a circuit breaker to a wifi plug ...

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Old 01-13-19, 01:56 PM
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Converting a circuit breaker to a wifi plug ...

Hi everyone: I'm trying to discern a good way to do this, and wanted to turn to the form for some suggestions. I'm trying to put some overhead lights on a wifi plug. There is no switch for the lights - the only way to turn them on or off is by the circuit breaker. All of the lights are LED and have a very low draw. There's probably 4 or 5 circuit breakers that we'd like to make into wifi plugs. We want to put them on a schedule so they turn on and off at a certain time each day.

We have invested in about 20 tp-link wifi plugs, which work very well for us for other devices. I'm kind of wanting to stay on the same system if it's at all possible.

Would it be possible to simply take the wires that come into the circuit breaker, convert them into a plug and plug them into a wifi enabled outlet?

Perhaps there might be a simpler way to do this? I'd be happy to hear your thoughts and perhaps some other ways to accomplish what we're trying to do.

Thanks so much for the counsel.
 
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Old 01-13-19, 02:22 PM
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Would it be possible to simply take the wires that come into the circuit breaker, convert them into a plug and plug them into a WiFi enabled outlet?
No..... that you can't do.

What we have done is to mount electrical boxes near and connected to the panel. Then we've used wifi switches in those boxes. You need to make sure that there is absolutely nothing else on those circuits that would now be controlled by the WiFi switch.
 
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Old 01-13-19, 04:22 PM
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The circuit breaker is where the power enters the circuit and the overcurrent protection is. It is a needed part of the wiring.
 
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Old 01-17-19, 10:38 AM
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HI PJMax ... thanks for the help on this. So if I understand right, you mounted some electrical boxes near the panel and there are outlets inside of them that connect to the breakers? Where would the overhead lights wiring fit into the equation?

Would you be willing to share some photos of your install so that I could show our electrician how you did it?

In our scenario, we don't have any "light switches". All we have are circuit breaker switches to turn lights on and off - been that way for 50 years. There's nothing else on these circuits except a few LED lights - no outlets or other power draws. We simply want to change how the lights are powered on and off. Instead of getting power directly from the circuit, we would simply plug them into an outlet where a smart plug adapter is attached and would control them by schedule. I guess I don't understand why we couldn't simply take the wires out of the circuit breaker, slap a plug onto the wires and simply plug them in. We're simply changing how they're powered - kind of like taking a hardwire light fixture and converting it so that it could be plugged in. Instead of being powered through the circuit breaker, they're now powered via an outlet.

Maybe I'm too simplistic, but I would think there would be an easy way to accomplish what we're trying to do. The end result is that we want to power a few lights by an automatic schedule to come on and go off at certain times, and utilize the app that all of our other smart plugs are using.

Thanks for the continued good counsel.
 
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Old 01-17-19, 08:37 PM
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I'm having trouble accessing the board. I'll get you a diagram soon.
 
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Old 01-17-19, 09:27 PM
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That would be AWESOME! Thanks so much PJMax.
 
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Old 01-18-19, 06:41 PM
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I had posted this the other day but it was lost due to a board shudder during upgrade.

I don't have any pictures as this was done at a customers house. There were two wifi switches added for two outdoor floodlight circuits so we knew there was nothing else on the circuits. We installed two 4" square boxes with mud rings directly next to the panel. They can be connected with nipples or pieces of 14/3 w/g NM cable. One wire (black) goes from the breaker to the line/hot side of the switch. The white wire goes to the neutral bar in the panel. The red wire is wire nutted to the black wire that was removed from the breaker and connects to load of the switch.

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Old 01-19-19, 10:15 AM
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Could you use Wifi bulbs? I have a couple of them and they work great.
 
 

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