Combination device

Old 08-10-01, 09:10 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a

I am trying to install a combination device (receptacle +switch) where there was only a switch before. My intention was that the switch would turn a light on and off and the receptacle would work independently.
Two wires come out of the box. I have tried every possible combination, with or without bifurcations or a jumper wire, to install the device and I can´t seem to make the receptacle work unless the light is off.
Is it because the switch is meant to turn the receptacle on and off or and can´t work independently, or because there should be more wires coming out of the box that I can´t seem to install this properly?
Thank you in advance
Old 08-10-01, 09:33 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Fayetteville, NY, USA
Posts: 969
Upvotes: 0
Received 2 Upvotes on 2 Posts
Sorry to have to tell you this, but you can't get there from here! In a switch circuit the white neutral wire goes from your panel directly to the light fixture, often without going anywhere near the switch box, and is permanently connected to the fixture. Then a hot comes from your breaker to the switch and the same hot continues from the switch to the fixture. The piece of wire from the switch to the fixture is normally dead when the switch is off and live when the switch is on. If you removed the switch and had the two bare-ended wires hanging out of the box and touched them together all that would happen is that the light would go on. (If one of those wires was a neutral and you touched them together it would blow up.) A switch simply interrupts the hot leg on it's way from the panel to the fixture.

So, you ain't got a neutral in that box and therefore can't power a receptacle from there.

Sorry, but to do what you're thinking about you will need to run a new romex to that box, bringing in the neutral and a ground.


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: