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Converting wall switch from controlling wall receptacle to contolling ceiling fixture

Converting wall switch from controlling wall receptacle to contolling ceiling fixture

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  #1  
Old 11-06-05, 05:35 PM
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Converting wall switch from controlling wall receptacle to contolling ceiling fixture

In one room in my house, I have a wall switch that controls 2 separate 2-plug wall receptacles. I would like to install a ceiling fan in the room, but the room has no existing ceiling fixtures nor even an electrical box in the ceiling.

I would like to reconfigure the wall receptacles so they are alway "live." Then, I'd like to wire a ceiling fixture to the wall switch. I have attic access to install the ceiling fixture.

Has anyone done similar rewiring? Do I just connect the receptable wires and leave them in the existing switch box?

For the ceiling fixture, I can run wire in the attic, but how do I get it down the wall to the existing wall switch? Will there be room in that switch box for all those wires? Will I have to open the wall near the switch?

Any guidance would be appreciated.
 
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Old 11-06-05, 06:17 PM
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This is possible. But the details depend on how it is wired now. Start by shutting off the breaker, gently pulling the wall switch out of the box, and describing in detail all the cables, all the wires, and all the connections in the box.
 
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Old 11-06-05, 07:03 PM
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Converting wall switch from controlling wall receptacle to contolling ceiling fixture

John,

A single BX cable connected to the box. There are only 2 wires coming into the switch, one white and one black. Each wire connects to a terminal on the switch.

Guy
 
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Old 11-06-05, 07:08 PM
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The two main options now are to (1) rewire the receptacle(s) to turn the white wire at the switch into a neutral, and then run your new cable to the switch box, or (2) run your new cable to one of the receptacle boxes.

Now the details depend on the receptacle wiring. Do the same analysis for both receptacles that you just did for the switch.
 
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Old 11-06-05, 08:00 PM
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Converting wall switch from controlling wall receptacle to contolling ceiling fixture

OK, first a correction: There is only one receptacle in the room that is controlled by the wall switch. The other 4 receptacles are "live."

The one switch that is controlled by the wall switch is as follows: 3 BX cables into the box. 2 white wires and one black wire connect into the receptacle. The 2 black wires and the 1 white wire that are not connected to the receptacle are all connected together with a wire connector.

I pulled out one the receptacles that are not controlled by the wall switch, to compare the wiring. That one has 2 BX cables connected to the box, and both black and both white wires are connected to the respective side of the receptacle. I didn't check the other receptacles, but I can if necessary.
 
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Old 11-06-05, 08:22 PM
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Okay, then either of the options I presented is possible. Choose one. Will it be easier to run the new cable to the switch box, or to the receptacle box? With three cables already in the receptacle box, it sounds like running it to the switch box will be less crowded. But if one of these two boxes is on an exterior wall, it would generally be easier to use the other box.

Do you have grounding? It is not legal to extend an ungrounded circuit.

Will you be using BX for the new wiring, or is NM-B legal in your city?

Dropping a new cable down from the attic to an existing box is usually pretty easy.

Is the breaker 15-amp or 20-amp?
 
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Old 11-07-05, 04:34 AM
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Converting wall switch from controlling wall receptacle to contolling ceiling fixture

John,

I'm not sure which one will be easier. I think I first try to run the ceiling fixture cable to the wall switch.

--What should be the wiring configuration at the receptacle so it is always "on?"

--If I connect to the wall switch, do I connect the existing black and the new black to the switch, then connect the whites to each other?

By the way, if I end up connecting into a wall receptacle, does it need to be the one that is currently controlled by the switch? Does that mean that that receptacle will continue to be controlled by the switch? What would the wiring in that receptacle look like, should I need to go that route?

I believe I have grounding. The boxes are metal and the BX clamps into the box.

I can use NM in my area and will probably do so.

20 amp breaker.

Thanks
 
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Old 11-07-05, 07:11 AM
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Okay, here's how to do the project by running a new cable to the wall switch:
  1. Shut off the breaker.
  2. Remove the switch and separate the wires that were connected to it.
  3. Go to the switched receptacle.
  4. Use a wire nut to connect all three black wires to a black pigtail (short segment of wire). Connect the other end of the pigtail to one of the brass-colored screws on the receptacle.
  5. Use a wire nut to connect all three white wires to a white pigtail (short segment of wire). Connect the other end of the pigtail to one of the silver-colored screws on the receptacle.
  6. Run a new 12/2 cable from the ceiling box to the switch box, or run 12/3 if you want separate switches for the fan and its light.
Before we go any farther, tell me whether the fan will have a light kit. Then tell me how you want to control this--with wall switches or a remote. If wall switches, do you want one switch to control both the fan and its light, or two switches, one for each? If you want two switches, do you want to use a duplex switch in the existing single-gang box, or do you want to replace the single-gang box with a double-gang box and have two switches?
 
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Old 11-07-05, 07:33 AM
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Converting wall switch from controlling wall receptacle to contolling ceiling fixture

I have 2 fans for 2 separate rooms each with similar wiring issues. One unit is a combination fan/light. The other is a fan, with an option light fixture which I have also purchased.

Regarding the control of the fixture, until your questions, I HAD assumed that I'd go with a single wall switch, then use the pull chains to control the fan and light. BUT...now you've got me thinking (I appreciate your questions). I now think it would be best to have duplex switch that would fit in the existing box to contol BOTH the fan and light.
 
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Old 11-07-05, 08:59 PM
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So do as I said before. Run 12/3 from the switch box to the ceiling. At the duplex switch:
  • Connect the 12/2 white to the 12/3 white.
  • Connect the 12/2 black to the common side of the duplex switch. This is the side with two screws connected by a metal tab. Do not remove the tab.
  • Connect the black of the 12/3 to the top screw on the other side of the duplex switch.
  • Connect the red of the 12/3 to the bottom screw on the other side of the duplex switch.
At the ceiling, connect white to white, red to the light hot wire from the fan (usually blue or black with a white stripe), and black to black.

Caution: Rarely are two situations exactly alike. The details in this thread apply to the room you described. They only apply to the second room if it is identical in every detail.
 
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