Vanity Light in Bathroom is my only outlet and light.


Old 02-01-08, 09:30 AM
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Vanity Light in Bathroom is my only outlet and light.

Hello, and thanks for any advice you can give to a first-time visitor to this forum.

I own a condo in a building built in the mid-60's as cheap student housing. Most of them are still very cheap rental units.

In my bathrooms I have 2 switches on the wall. One is for very powerful and loud exhaust fans and the other goes to a vanity light above the medicine cabinet.

The 2-bulb vanity lights both include a power outlet, and that is my only power outlet in those bathrooms. Downstairs, one of the bulb sockets does not work and upstairs, the power outlet in the light needs to be replaced because I have to hold the plugs in a certain way for the appliances to work.

I was going to just replace these lights but I cannot find any vanity lights at the store which have the outlets on them. My guess is that they don't make them anymore.

Since my vanity light is weak and needs to be replaced, and it's my only power outlet, and it's all on the same switch, and my wiring in the house probably isn't up to par, am I screwed?

I mean to say that if I want a new vanity light and a functional power outlet somewhere in the bathroom (in-fixture or otherwise), am I going to have to replace all of the wiring in the condo and install separate new GFCI plugs somewhere in the room and re-do the wiring from the switch to the vanity light area?

I am into doing things myself but when it comes to shoddy electrical wiring replacement, I do not feel comfortable risking death because of poor maintenance in the past. I tried to replace a ceiling lamp in the kitchen last night. It looked simple enough, based on the book I got from the library, and the directions included with the new light. When I took the old one down, I found a rats nest of wires, electrical tape, several screw-on connectors, and everything was sprayed over with a thick layer of popcorn ceiling. I could not find an obvious correspondence in the wiring up there to the black-white-red-bare that the book tells me I should find. The old lamp was connected with a black wire and a red wire that seemed to be taped to other wires in the fat mass of popcorn-coated wires. The junction box flops around in the cieling and is not suitable to attach the new light to. I will probably call a pro for that one.
Old 02-01-08, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
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It depends on how it is wired. It might be possible to put a switch/receptacle combo device in the switch box.
With the power off open the switch box and tell us the wires in there. If there are white wires connected together in the back of the box and not connected to the switch then it is possible to put the combo device in or expand the box and add a receptacle. The receptacle will need to be GFCI.

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