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Gary
Wiring a switch/outlet combo

Would like to replace a switch that goes to a ceiling light with a switch/outlet combo. The switch would then control power to the ceiling light and the outlet. The only wires coming out of the box is a white, black and green. Is this possible with only these three wires?  

Thanks in advance!

HandyAndyInMtAiry
Re: Wiring a switch/outlet combo

Gary,

Sure, you can feed power to everything. You have a line, load neutral and ground in that box. It is easier, if you have room in the box to use pig tails. Don't get hung up on colors, current has no idea of the color of the wire it is running thru. But, Line is most of the time black, Neutral is White, and Ground is green or bare copper.

Whites and Greens all tie together, with one white and one green also connecting to the neutral and ground of the outlet the Load and the metal box. The black that is feeding the box connects to the line side of the switch, and the black that is going to the light fixture connects to the load side of the switch, plus to the line side of the outlet. Feeding the outlet only when the switch is thrown to close the circuit. Break off the tab between the Line side of the switch. If not, it will short everytime you throw the switch.

Andrew

Handy Andy In Mt Airy NC

Gary
Re: Wiring a switch/outlet combo

Thank you so much for taking the time to help me. I'm quite the amatuer at this so I appreciate your patience. I've successfully pigtailed both the black and and the white wire (two wires coming off the black and two wires coming off the white).  I have plenty of room in the box to pigtail. There are five screws on the outlet. I know the green wire goes to the ground screw. Just not sure what I'm doing with the other four. 

Thanks again!

HandyAndyInMtAiry
Re: Wiring a switch/outlet combo

Gary,

You're welcome. Just follow the picture that I attached. One half of the device is an outlet and one half is a switch. The switch controls the device, and the outlet below the switch. One is the Line coming into the box, from the power supply. Use a meter to determine these two wires.

There are some things that I always do. I always twist the wires so that they are physically connected and then put a wire nut over the connection. Then I tape the connection so that nothing can possibly come out from under the nut, and nothing can get in either. I always use the screw on a device, I never use the holes in the back of the device. Since these cannot be tightened. After all the wires are attached under the screw, in the correct direction of the screw turn, I tape the device around it, covering the screws. This is all very cheap insurance to ensure that you can work with it while hot, and nothing comes into contact with the screws.

May I strongly suggest that you call someone that knows, or has good experience in working with electrical devices and circuits

Andrew

Handy Andy in Mt Airy NC

Gary
Re: Wiring a switch/outlet combo

Andrew, 

Thank you so much for the easy to follow picture, tips and again, thanks for your time. My wife has changed her mind and is asking if it is possible to have the outlet portion "always on" and not controlled by the switch with only the three wires I have available. If I'm reading your description and tips correctly, this doesn't seem possible but let me know. 

Thanks again!   Gary 

HandyAndyInMtAiry
Re: Wiring a switch/outlet combo

Gary,

Really simple. Remove the wire that is on the load side of the switch that connects to the line side of the outlet. Leave that tab between the two screws in place. As indicated in the attachment. If you have already broken the tab off. Simply use a small piece of wire to wire between the two screws. Simply, you want the line coming in to power both the switch and the outlet.

Andrew

Handy Andy In Mt Airy NC

 

Gary
Re: Wiring a switch/outlet combo

Andrew,

Thanks! Works great. Sorry to bother you again but I have a question for my brother who owns an old 1930 house that does not have a ground. Same set up as mine but just the black and white wire. Is my same situation possible with his old wiring? 

Sorry if I'm pushing my luck with another question and thanks for all your help. 

Gary

HandyAndyInMtAiry
Re: Wiring a switch/outlet combo

Gary,

I do not at all mind helping and giving advice to someone that is trying to live better and do electrical work safer.

With no ground, you just do not have a ground. I would suggest that you run new wire from the panel to the device. In fact, if his house means much to him, rewire the entire house. If later it is found that the new device causes a fire, or a death, you home owners insurance will not pay off. I am sure with an older house, it needs to be updated anyway to a larger ampicity service. We have a house that was built in 1890. I changed everything from 60 amp to 600 amp service. Makes life easy, and safe.

Andrew

Handy Andy In Mt Airy NC

Gary
Re: Wiring a switch/outlet combo

Thanks Andrew! Will pass on your advice.

Gary

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