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Old 10-19-2008, 01:46 PM   #1
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add a hot outlet to a switched light

I'd like to add a hot outlight to the end of a switched celling light. 2 cans in succession. How do I do that?


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Old 10-19-2008, 03:16 PM   #2
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You install a separate line for the outlet, ignoring the lights nearby.


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Old 10-19-2008, 05:21 PM   #3
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...kbsparky pretty much says it can't do this without running new wire to the outlet, ignoring the lights completely.
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Old 10-19-2008, 07:25 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses..

That's kinda what I thought, but I also thought in the dark recesses of my mind there was some way to do it. since the light is the closest (easiest) source of live power, I was hoping. O t'well...most good things aren't easy.
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:24 AM   #5
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You can do it only if you have a neutral wire at the switch. If not, then you can replace the 2 wire with 3 wire and bring a neutral to the switch.
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Last edited by jbfan; 10-20-2008 at 08:26 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-21-2008, 07:30 AM   #6
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Most junction boxes will have a bunch of black wires tied togehter, usually unswitched (live) power and a bunch of white wires tied together for the neutrals accompanying the power.

If lunswitched power is at one of the lights, you can run a cable from there to get power to where you want the receptacle (outlet). That junction box has to be big enough to accommodate the extra wires. You might be able to add a ring to the junction box to expand it and then put the box cover on the ring.

Count one point for each conductor (white, black, etc. but not grounds). Count one point if any clamps or brackets that hold wires in the box are inside the box. Count one point for all the grounds. Count two points for the receptacle itself. No points are needed for pigtails (short lengths of wire completely inside the box. No points are needed for the can light socket if that does not protrude inside the box.

For 14 or smaller gauge wires you need 2 cubic inches per point inside the box. For 12 gauge wires you need 2-1/4 ci per point.

All ground wires are connected to each other wherever they come together. Neutrals are connected only to the respective circuits they are for, for example at the can light the neutral of your new cable going to the new receptacle branches off from the neutral accompanying the hot feed.

A white wire attached to a switch (the other end may be attached to a black wire) is not a neutral. Both ends should have a band of black or red or blue tape or paint on them; add that if not already present*. So if all that comes to a switch box is one cable with both wires attached to the switch, that is not where you get live power for your receptacle unless you replace the cable with a 3 wire cable as described above.

* If you cannot find and identify the other end, then this is not a DIY project for you.


Last edited by AllanJ; 10-21-2008 at 07:40 AM.
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