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Old 10-13-2011, 07:39 PM   #1
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Another switched receptacle to ceiling light conversion


Hi. Apologies if this has been covered before.

I am hoping to add a switched ceiling light to a bedroom. Currently the switch by the doorway controls a receptacle (both sockets on the receptacle are switched), and I would like to convert that to be always on once the light is added.

I was thinking this would be straightforward until I opened up the covers. I was not sure if the current setup was common or not

Here is a summary of the current setup:

The pigtailed connections appear to either be soldered or crimped together, making them more of a hassle to undo or recreate. I have found examples of both in the house, which was built in 1956.

Power comes in to the switched receptacle box thru 2-wire cable.
The cable out to the switch has 3 wires (red, black, white).

The switch box seems to also serve as a pass-through to an unswitched outlet. That is, in the switch box we have the other end of same 3-wire cable. A 2-wire cable runs to an unswitched outlet, which is the end of the run.

Here is a crude picture of the connections, showing the switched outlet at the bottom and the end-of-run outlet on the right.


I was hoping to extend new cable from the switch box, since it's a shorter run and access to it is easier than the outlet. One confusion lies in what to do about the red wire. In doing this it looks like I can take one two approaches.
1. disconnect the red at both ends and tie the currently switched receptacle to hot
2. in the switch box pigtail the red to the hot wires. However, this creates an unnecessary current path

I have drawn (2) in the picture below.... Is there a preferred approach? Which, if any of these, would be compliant?

Thanks and happy to answer any questions if it's unclear


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Old 10-13-2011, 09:05 PM   #2
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Another switched receptacle to ceiling light conversion


The problem with a home built in 1956, is that you most likely have BX, and to do what you want properly and still have a powered outlet, is make the lighting and the outlet separate circuits, or drop the outlet all together and place a blank on that junction box, if power feeds into, then to the switch.

To do the fan, you need to take the hot that will not be feeding the outlet, and use that to power the switch, so that you can power the fan. That means, that you would have Black feeding the outlet for constant power, and the red to feed the light switch box.

If you want to make things easy, just pull all new wiring, so that the outlet is coming off of the receptacle circuit for that room, and the lighting is coming off of the other bedroom lighting circuit, if there is another bedroom.

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Last edited by gregzoll; 10-14-2011 at 01:51 AM.
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Old 10-14-2011, 12:56 AM   #3
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Another switched receptacle to ceiling light conversion


Thanks for the reply. Not sure I follow you on the voltages adding up to 240, though. All the wiring in question is on the same breaker and there's no out-of-phase hot wire in the mix. The light fixture is something new I'm trying to add, and there's no fan
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Old 10-14-2011, 01:46 AM   #4
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Another switched receptacle to ceiling light conversion


If you want both the outlet & a lighting circuit, you can not use the same circuit to power them both, once you make the change. That means, pulling a new run of Romex for the circuit for the outlet, and the current circuit can then be used for the lighting/ceiling fan.
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Last edited by gregzoll; 10-14-2011 at 01:51 AM.
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Old 10-14-2011, 02:04 AM   #5
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Another switched receptacle to ceiling light conversion


Sorry, I realize the drawings I posted were absolute trash and probably misrepresented the situation. Not only was the layout bad, but I accidentally drew an extra ear on the switched receptacle. I had drawn it out how it was in my head.

Hoping I can start over with new drawings, but basically the same question.

Here is how it looks now. To reiterate, both sockets on the switched receptacle operate on the same switch.



Hoping to do it this way (1):



Or this way (2). The red would be capped on both ends:

Last edited by nobrainz00; 10-14-2011 at 03:38 AM. Reason: image enhancement
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Old 10-14-2011, 02:05 AM   #6
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Another switched receptacle to ceiling light conversion


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
If you want both the outlet & a lighting circuit, you can not use the same circuit to power them both, once you make the change. That means, pulling a new run of Romex for the circuit for the outlet, and the current circuit can then be used for the lighting/ceiling fan.
Thanks, Greg. Will start looking into that

Last edited by nobrainz00; 10-14-2011 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 10-14-2011, 04:48 AM   #7
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Another switched receptacle to ceiling light conversion


Either one of your solutions is fine and you do not have to run any wire other than from the switch to the ceiling box. A suggestion I will make is even though you plan is to install a light fixture make provision for a ceiling fan. Run a 3 wire instead of 2 wire cable (cap the unused red) and install a fan rated ceiling box.
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Old 10-14-2011, 10:13 AM   #8
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Another switched receptacle to ceiling light conversion


rjniles, the other option is do like I did, keep the 2 wire, and add in a remote like this http://www.lowes.com/pd_368168-79-27...ote&facetInfo= When I was pulling power for the bathroom reno, I asked the wife if she wanted me to pull 14/3 at that time, due to I had the wall open, and had to pull new power for the switch, but the wife shot that down. We keep the remote attached next to the light switch for the fan, with hook & loop.
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Old 10-14-2011, 10:25 AM   #9
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Another switched receptacle to ceiling light conversion


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
rjniles, the other option is do like I did, keep the 2 wire, and add in a remote like this http://www.lowes.com/pd_368168-79-27...ote&facetInfo= When I was pulling power for the bathroom reno, I asked the wife if she wanted me to pull 14/3 at that time, due to I had the wall open, and had to pull new power for the switch, but the wife shot that down. We keep the remote attached next to the light switch for the fan, with hook & loop.
Not that I think a remote is a bad idea, but since the OP is running new cabling I think 3 wire gives the most flexibility (for minimal additional cost). You can still use a remote if you like or you can use one of these:



or one of these if you only have 2 wire cabling
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Old 10-14-2011, 07:30 PM   #10
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Another switched receptacle to ceiling light conversion


Quote:
Originally Posted by rjniles View Post
Either one of your solutions is fine and you do not have to run any wire other than from the switch to the ceiling box. A suggestion I will make is even though you plan is to install a light fixture make provision for a ceiling fan. Run a 3 wire instead of 2 wire cable (cap the unused red) and install a fan rated ceiling box.
Thanks, rjniles. Had not thought of that additional provisioning, and certainly it could be handy in future.


Last edited by nobrainz00; 10-14-2011 at 07:33 PM.
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