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Old 07-08-2007, 01:55 AM   #1
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Convert an Outlet into a Switch?


I am planning on adding recessed lighting into the kitchen area. Originally my plan was to wire it all to an existing light fixture...(As I had done in another job with my ceiling fan). Anyway, I'm thinking I'd rather have these new recessed lights on thier own switch and not piggy-backed with the existing kitchen light.....Better control and presentation of light. My question is...is it possible to convert an exisiting outlet into an electrical switch....and if so,
what is the best way of doing this....(In other words can I replace the plug with a Combo switch/outlet or a single switch and make all necessary connections accordingly for a simple swap and done.
Any info with this is appreciated.
Thanks.

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Old 07-08-2007, 03:03 AM   #2
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Convert an Outlet into a Switch?


Do you have cable from the existing rec. up to the new light location? I would guess you don't, but I may be wrong. If you do, or if you will have, it would be as simple as:

If you want to lose the receptacle and add a switch, just combine all the nuetrals, and put the hot conductor going to the light(s) on one side of the switch and the incoming hot on the other.

If you want to keep the rec. and add a switch, wire the rec. as normal but with a conductor off the second hot screw on the rec. over to the switch**, hot conductor to light(s) on the other side of the switch.
** If the circuit goes on to other things, you'll have to pigtail this wire to get the third hot conductor.

This is all assuming you have basic electrical knowledge. If you don't, this isn't something to practice on. It would be easy to get something wrong, if you don't understand where the power is coming from and where it's going, and just generally how it works.

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Old 07-08-2007, 08:34 AM   #3
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Convert an Outlet into a Switch?


If by doing this conversion you are placing a lighting load on a kitchen small appliance circuit (one of those that serves the countertop), then you will be in violation of the NEC. Just thought I'd throw that out for consideration.
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Old 07-08-2007, 11:23 AM   #4
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Convert an Outlet into a Switch?


Thanks JP & Housekeeper....I dont want to violate any codes....I think I will go a different route and use the existing light source.
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