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Old 06-28-2011, 09:01 AM   #1
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Converting switched outlet to unswitched..


..and more.

First post and a bit long so bear with me.

My wife and I purchased our first home 6 years ago. Home is in FL and was built in 1981. In those 6 years we have gutted and rebuilt the kitchen ourselves, repainted everything, replaced doors, put in flooring ourselves and I have replaced all switches and outlets in the house with new ones. So, I am not afraid to get my hands dirty, do the research and figure out how to do things myself.

I have one bedroom that I cannot get working properly. This room had one outlet (top only) that was controlled by the single light switch. The room also has an overhead light/ceiling fan combo that was only controlled by the pull string. My goal was to have the outlet no longer switched and to have the light switch control the fan light. As I was replacing all outlets and the switch, I put in a new outlet that did not have the side tab cut. This made the outlet unswitched...great....but it also made the light switch useless.

I tried every combination of wiring that I could find online and would get one of the two outcomes:

1. outlet switched
2. outlet unswitched, fan light switched along with hallway and adjacent bathroom

So it seems that this bedroom is tied in with the hallway and adjacent bathroom and I just cannot figure this out.

Wires at the switch:
2 runs
-one has 1 black, 1 white and 1 red wire
-second has 1 black, 1 white wire

Wires at outlet:
2 runs
-same as switch

Wires at fan/light:
2 runs
-both have 1 black, 1 white wire

How I have everything wired right now:
switch:
-white tied together
-black tied together with a 3rd wire going to the switch
-red wire to switch

Fan:
-black tied together going to black and blue in fan/light
-white tied together going to white in fan/light

Outlet:
-black tied together with 3rd going to bottom right of outlet
-red going top right of outlet
-white going to left of outlet, one top one bottom

The above config allows for the hallway and bathroom to function normally, the outlet is hot at all times, the fan/light is controlled by the pull string and the switch does nothing.

At the moment I have too much pride to call an electrician and they may say that I put myself in this situation and may try to charge me more since I changed how it was wired originally. I am starting to lose faith though...

Any help would be appreciated.


Last edited by Blivit; 06-28-2011 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:53 AM   #2
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Converting switched outlet to unswitched..


The wires in the switch have nothing to do with the fan/light. The b/w at the switch is an incoming hot/neutral. The b/r/w are the hot/switched hot/neutral going to the receptacle. To do what you want you will need to run a three conductor cable (14/3 or 12/3) from the switch to the light/fan.

Remark the white in the new three conductor with black tape and connect to the black wires in the fan box. Connect the red to the light (blue or black/white) wire and cap off the black. Leave the fan black and white connected as it is. At the switch, connect the remarked white to one screw and the red to the other. Cap off the black. This gives you control over the light with the switch, the fan with the pull chain, and gives you the option of adding a switch for the fan later.

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Old 06-28-2011, 10:47 AM   #3
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Converting switched outlet to unswitched..


Quote:
Originally Posted by HouseHelper View Post
The wires in the switch have nothing to do with the fan/light. The b/w at the switch is an incoming hot/neutral. The b/r/w are the hot/switched hot/neutral going to the receptacle. To do what you want you will need to run a three conductor cable (14/3 or 12/3) from the switch to the light/fan.

Remark the white in the new three conductor with black tape and connect to the black wires in the fan box. Connect the red to the light (blue or black/white) wire and cap off the black. Leave the fan black and white connected as it is. At the switch, connect the remarked white to one screw and the red to the other. Cap off the black. This gives you control over the light with the switch, the fan with the pull chain, and gives you the option of adding a switch for the fan later.
Thank you for the reply. I was kind of afraid that I would have to run new wire. I need to get in the attic to see how easy that is going to be.

With what you are saying, am I basically leaving everything how it is currently (all wires connected as I have listed in my original post, even the switch) and adding the new 3 conductor and connecting it only to the light and switch?

The fan/light does have separate wires (blue and black) one for the fan and another for the light that are all tied together to the black. Does that change anything?

Last edited by Blivit; 06-28-2011 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 06-28-2011, 11:56 AM   #4
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Converting switched outlet to unswitched..


My posts have been edited to reflect correct wire colors.
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:53 PM   #5
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Converting switched outlet to unswitched..


Quote:
Originally Posted by Blivit View Post
Thank you for the reply. I was kind of afraid that I would have to run new wire. I need to get in the attic to see how easy that is going to be.

With what you are saying, am I basically leaving everything how it is currently (all wires connected as I have listed in my original post, even the switch) and adding the new 3 conductor and connecting it only to the light and switch?

The fan/light does have separate wires (blue and black) one for the fan and another for the light that are all tied together to the black. Does that change anything?
The red wire at the switch and receptacle does nothing now, so it can be disconnected and capped off. If you run the new wire to the fan/light as described, then the black wire currently connected to the switch can be disconnected (but leave it connected to the other black wire).
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:05 PM   #6
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Converting switched outlet to unswitched..


Quote:
Originally Posted by HouseHelper View Post
The red wire at the switch and receptacle does nothing now, so it can be disconnected and capped off. If you run the new wire to the fan/light as described, then the black wire currently connected to the switch can be disconnected (but leave it connected to the other black wire).
Thanks, that's a big help. Now I just need to see if I can get up in the attic to easily run this wire..
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:08 AM   #7
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Converting switched outlet to unswitched..


Don't cut the unused wires, someone might want to use them in the future.
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:12 AM   #8
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Converting switched outlet to unswitched..


Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
Don't cut the unused wires, someone might want to use them in the future.
I don't plan to cut anything; just cap them off and leave them once I add the new wire...if I can do it..
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:07 AM   #9
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Converting switched outlet to unswitched..


Just wanted to bring this back up to say thanks to HouseHelper. I was able to get everything wired up as described this weekend and everything works flawlessly now. The hardest part was getting in the attic and snaking the wire but other than that everything went pretty smoothly.

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