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Old 10-28-2012, 03:01 PM   #1
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How to turn light switch into switched outlet?


I searched and didn't see anything comparable, any help is mightily appreciated!

I have two spare rooms (new home; just moved in 3 weeks ago) that apparently used to have ceiling lights, but no longer do. Both rooms are mirror images of each other: I have 3 walls each with one outlet, and no more ceiling light. There is one switch in each room and both are wired like this pic:


In one room the outlet I want to use looks like this:


And the other room's outlet looks like this:


It looks to me like one of the outlets may have been switched at one time? It's definitely not switched now though.

My question is, assuming the wiring that is currently going into the light switch is no longer needed, what am I supposed to do with it? Do I have to go find it at the junction box in the attic and wire nut it off, or can I wire nut it inside the switch box?

Second question: The outlets are using 14-2 wire, and I assumed that I would have to run 14-3 wire, but all of the stuff I see online is telling me to run 12-2 and 12-3. Which one is correct for this application? I want this to be 100% legal and safe.

The house is located in San Diego County, California. City of Oceanside to be exact.

Forgot to add, these two rooms (which will be used sparingly) along with the porch light, and the entry-way light, are all on one 15 amp circuit.

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Last edited by bobgodd; 10-28-2012 at 03:07 PM. Reason: New information
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Old 10-28-2012, 04:40 PM   #2
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How to turn light switch into switched outlet?


Nm. The receptacles did not have the tab broken between the top and bottom hot, causing them to be live at all times.

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Old 10-28-2012, 07:05 PM   #3
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How to turn light switch into switched outlet?


You have what is called a switch loop feeding half of each receptacle. In order for this to work properly the tab between the black wires(gold screws) needs to be cut.

Also I would suggest you put the wires on the screws instead of the push in holes. Those push in holes are a very common failure point.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:50 PM   #4
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How to turn light switch into switched outlet?


The 14-2 and 14-3 cable is perfectly legal and safe for a 15 amp breakered circuit.

If you want to go to 20 amps then all of the circuit wiring has to be 12 gauge or fatter. (There may not be any portions in 14 gauge.)

When you extract the wire ends from the push in holes to remount those wires on the screw terminals, you might find that a wire here and there is nicked where it went into the push in hole. You should slice off the end at the nick and cut off more of the insulation to make a new bare end. If the hole terminal uses a screw down clamp to hold the wire in the hole then it is not necessary to redo that connection.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 10-28-2012 at 08:54 PM.
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