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Old 08-31-2008, 04:13 PM   #1
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


Hello,

I have an old switch that controls the light in my garage. I would like to make this a switch/ outlet combo. I had detailed pictures that are clearly marked, but for the life of me, I can't get this to work.

I have a multimeter and have taken readings in hopes this will help you help me

There are three pictures, one is the old light switch, the other is the light switch removed and the third is the new combo unit I would like to use.

How do I do this?

I'd appreciate any help you can offer! Thanks!

Jim.
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Old 08-31-2008, 05:27 PM   #2
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


The switch you have now is a three way switch. Also the power for the light is at the light. All your switch does is break the hot leg. Being a 3way is why you have the red wire. It is called a traveler. That is why you can operate the light from 2 locations or more. You will have to do something different on this. Since it is in conduit you might be able to pull more wire but I am not sure they make a 3way like you want to use.

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Old 08-31-2008, 05:53 PM   #3
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


I can't tell if the recep is switched by the switch or not. Is it?

Tell us what you want to end up with and if you have the ability to run new wires to this switch unit.

Not sure of your readings. Take voltage readings to each wire to ground. Then, as Tazin said, this appears to be a 3 way switch so there is another switch in this circuit. Go and flip that switch and then come and read the wires to ground again.
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:30 PM   #4
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


3 way sitch = no neutral = not gonna happen.
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Old 09-01-2008, 02:04 PM   #5
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


I don't want to have to run new wire and would love to just run with what I have. What about a pigtail to the receptacle?

I'll take some reading using ground rather than wire to wire.

Thanks for the help everyone!
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Old 09-01-2008, 02:12 PM   #6
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


Quote:
I don't want to have to run new wire and would love to just run with what I have


I don't want to have to go back to work tomorrow but........

Unless you rewire to eliminate your 3 way switch, it aint gonna happen.


Quote:
What about a pigtail to the receptacle?
For the recep you need a hot wire (which you may or may not have) and a neutral wire (which you don't have).


Nice pics and layout BTW !!

Last edited by 220/221; 09-01-2008 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 09-01-2008, 03:29 PM   #7
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


The hard way it is then.

Thanks for all the help everyone and a most excellent forum!

Have a great day!

Jim.
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:53 PM   #8
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


why not just get a bigger box and run the switch AND the outlets? too simple? the wires are there...
get a double ganger and put both in it. that new switch is a switch that when you turn the switch, it powers the outlet. (note led square spot on switch side) heck, throw in a gfci and you're fine, code states you must have gfci or old two hole outlets if ground is missing. (it looks to me like you have a hot, neutral and red return line, but no ground. if so, it should work fine. if i'm seeing wrong, sorry to waste your time guys.)
DM

Last edited by DangerMouse; 09-01-2008 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 09-01-2008, 06:08 PM   #9
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MdangermouseM View Post
why not just get a bigger box and run the switch AND the outlets? too simple? the wires are there...
get a double ganger and put both in it. that new switch is a switch that when you turn the switch, it powers the outlet. (note led square spot on switch side) heck, throw in a gfci and you're fine. (it looks to me like you have a hot, neutral and red return line, but no ground. if so, it should work fine. if i'm seeing wrong, sorry to waste your time guys.)
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There is no neutral at the box.
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Old 09-01-2008, 06:11 PM   #10
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


the old switch says black white red.... and they LOOK black white and red in the next pic. ummmm, you sure?

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Old 09-01-2008, 06:16 PM   #11
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MdangermouseM View Post
the old switch says black white red.... and they LOOK black white and red in the next pic. ummmm, you sure?

DM
The "black","white", and "red" were imposed on the picture by the OP.
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Old 09-01-2008, 06:21 PM   #12
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


oic. that box pic is awful tiny but i think i do see the tape on the white line, so ok, my bad

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Old 09-01-2008, 06:25 PM   #13
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


i don't understand then, please explain to me how he can get a 120v reading with the black and the white, but can't hook up an outlet?

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Old 09-01-2008, 06:38 PM   #14
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


Quote:
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i don't understand then, please explain to me how he can get a 120v reading with the black and the white, but can't hook up an outlet?

DM
if one the white wire goes to a resistance load (like an incandescdent light), you will read continuity to ground on that wire because it is hooked to ground. You will be reading right through the resistive load. It becomes a neutral wire after it leaves the lamp. If you put a recep in the circuit at the point we are dealing with, you will be putting the recep in series with the other load.

Not saying that is how things are set up here but the explanation is to answer you question.

just to explain the wire colors, or at least a possibility:

it looks like old NM cable which if using 12/3 and no ground, you could have the colors you see. What I think the deal is is, somenody stripped off the outer sheath of old NM 12/3 and this is what we are seeing. The white may be used as a switchleg to the load while the other 2 being travellers from the other switch.

Last edited by nap; 09-01-2008 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 09-01-2008, 06:44 PM   #15
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Moving from switch to switch combo, please help.


but.... there's no ground... still confused

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