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Old 05-11-2013, 08:43 PM   #1
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Rewiring switch for fan instead of outlet


I have four rooms upstairs in my house that each have a single light switch that controls a single outlet in the room. I want to convert it so that the outlet is always on and then have the light switch control a ceiling fan / light combo. I'm not exactly sure where to start on this to make sure everything works properly afterwards. What kind of wire / equipment would I need to run from the switch to the ceiling fan? Does it need to be in a conduit or how do I protect the wires? Will I just be able to disconnect the switch and outlet and the outlet will continue to work?

I'm not sure if this is a complete enough picture of my situation to get help on, and if more info is needed I can try to get it. Any help and suggestions is appreciated.

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Old 05-11-2013, 08:51 PM   #2
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Rewiring switch for fan instead of outlet


Some areas of the country require all wiring in conduit. Chicago and surrounding suburbs is one such area.

The rest of the country mostly allows one to use type NM cable (romex) for such installations.

So first thing to do is identify where you live.

From there, it is easily accomplished to rewire a switched outlet to be always on, and use the existing switch to control a ceiling mounted fan/light.

Depending on how it was originally wired, you may or may not be able to change it over from the wall switch alone. Best thing to do first is open up each wall switch, and let us know how many wires/cables/conduits are present. A high-resolution photo can go a long ways here ... (hint) ....

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Old 05-12-2013, 06:21 AM   #3
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Rewiring switch for fan instead of outlet


Does power come into the switch location or the receptacle location??

Diagrams 1 and 3 show power coming into the receptacle location. Diagram 2 shows power coming into the switch location.

ground wires not shown in any diagrams for ease of drawing
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:28 AM   #4
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Rewiring switch for fan instead of outlet


How you make the changes depends on several things.
1. Does power come into the switch or the receptacle?
2. Will you new fan cable connect into the switch box or the receptacle box?
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:13 AM   #5
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Rewiring switch for fan instead of outlet


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Originally Posted by joed View Post
How you make the changes depends on several things.
1. Does power come into the switch or the receptacle?
Power into switch is diagram #2, power into receptacle is diagram #1 or #3.



Quote:
Originally Posted by joed View Post
How you make the changes depends on several things.
2. Will you new fan cable connect into the switch box or the receptacle box?
New fan cable connecting at switch location is diagram #1.
New fan cable connecting at receptacle location is diagram #3.

Also diagram #3 could be revised as below using xx-3 cable to take a neutral to the switch location.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:54 AM   #6
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Rewiring switch for fan instead of outlet


Thank you for all the responses. I'm gonna take a look when I get a free chance today and let you guys know about the power situation into the switch and then also maybe upload a photo.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:57 AM   #7
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Rewiring switch for fan instead of outlet


I would be running a three wire cable tot he fan. That way you can control the fan and the light separately. Even if you don't have a light now you might want one in the future.
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Old 05-12-2013, 12:02 PM   #8
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Rewiring switch for fan instead of outlet


I had the same situation and wired mine like number 2.

I took out the existing one-gang box and replaced it with a 2 gang.

I connected the outlet and live together making it constant hot.

I then dropped down 14-3 w/ ground wire from the fan and into the box (black to black, red to blue on the fan)

Inside the box I pigtailed the live hot to the one switch, and then onto the second switch.

Then I put the black on switch 1 and red on switch 2. Tie all grounds and neutrals together.

Voila - live outlet with independent switches for fan and light.

A lot of our neighbors have 3 switches here from the builder (fan, light and outlet). My previous owner didn't get that option I guess.

I don't like 3 switches in every room anyway.

Good luck!
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:00 AM   #9
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Rewiring switch for fan instead of outlet


In most homes that I've installed fans in as old work, the feed comes into the switch box, and I've wired it pretty much as adgjqetuo described above.

Definitely use a XX/3 cable from the switch to the new fan/light combo. It's nice to have the option to leave the fan running and the light off.

It's not necessary to replace an existing single gang box for a double gang. Use 2 switches on 1 yoke, found at any big box store.

Finally and most important, use a box that is rated for use with ceiling fans, such as a pancake box, secured firmly with wood screws to a framing member, or an old work fan box.
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:16 PM   #10
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Rewiring switch for fan instead of outlet


Quote:
In most homes that I've installed fans in as old work, the feed comes into the switch box,
I think that really depends on where you live, and possibly even which builder did the work.

In my area, the majority seem to be power to the outlet keeping 1/2 the receptacle hot, and a switch loop controlling the other half.
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:11 PM   #11
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Rewiring switch for fan instead of outlet


Sorry for taking so long to reply, I have a pregnant wife and toddler and priorities shift fast!

I finally got around to inspecting outlet and switch. To me it looks like a black wire comes into switch from a conduit above and is stripped and wrapped around bottom of switch. A red wire originates on top of switch and goes to outlet. A white wire comes from same place as black but does nothing.

The outlet has the red attached to it. A black wire is doing nothing and just going in one side and out another. Te white I believe from the switch is stripped and attached.

My thought is I could just use the black in the outlet box and attach it where the red is. I could then remove current red wire altogether. Then I could run new red from switch up to attic and probably split the white and have half run up to attic and other half go where it was going

Thanks In advance for any help
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Old 07-13-2013, 08:41 PM   #12
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Rewiring switch for fan instead of outlet


I know nobody replied this time but all the replies the first time really helped and while it took 5-6 hours and I learned some lessons and nearly died from hear in my attic, it's done. Thanks again.
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Old 07-13-2013, 08:43 PM   #13
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Rewiring switch for fan instead of outlet


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Old 07-14-2013, 07:00 PM   #14
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Rewiring switch for fan instead of outlet


Not to hijack this thread, but instead of starting another thread that is along the same lines I figured i would post it here. I have a switched outlet that also runs a vanity light. It appears that there is 14/3 (I know not code for the bathroom as it requires 12/2 on a dedicated 20 amp circuit but it's the way i bought the house) not only to the switch but to the outlet as well. The outlet is not half switched either which has me stumped. My real plan would be to have constant power to the receptacle. Is it possible with the current configuration of wires run or am I giong to have to run another hot line? I added a picture of the switchbox (one switch controls the hallway light and the other the bathroom) and the other is of the outlet.

Thanks!
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:09 PM   #15
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Rewiring switch for fan instead of outlet


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Originally Posted by lk00331 View Post
Not to hijack this thread, but instead of starting another thread that is along the same lines I figured i would post it here. I have a switched outlet that also runs a vanity light. It appears that there is 14/3 (I know not code for the bathroom as it requires 12/2 on a dedicated 20 amp circuit but it's the way i bought the house) not only to the switch but to the outlet as well. The outlet is not half switched either which has me stumped. My real plan would be to have constant power to the receptacle. Is it possible with the current configuration of wires run or am I giong to have to run another hot line? I added a picture of the switchbox (one switch controls the hallway light and the other the bathroom) and the other is of the outlet.

Thanks!
From what I can see from your photos() it appears that the light is fed off the switched outlet, and the outlet box appears full.
Yes, a new line is needed, but it might be easier to run a new one to the light from the switch.

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