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Old 12-06-2009, 07:24 PM   #1
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"Split" wire in junction box to outlet and light


I have an outlet that used to be a "switched outlet" by a switch that also controlled a light fixture. I changed the switch to a dimmer and learned that an outlet cannot be controlled by a dimmer switch.

The incoming power to the switch is easily accessible in a junction box in my attic. The wire to the outlet (which now is dead and disconnected from the dimmer) is also in the attic. Would it be possible to "split" the power, to go both to the dimmer and also to the outlet?

I guess it would be a junction box with power-in, and the one black&white going to the outlet, and one black&white going to the dimmer.

Is this ok? And if so, would I wire the 3 blacks together, and the 3 whites together in the junction?

Thank you!!

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Old 12-06-2009, 07:55 PM   #2
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"Split" wire in junction box to outlet and light


Yes it is quite possible to rewire things to be the way you want. In some cases easy, other cases more difficult.

One possibility is that the outlet was "split". That being one half was always on, the other half switched. And a tab broken on the side of the outlet. Was this the case?

Then another thing is if you are not sure of how to wire this, I would suggest getting a book on home wiring and reading it cover to cover first. You should know *for sure* which wire goes to what and know *for sure* what you need to do to make the modifications.

Tons of books on wiring here...
http://www.buildersbook.com/Merchant...tegory_Code=40

Another method is to take pictures and post them here along with a wiring diagram. Let the people here be able to see what your are going to do.

And what type of room is this? (Living room, dining, bedroom, etc.)

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Old 12-06-2009, 08:31 PM   #3
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"Split" wire in junction box to outlet and light


Quote:
Originally Posted by froddan View Post
I changed the switch to a dimmer and learned that an outlet cannot be controlled by a dimmer switch.



Thank you!!
no offense intended however the fact that youre giving the impression that you thought maybe you could connect and outlet to a dimmer suggests you may want to get an electrian or at least someone who knows a little something about residential wiring but to answer your question in short, yes you can split the power to both your switch and you outlet connecting the blacks and whites (hots and neutrals respectively) however as he just said above see if the outlet has the center tab broken if thats the case, you may not need to bring a wire to that outlet, you may just be able to replace the outlet and get the power that the bottom or top half is using already...
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:42 PM   #4
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"Split" wire in junction box to outlet and light


Only one wire comes into the outlet.
It is not split.

I think what I'm looking to do is add new wiring to an existing junction box and would like to run that to the outlet...
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Old 12-07-2009, 07:21 AM   #5
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"Split" wire in junction box to outlet and light


break recepticle tab on the side that you see the black wires. remove the the black wire that is not hot (if there is one) while switch is on. run a new wire from junction box to that recepticle and hook up to empty screw terminal. Now you should be ready to go
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:06 AM   #6
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"Split" wire in junction box to outlet and light


Don't break the tab on the side of the receptacle unless you want one half to be switched and the other half to be live all the time.

With just one cable and two wires entering the box, you cannot do that so you should not break the tab.

If the undimmed power enters the ceiling box then you can continue the power down from there to the receptacle. Connect the incoming power black to the receptacle black but don't put the wire nut on yet. Connect the incoming power cable white to the receptacle white but don't put the wire nut on yet. How the rest is wired depends on where the light fixture is; let us know preferably with a picture.
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:32 AM   #7
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"Split" wire in junction box to outlet and light


Quote:
Originally Posted by froddan View Post
I think what I'm looking to do is add new wiring to an existing junction box and would like to run that to the outlet...
This is fine. Take the incoming hot wire and put it into a wirenut, along with two other wires: one to feed the switch-->light, and one to feed your outlet, and leave the tab on the outlet intact. Then just wire nut the three whites together.

Based on your original post, it sounds like you shouldn't even need to add any additional wires, right? All this stuff already starts from the same box?

If you do need to add wiring, make sure you get the correct size.

20 Amp circuit: 12-gauge
15 Amp circuit: 14-guage

Edit - definitely post a diagram of some sort to describe how the wires are laid out before moving forward, my instructions could be off if it is not set up like I think it is.


Last edited by secutanudu; 12-07-2009 at 11:34 AM.
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