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Old 02-24-2010, 11:20 AM   #1
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Switched Outlet to Overhead Lighting Switch


Hi Guys,

In all of my bedrooms there are NO overhead lights. There is one switch in each room that controls one outlet, the other outlets are always 'hot'. I would like to install ceiling fans in all of the bedrooms. I need your help with the wiring... Here is my Plan:

1. Cut hole in center of ceiling and attach a ceiling fan box from the attic (very easy to do, lots of room in the attic)

2. Run romex from the new fan box across the attic floor and down the wall to the existing switch box. (what size romex should I run?)

3. Remove the 1-gang box and replace it with a 2-gang box (I will use the extra gang as a "junction" for rewiring.

4. ???... help?

Below are some pictures, please help me with the wiring. In the current switch box there are 3 seperate runs of romex, two from the top and one from the bottom left. All of the white wires are connected together, and two of the black wires are connected at the bottom of the switch with one black wire connected on the top of the switch on the same side.


I would like to have all of the outlets in the room 'hot' all of the time, and the switch would only control the ceiling fan.













Thanks,
Monkey

P.S. sorry for the pic quality, they are from my phone.


Last edited by monkeystomach; 02-24-2010 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:27 AM   #2
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Switched Outlet to Overhead Lighting Switch


The romex must be sized for the circuit, 12g for 20a, 14g for 15a

Does the switch control the entire outlet...or only 1 plug ?

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Old 02-24-2010, 11:35 AM   #3
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Switched Outlet to Overhead Lighting Switch


There's probably no need to switch to a 2-gang box. You can get a switch that will control both your fan and light separately that fits in 1 gang.

Depending on the type of switch you get, you either need 3-conductor (+ground of course) or 2-conductor wire from the switch to your new fan/light.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:46 PM   #4
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Switched Outlet to Overhead Lighting Switch


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Originally Posted by secutanudu View Post
There's probably no need to switch to a 2-gang box. You can get a switch that will control both your fan and light separately that fits in 1 gang.

Depending on the type of switch you get, you either need 3-conductor (+ground of course) or 2-conductor wire from the switch to your new fan/light.
Don't forget about box fill calculations. If the box is a typical 18 cu.in. switch box, 3 Romex cables already put you at the max fill. To add a 4th cable would require at least a 20 cu.in. box (and this all assumes we're only talking 14/2).
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:46 PM   #5
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Switched Outlet to Overhead Lighting Switch


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
The romex must be sized for the circuit, 12g for 20a, 14g for 15a

Does the switch control the entire outlet...or only 1 plug ?

Sorry about that... the switch controls the entire outlet.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:45 PM   #6
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Switched Outlet to Overhead Lighting Switch


Looking at the pics it looks like hot feed comes to the switch 1st
So determine which wire is the hot feed

Black, white & ground then go direct to the outlet

New wire (12-3 for 20a, 14-3 for 15a circuit) goes to the overhead fan/light
Dual box is a good idea; 1 switch goes to the fan, 2nd switch (or dimmer) to the light

White & ground go to light - splice to hot feed white & ground

Hot feed:
will need to tie into black to outlet, a pigtail to one side of 1st switch & a pigtail to the 2nd switch
The other side of 1st switch goes to black for fan
Other side of the 2nd switch goes to red for light

Make sense ?
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:28 PM   #7
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Switched Outlet to Overhead Lighting Switch


No, it doesn't make a lot of sense to me... sorry. What are the three wires that I have now? One is the hot feed, one is to the outlets, and the other?
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:16 PM   #8
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Switched Outlet to Overhead Lighting Switch


The two black wires joined together have one black coming from the power (the panel) and the other continuing off to other outlets. The switch may or may not be the first or the last item on the line that daisy chains through the other items (other non-switched outlets).

The single black is switch controlled power to the switched outlet.
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:27 PM   #9
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Switched Outlet to Overhead Lighting Switch


How many cables in the outlet box ?
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:30 PM   #10
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Switched Outlet to Overhead Lighting Switch


Here is my GUESS as to what is going on with the existing wire.

The romex coming in from the bottom is the primary power source. The hot from this bottom looks to be connected to the switch AND the hot of the left side romex exiting out the top. That cable on the left is the source power for the unswitched outlets. The switched hot looks to be connected to the right side romex exiting out the top. That's the switched hot for the switched outlet.

It might also be that my GUESS is wrong and you have to swap my descriptions for the bottom and top left cables.


In any case, if all you are needing is an unswitched hot for the fan, then the two black wires connected to each other at the switch seems like the most likely place to pull the hot from.

Which leads to another question... are those two black wires both under one screw (something I believe is a NO! NO!) or is one of the wires simply back stabed into the switch?

In any case, what I would do is get another switch, put a pig tail on the switch, remove the two blacks from the existing switch, replace with a pigtail, then tie both pigtails to the two wires pulled from the switch. Then run a cable to the fan, connecting the hot to the other end of the new switch and the white to all the rest of the whites.
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:10 PM   #11
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Switched Outlet to Overhead Lighting Switch


let me see if i have this right...

1. run the new romex (14/3, i am not going to use it to its full potential of controlling the fan/light separately right now, i just want the option for the future, it is a 15 amp breaker)

2. take the current 3 black wires and twist them together with an additional black pigtail

3. connect the black wire from the new 14/3 to the top of the switch

4. connect the black pigtail (which is connected to the 3 existing wires) to the bottom of the switch.

5. connect all four of the white wires together


Sound correct???

Thanks,
monkey
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:01 AM   #12
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Switched Outlet to Overhead Lighting Switch


Before I say "right", how many switches are you winding up with?

I gave a description that would keep the existing switch so that you still have a switched outlet PLUS a second switch to send power to the fan.

Your description sounds like you want to change the existing switched outlet to a constant power outlet and use the switch to only control the fan. If so, I hope there are some lights on that fan, otherwise the room wouldn't meet code as you have no source for required illumination in the room. Additionally, if this is indeed the case, you might be way over the fill limit on a single box.
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:33 AM   #13
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Switched Outlet to Overhead Lighting Switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
Before I say "right", how many switches are you winding up with?

I gave a description that would keep the existing switch so that you still have a switched outlet PLUS a second switch to send power to the fan.

Your description sounds like you want to change the existing switched outlet to a constant power outlet and use the switch to only control the fan. If so, I hope there are some lights on that fan, otherwise the room wouldn't meet code as you have no source for required illumination in the room. Additionally, if this is indeed the case, you might be way over the fill limit on a single box.

For right now I just want to end up with one switch that controls the fan/light, in the future I might add another switch to control the two separately. I would like for all of the outlets to be 'hot' all of the time w/out the switch.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:43 PM   #14
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Switched Outlet to Overhead Lighting Switch


First of all, lets talk electrical boxes and fill calculations:
Three 14/2 cables and a switch max out the current box. If you add a 14/3 cable, that's too much for even the deepest standard single gang box. You are going to have to replace the existing single gang with a double gang that has at least 28 cu.in. of volume (I bought one just last night, and I think the standard size is 32 cu.in.).

Next, lets talk cover plates:
You say you only want one switch, but I don't think I've ever seen a 2 gang cover plate where one side was blank. The closest thing I've seen has been the ones that have the wide opennings designed for rocker switches. So you might find a cover plate for a combination regular switch and a rocker switch, and you might find a "blank" that can go in the rocker switch hole. But if you are eventually going to have two switches anyway, and you want to install 14/3 to eventually allow independant control of a fan and lights, it would seem easier to add two switches now, connect both of them up to the 14/3, and just leave the wire for the 2nd switch capped inside the junction box for the fan until such time as you are ready to add the light. So the following description assumes this is what you want to do.

The description is now simple:
1. Disconnect EVERYTHING.
2. Connect the black of the 14/3 to one switch and the red of the 14/3 to the other switch.
3. Connect a black pigtail to the other side of the 1st switch and a seperate pigtail to the other side of the 2nd switch.
4. Connect all the loose black wires together (five wires).
5. Connect all the loose white wires together (four wires).
6. Connect all the ground wires together (four wires - five or six if you ground the switches as well).

That's it. Now which ever existing black wire is the hot now supplies the hot for the old switched outlet, the hot for the unswitched outlets, and the hot for both switches. Inside the junction box for the fan, you've got a switch black hot, a switched red hot, and the white neutral to power the fan and lights. If you don't want to connect both a fan and lights at this time, cap the red hot inside the fan junction box with a wire nut for now.

Make sure you get the right size wire nuts. Based on the chart listed below, you can use yellow wire nuts on 1 to 3 #14 wires and red on 1 to 6 #14 wires. http://www.idealindustries.com/media...mbinations.pdf

Last edited by HooKooDooKu; 03-03-2010 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:57 PM   #15
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Switched Outlet to Overhead Lighting Switch


Thanks! This has been really helpful!

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