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Old 06-05-2007, 02:04 AM   #1
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Turning Switched Outlet Into Ceiling Fixture


I have 3 bedrooms with switched outlets, no ceiling fixtures. I have access to all electrical wiring via open attic.

Can i install a ceiling fixture and fish electrical wire from switch to new fixture and disconnect switched outlet?

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Old 06-05-2007, 12:17 PM   #2
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Turning Switched Outlet Into Ceiling Fixture


Probably. In my house, the power goes into the receptacle wall box, then separates, one line to the "on" plug and another line goes off to the wall switch. If you have a house where the power for some reason is run to the switch box, it would be trickier. But for the first scenario (most likely what you have), if you replace the receptacle with a new one (without the tab broken off to split the plugs), you can use the wire running to the switch box as your power for the overhead fixture. Fish the wire from the attic down into the switch box, and connect hot (black) to the pole of the switch that previously had the "return" line from the switch (I don't know the proper term for that line - it would be dead with the switch is off and live when the switch is on - it is likely the white wire). Connect that "return" (white) to the neutral (white) from the attic, and you are good to go.

All typical disclaimers apply, of course - make sure you have enough room on the circuit to add the new fixture, connect the grounds properly, etc., etc.

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Old 06-05-2007, 12:35 PM   #3
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Turning Switched Outlet Into Ceiling Fixture


Or if you can ascertain that the circuit can handle the fixture, look for a make-up box in the attic that is feeding the switched rec and tie into the hot line coming from the breaker box if there is room in the box. Any reason why this would not work, anyone? I hate to snake wire if I can tie in in the attic.

Makeup box = box being fed power from the breaker panel with other wires going to different devices ( multiple rec's, switches, etc.). Usually found in attic or crawl space, basement,etc.. This box usually has one hot feed into it that is tied to the other feeds for the different rec's, switches, etc..

Last edited by boman47k; 06-05-2007 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 06-05-2007, 01:00 PM   #4
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Turning Switched Outlet Into Ceiling Fixture


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Originally Posted by 39centstamp View Post
Can i install a ceiling fixture and fish electrical wire from switch to new fixture and disconnect switched outlet?
Maybe.

If the power comes to the switch first, yes.

If the power goes to the receptacle first, no. You would have to fish wires to the receptacle in order to access a hot and neutral, the switch would not have a neutral wire available.

To pjpjpjpj: What you describe will not work. If you have only a switch loop from the receptacle to the switch, the white (should be remarked as hot) is the hot to the switch and the black is the hot back to the switched side of the receptacle. There is no neutral available.
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Old 06-05-2007, 01:10 PM   #5
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Turning Switched Outlet Into Ceiling Fixture


House? Is it not not simpler to tie in from a box already in the attic?
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Old 06-05-2007, 01:31 PM   #6
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Turning Switched Outlet Into Ceiling Fixture


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House? Is it not not simpler to tie in from a box already in the attic?
Sure, but why do you think there would be one there? Chances are there are none.
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Old 06-05-2007, 01:42 PM   #7
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Turning Switched Outlet Into Ceiling Fixture


Thanks for the information. Now i know that i have to determine how the switch and receptacle are wired before i attempt it.
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Old 06-05-2007, 11:26 PM   #8
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Turning Switched Outlet Into Ceiling Fixture


Househelper:
Quote:
To pjpjpjpj: What you describe will not work.
It will work, because I have done it. The black and white wires (hot to the switch, return back to receptacle) just become the hot and neutral power for the new circuit, when rewired within the receptacle box.

39centstamp (and Househelper), here ya go - black are the black wires, blue are the white wires (sorry, my drawing program wouldn't let me draw in white), ground wires left out for clarity.

Again, make sure you follow all the standard safety stuff - not overloading the circuit, grounding, proper wire sizes, etc.

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Old 06-07-2007, 12:08 PM   #9
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Turning Switched Outlet Into Ceiling Fixture


Per Househelper's comment in another thread, I mistakenly switched the colors of the wire from the receptacle to the switch, in both "before" and "after". The wiring is correct, but the colors should be reversed.
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:48 AM   #10
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Turning Switched Outlet Into Ceiling Fixture


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Originally Posted by pjpjpjpj View Post
Per Househelper's comment in another thread, I mistakenly switched the colors of the wire from the receptacle to the switch, in both "before" and "after". The wiring is correct, but the colors should be reversed.

Reverse the colors in the "after" so you are saying that the cable running from the receptacle to the switch, should have the white wire picking up the source and carrying it to the switch and the black wire carrying neutral to the fixture??


Also, I think its always a much better idea if you reverse wiring or make a mistake of any kind in an electrical drawing, rather than just simpling posting a supplemental explanation afterward, you should probably go back and edit the first post and actualy change the drawing. Someone might end up just seeing the diagram and using it without noticing the further explanation. Also, not to keep nit picking, but I am kind of a stickler for coding white wires used as hot in my diagrams too - reminds people that they need to actually mark the wires and informs those who may not know. Could possibly save a life in the future...


I found the style of diagram easy to follow.

Last edited by J187; 06-08-2007 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:07 PM   #11
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Turning Switched Outlet Into Ceiling Fixture


J187 - as I stated in that other post (in the other thread), the house I have has no consistency to which wire connects to which side of a switch - whether it was a sloppy contractor or the previous owner replacing switches, I do not know - but, not being a contractor, I don't have the standards, as to which wire should be connected to which side, memorized. If you or anyone reading wants to post a brief list, I will gladly correct the sketch.

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