DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum (
-   Electrical and Wiring (
-   -   Changing Switch to Recptacle (

SavvyCat 01-04-2009 09:28 AM

Changing Switch to Recptacle
Where did I go wrong?

I had two switches by the back door, one controlled the porch light and the other just controlled a fan switch on the fireplace for forced air, i.e., the switch had to be on for the fan switch to work and didn't seem to serve any other purpose. I replaced the fan switch on the fireplace with a switch/receptacle combo because there are no receptacle on that wall and wanted one for a lamp on the mantle. Works great! I decided to replace the switch that powered it with a duplex outlet so it would be always on and provide more receptacles to that wall. Just FYI, it's all 15 amp and the same circuit powers three duplex outlets in the bedroom.

The original wiring had three sets of black, white, and bare. All of the white wires bundled with a cap and tucked in the back. The bare were just twisted and stuffed. One black went to switch #1, the second black went to switch #1, looped over the screw and the to switch #2, and the third went to switch #2. When I installed the receptacle I copied what was on the switch and then pulled the two applicable white white wires from the bundle and attached them to the silver screws on the duplex, and then tucked the remaining white back where it was. The outlet works, but the switch does not.

I'm guessing I need something else with that last white wire. When I put in the combo on the fireplace, I had to pigtail a piece to the white wire bundle in that gang box (someone else told me), and I'm wondering if I'm supposed to do something similar here. If so, do I only have to do one, or do I need two, one for each terminal?

Thanks for the help!

JoeD 01-04-2009 05:15 PM

You need all the whites connected together. You left one circuit with no return path.
Connect the three white together with a short 6 inch pigtail. Connect the pigtail to the silver screw on the receptacle.

SavvyCat 01-04-2009 05:28 PM

Thanks! I guess I was on the right track, but couldn't make it to the finish line. So I only need just one silver, not both? You're a prince!

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:28 AM.