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Thread: Help with older house wiring

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    McDonough, Ga

    Default Help with older house wiring

    Recently I moved into an older home & was hoping to change out the light switch my bathroom to a combination light toggle switch-receptacle. The wiring in the bathroom is only a 2 wire (1 white & 1 black) setup. The toggle switch-receptacle I have found look to be only for a 3 wire connection. I'm hoping that somebody can steer me in the right direction to wire it or find the correct switch-receptacle.

    is the type of switch-receptacle I have.

    Thanks for any help & tips,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Lala land, OH


    Houses up through the late 40's early 50's often use switch loops. You have a switch loop if there is only 1 cable entering the switch box and 1 wire goes to 1 screw and the other goes to the 2nd screw. There is no neutral wire in this setup and no way to power a outlet. A "white" wire in this setup should be marked black or covered with tape. It is not a neutral in this case.

    I would suggest running a new 20A circuit back to your panel if there is room in it. Install a GFI outlet and you wont have to worry about your wife tripping a breaker when she goes out and buys the largest hair dryer made.
    Last edited by Mr T; 11-12-2013 at 10:24 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Welland, Ontario Canada


    As has been stated, you cannot put a receptacle there unless you run some additional wiring. The correct switch for that application is called a "single pole switch".


    John Kuehnl-Cadwell
    Master Electrician
    Datawise Solutions Inc

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