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Thread: convert switch to outlet

  1. #1

    Default convert switch to outlet

    HI, I have two switches on the same circuit, one was for and under cabinet light and one for outside light. I want to replace the under cabinet switch with an outlet. This switch has 2 black wires, if I put one each on the opposite side of the outlet, the outlet works but not the outside light, if I put them on the same side, the outside light works but not the outlet.

    Can you tell me what I need to do to make both work?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Welland Ontario


    How will you control the under cabinet lights? It can be done but if you replace the switch the light will either be on always or off always.
    Operation Overlord.

  3. #3


    The under cabinet lights have been remove and are no longer needed, so i want to be able to replace that switch with an outlet and to be able to use the switch for the outside light. As I stated before, only one or the other is operational now.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Welland Ontario


    The two black wires are coming from two cables. One of them is power and the other one is the abandoned lights.
    Determine which one is power and connect the black white and ground wire from it to the new receptacle. If the white wire from the power goes to other wires it must stay connect all of them except the one to the abandoned lights.
    The black is already a single wire going to the switch. If it is connected with other black it must stay with them as well or other devices will stop working.
    Operation Overlord.

  5. #5


    You can make the switch an outlet. A switch box usually doesn't have power in the box. The power is at the outlet and the wires to the switch just open the hot leg. That means a hot wire goes out to the switch then back to the outlet and not directly to the outlet. Connect the switch wires to the outlet's hot and neutral then replace the switch with an outlet.
    The dual outlet and switch can be used to operate the outlet in the same box or you can run wires from the switch to any light or outlet you want to turn on and off. You need to have power in the box for the outlet.

  6. #6


    I think we need to back up and have you tell us how many cables are in the switch box, and how many wires are in each cable, because one of the wires on the switch could have been a white that got recolored black. You may only have switch loops (2 cables of two insulated wires each), and in that case you can't have a receptacle outlet unless you change one of the cables to provide a neutral. If you have 3 cables (i.e. a hot power source, a switched cable to the cabinet lights, and a switched cable to the outside light), then it will be easy. The key in the second case is that there should be 3 white wires wire nutted together.

    If there are no whites connected together, then I hope you can access the other end of the cable that used to feed the cabinet lights, as that will be your only source of neutral.

    Finally, how did you know the outlet "works" in the one configuration when it did? Are you using a meter, a non-contact tester, or plugging in decent load like a vacuum cleaner?
    Last edited by suemarkp; 05-02-2016 at 06:16 PM.
    Kent, WA

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