Wiring a Switch Outlet Combination
By Dave Rongey - Summary:
How to Wire a Combo Switch Outlet: These switch outlets are pretty handy and once the wiring designations are understood the wiring can be a snap.
Combination Switch and Outlet Combination
- The existing switch has two black screws and no ground screw.
- The new device is a Cooper Wiring 274W-BOX Combination device with a switch, pilot light and an outlet.
- It has a green screw (ground) and a silver screw on one side.
- The other side has one brass screw and 2 black screws with the Break-off tab.
- I want to wire so I can use the switch and the outlet independently (as it is show in the instruction sheet).
- My old switch was wired with the HOT black wire connected to the first black screw, the other black wire (going to the light) connected to the second black screw.
- The incoming and out coming white wires were connected together. I have also two grounded wire (incoming,out coming).
- I connected the Cooper Wiring 274W-BOX device as follows:
- Black HOT wire (incoming) connected to the upper black screw
- Black wire (out coming) connected to the brass screw
- Silver screw connected to the white wires
- Green screw connected to the ground
- NOTE : The Break-off tab is intact
The switch works well to put on/off the light. However, the outlet does not work if the switch is not at the ON position. The wiring instructions I used are identified with a star in the attached document (SINGLE POLE SWITCH AND GROUNDING RECEPTACLE – COMMON FEED (BRAKE-OFF TAB INTACT).
Please advise. Your help is greatly appreciated.
This electrical wiring question came from: Serge, a Homeowner from Montreal, Canada.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Serge.
Wiring a Combo Switch Outlet
Application: Wiring a Combo Switch Outlet and Pilot Light.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Best installed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the light circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional fixture wiring should be done with a permit and be inspected.
How to Wire a Combo Switch Outlet
- These switch outlets are pretty handy because they will allow you to have a switch and one outlet in the same single box location, however they can be a little tricky to understand, but once the switch outlet combo wiring designations are understood, the wiring can be a snap.
- In this case, the locations of the two black wires will need to be swapped.
- Here is an explanation of the screw terminals found on the combination switch outlet and what they are used for:
- The Green Screw Terminal is always the screw for the ground wire, which is commonly a bare copper wire or a green wire.
- The Silver Screw Terminal is for the Neutral wire, or the white insulated wire.
- The Single Black Screw Terminal is for the Black wire, or the black insulated wire that leads to the light fixture.
- The other Black Screw located at the Bridge or Brake-Off Tab is used as follows:
- If the Tab is in place, then the same power used for the outlet will also be used for the light switch.
- If the Tab is removed then this will allow a separate power source for the light, and a separate power source for the outlet.
- Note: Typically, when one circuit or power source is shared for the light switch and the outlet, then the neutral wire is shared as well, so the neutral wire must be extended or pig-tailed out to the silver screw of the switch outlet combination device.
Electrical Tips for Wiring Switch Outlet Combination Devices
- Always use a tester to positively identify the exact designations for the circuit wiring.In some wiring configurations, a white wire may be used to switch power.
- In some cases a red wire may be used for power or switched power.
If a switch outlet combination device is to be installed in a bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, or anywhere that is located near a sink or in a garage, then the switch outlet combination device must have a GFCI outlet, or the circuit must be protected by another GFCI device or GFCI circuit breaker.
- Check with the NEC code for the areas and locations required to protected by GFCI.
The Following will assist you with your Switch Outlet Combo:
Home Electrical Codes
- Electrical Code Directory covering afci-circuit, electrical-boxes, electrical-circuit, electrical-code-outlets, electrical-gfci, electrical-grounding, electrical-project, electrical-services, electrical-underground, electrical-wiring, electrical-wiring-code, lighting-codes and smoke-detectors.
- Wiring Electrical Outlet for the Home
- Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.
- Electrical Wire for the Home
- Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.
- Electrical Junction Boxes for Home Wiring
- Understanding electrical junction boxes and what they are used for. Home electrical wiring is the process of installing electrical wire to a location that will serve electrical devices or an appliance. One very important component is the box where the wire will be installed. The type and size of the home wiring electrical boxes will depend upon the circuit size, application and its location.
For more information about Light Switch Wiring
Light Switch Wiring
- Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1
- Fully explained pictures and wiring diagrams about wiring light switches describing the most common switches starting with photo diagram 1.
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.
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