How to Wire into an Existing Light Switch
How Can I Wire into an Existing Switch that Controls an Outlet? The Most Common Problems when Wiring Light Switches and How to Fix Them, Wiring Switches with White Wires.
Wiring a Switch
Electrical Question: How Can I Wire into an Existing Switch that Controls an Outlet?
- I am installing a ceiling fan with a new ceiling box and new Romex wiring.
- I want to tie into an existing switch that controls an outlet.
- The switch has black and white wires.
- I combined the blue and black wires for the light and fan, then pig tailed to the black wire at the switch and did similar with white and ground at switch.
- This does not work. Any help would be appreciated.
This electrical question came from: Rick in Santa Clara, California.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Rick.
How to Wire to a Switch that has White Wires
Application: Ceiling Fan Circuit Wiring.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, a non-aluminum ladder and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and access to the switched outlet wiring and the proposed location for the ceiling fan.
Precaution: Identify the switch power circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring for a ceiling fan should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
The Most Common Problems when Wiring Light Switches and How to Fix Them
- The biggest misunderstanding when it comes to light switch wiring is that when a white wire is seen it will be assumed that it is a neutral wire.
- Realistically this is not always the case, especially if the white wire is connected to the light switch, which is a clear indication that the white wire is being used for switching power, and not for a neutral at that specific location.
- When wiring for lights or outlets a neutral wire is required, and one way to identify a neutral wire is buy using a voltage tester and understanding the circuit wiring.
- Most experienced electricians can open up a few junction boxes and understand exactly the circuit wiring, but this is not the case if you are inexperienced.
- If you are in doubt then please give your local electrician a call, they will be happy to give you a hand.
More about Wiring Switches and Ceiling Fans
How to Install Ceiling Fans
- Take the mystery out of ceiling fan wiring.
- Ceiling Fans are a great way to lower your energy bill and brighten up one of your favorite rooms.
- Step-by-step pictures – Easy wiring diagrams and installation guide – Light and fan switch variations.
Wiring Electrical Outlets 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.
Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1
Fully Explained Light Switch Wiring Diagrams. Detailed Electrical Wiring Diagrams and Pictures assist your Home Electrical Projects.
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.
The following may also be helpful for you:
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
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