Sometimes instead of just a receptacle or switch, you need both. For example, in the bathroom you may have a light switch next to some outlets, or a fan switch next to some outlets that you can use for a hair dryer, toothbrush or other bathroom appliance. Putting more than electrical fixture in one place is not difficult if you have a double-gang outlet box and you are sure the circuits are off before starting work.
Things You'll Need
- Wire strippers
- Double-gang outlet box
- Light switch
- Electrical tape
Fasten the double-gang outlet box to the wall. If it’s an unfinished wall, just nail the box to a stud. If it’s a finished wall, cut a hole in the wall, slide the old work box into it, and tighten the screws on the flaps.
Feed both cables through the back of the box, one on each side.
Turn off the power to both circuits you’ll be working on: the switch circuit and the receptacle circuit. If you’re not sure which two are the right ones, turn off power to your whole house to be on the safe side.
Remove about six inches of the jacket from both cables, and strip the wires inside to expose about half an inch of bare copper.
Wrap the black wire of the receptacle circuit around the top screw on the receptacle. Wrap the white wire around the bottom screw, and the bare copper ground wire around the green screw. Tighten each of those screws.
Wrap the black wire of the switch circuit around the top screw of the switch. Wrap the white wire around the bottom screw, and the bare copper ground wire around the green screw. Tighten each of those screws.Wrap the black electrical tape around the end of the white wire to note that it's potentially hot instead of neutral.
Fasten both the switch and receptacle on the outlet box with the supplied screws.
Turn the power to those circuits back on.
Tips & Warnings
- Be sure the power to the circuits is off before working with them. Even a small electric shock has the potential to kill you.
- RemodelingMySpace: Installing a New Electrical Outlet
- "Popular Mechanics Complete Home How To"; Jackson Day; 2004
- Photo Credit switch image by Clark Duffy from Fotolia.com
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