Wiring two switched outlets from one switch

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Topic by siouxdawgs0409 posted 02-03-2010 08:19 PM 8984 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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10 posts in 3209 days

02-03-2010 08:19 PM

I am reconfiguring a single light in my basement to two switched outlets.

The main power is run into the switch. Then there is a 14-3wg to the light box. At the light box the red and white go to the light and the black is wirenutted to a 14-2wg that goes to a smoke alarm. And the white from the 14-2 goes to the light fixture. The two grounds are wire nutted at the light box.

Now I do not need the light but I would like to run two switched outlets off of this switch instead of the light. What would be the easiest way to do this? Would something work like running 14-2 from the exsisting light box to the first outlet and then another 14-2 to the second outlet? Also could I just wire nut the wires in the light box and rmove the light and replace with a cover or do I need a different type of box? The thing that is throwing me off here is the smoke alarm wire coming into the light box. Cause the smokes are on a separate circuit. I do know that when I hit the breaker for the lights the light has absolutley no power in the light box, inlcuding the wires going to the smoke detector.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

331 posts in 3880 days

02-04-2010 03:09 AM

So the white should be neutral, and should not be switched by the circuit breaker. The black should be one phase, the red should be the other phase (ie: there should be 220v between black and red).

Is the breaker for the lights 2 pole? Sometimes implemented as two breakers with a pin through the handles? This would make sense, because one phase ocould throw without turning the other off. You’d have to turn off both phases to reset it, but you’d not be surprised by a hot wire in a box you thought was cold.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/

View siouxdawgs0409's profile


10 posts in 3209 days

02-04-2010 04:01 AM

The black was a constant hot for the smokes, which happened to be on same circuit and the red was the switched hot for the light. I ended up tieing into the red wire, the switch hot one, and ran some 14-2 wire to an outlet then another 14-2 wire to another outlet. Works like a charm. The lights are 120 volt and is single pole breaker.

View hjt's profile


4 posts in 3132 days

04-27-2010 09:38 PM

Descout – I’m no electrician, but I did quite a bit of wiring work recently. Sounds like you have a pair of “3-way” switches, hence the 14-3 wiring. Prior to my venture I spoke with a local electrician to get ideas and I purchased the following book from Home Depot “Electricity 123.” They have another, more comprehensive book you could get too. I found the book to be of tremendous value. I was very proud to show my wife that – not only did I not pop any breakers, but when I flipped the switch… the lights actually came on/off. Just as if a pro had been hired.

-- Harold

View sparky52's profile


6 posts in 3146 days

04-30-2010 04:09 AM

amateurs!!!!!!!!!!!! And dangerous!!!!!!!!!!!1111

View siouxdawgs0409's profile


10 posts in 3209 days

04-30-2010 05:20 AM

I have since gotten the problem corrected. It seems to me that they ran a three wire from the switch one continous hot for the smoke dectors and the other a switched hot for the light. What was throwing me off is that they have a circuit breaker labled “smokes”. But this does nothing. And the smokes are on the light circuit. Not just the basement one but the upstairs one as well.

View branover's profile


4 posts in 3035 days

07-27-2010 06:34 PM

Yeah, unfortunately some people label the break panels incorrectly or inaccurately. Glad to hear you got it remedied.

Branover Contractors Inc
Los Angeles Electrician

View MattODoors's profile


9 posts in 3165 days

08-13-2010 09:52 AM

Seek advice from your local electrical retailer or electrician. Playing wit electricity if you are not competent is not worth the savings as you could do some real damage to yourself or the wiring.

Plasmo – UPVC Windows and UPVC Doors

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