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|Home 'Switch and Outlet Wiring Made Easy'|
Power Source at Outlet
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STEP 1 - Make certain that the power supply cable is dead - turn off the electrical breaker at the service panel. Make certain that everyone in the house is aware of what you are doing so that they do not get the notion to reset the breaker when another light in the home is not working.
STEP 2 - Make the box openings (if a existing home)
STEP 3 - Feed / Route the wire cables.
STEP 4 -Mount / Install the Electrical Boxes which should be flush with the finished wall, not beyond so that the wall plate will also be flush; then feed the wire cables into the electrical boxes. Sometimes because of tight openings in existing homes, the wire cable may to be feed into the electrical box then the box put in position and secured.
STEP 5 - Connect the wires...
At the Outlet box...
FIRST - break off the metal joining tab between the two
brass color screws, DO NOT break off the metal joining tab between the
silver color screws.
At the Switch 1 Location...
* a) connect the black wire coming from outlet to the
common screw of switch 1.
At the Switch 2 Location...
One cable entering this box coming from switch 2.
* a) connect the black wire coming from switch 1 to the
common screw of switch 2.
By electrical codes you MUST have at least 6 inches of wire in the electrical box itself, and also the wire must be able to reach at least 3 inches outside the box, it can fail an electrical inspection if the required min. wire length is not met. You may have the wires a bit longer (within reason) but they cannot be shorter. Also see the note on box fill further down in this article.
You are allowed to re-designate a white wire to be used as a hot (ungrounded conductor) in switch circuits but in those cases where a white wire is used in this manner, you must wrap a piece of black electrical tape around that white wire inside the box to signify that is being used as an ungrounded (hot) conductor.
You cannot re-designate a white wire that is actually connected to the outlet itself. At the outlet itself, the white wire must be the grounded conductor (neutral) coming from the circuit power supply cable.
In the configuration depicted on this page, the white wire going between outlet & switch and the white wire going between switch 1 & switch 2 have been re-designated as an ungrounded conductors (hot) and therefore a piece of black electrical tape must be wrapped around both ends of this wire. The white wire from the 'circuit power supply cable' connected to the silver color screw of outlet is a grounded conductor (neutral) and therefore NO black tape around that wire.
What is not shown in the drawings to avoid confusion, is that each wire cable also has a bare equipment grounding wire included. This wire is connected to a grounding screw in each electrical box (if the box is metal), joined either through the grounding screws in the box itself or via a wire nut to the bare wire of the next cable entering / exiting the box, it is also connected to any grounding screw (if there is one) on the switch itself, as well as the equipment grounding screw of outlet (possibly a green screw). Now if using a plastic box, it is made of a material that is non conductive, however some plastic boxes have a metal strip inside that can still be used to connect equipment grounding wires, in the event that it does not use wire nuts to join the bare grounding wires together. The equipment grounding wire (bare in most cables) must be electrical conductively joined throughout the circuit. Green wires are also equipment grounding conductors.
By: Donald Kerr
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