The light gets hit by power first, then the single pole switch, and lastly the receptacle.

I wire this to my knowledge but only get 98v at max out of the end(receptacle).

I have the wire like this: http://www.buildmyowncabin.com/electrical/wiring-switch-power-into-light.html

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And the receptacle onto the switch being the end of circuit.

  • It's unclear what you are doing. Are you trying to add a receptacle? Where and how? – Hot Licks Jul 23 '17 at 1:58
  • @Hot Licks, what I understood from his question was that he ran a cable from the switch box to another box where he somehow measured 98 V. Clearly he is making some sort of mistake (because he has no neutral), but there is not enough information to know what he has done. – Jim Stewart Jul 23 '17 at 2:45
  • From the electric panel to a bulb (so their is hot and neutral) then to a switch, and lastly a receptacle. That's how it's wired exactly in that order – DIYguy Jul 23 '17 at 14:47
  • How do I accomplish this? – DIYguy Jul 23 '17 at 15:07
  • Is the wall already closed up, i.e., drywall in place? Is the drywall taped and bedded? – Jim Stewart Jul 23 '17 at 15:09

In the diagram you link to there is no neutral in the switch box so you cannot start there to wire a receptacle. You would need 3-wire romex + gnd (black, white, red, gnd) to a carry a neutral from the line cable in the fixture box to the switch box. You would use B for the always hot, R for the switched hot, W for the neutral.

EDIT There are several ways to power this receptacle using standard ordinary wiring but you cannot start from the switch if is wired as in the diagram because there is no neutral there.

One way would be to run another cable (2-wire + gnd) from the ceiling box to the receptacle. This would go in the attic to the top plate above the receptacle where you would drill a hole and run the cable down to the receptacle box. The box currently there would have been removed, the wire pulled through the opening and into an "old work" box and the box inserted into the hole. Then install the receptacle. The cable you have right now from the switch to the receptacle would be cut at both ends and abandoned in the wall or pull it out if you can.

Another way would be to run a new cable (3-wire + gnd) from the fixture box to the switch. This would allow you to have a neutral in the switch box which your existing cable to the receptacle would connect to. This may be easier than the first choice.


This is not a best-practice for how houses should be wired. This is a way to rescue difficult situations like OP's. As a side-effect, you get the benefit of smart-home tech, but that's not the goal here.

Smart switches to the rescue

Note that in this diagram, the white wire is actually "taped to be a hot". On their drawing, it is an always-hot (to make it easier to detect this configuration with a meter since the white is conspicuously hot).

You need to go to a totally different system where you use a "smart bulb" like a Philips Hue, then some sort of powered smart-switch which takes hot and neutral, and communicates wirelessly to the smart-bulb. For this you may need to go into some sort of smart-home system like Zwave.

Once the bulb and switch are both smart devices, you then completely rewire the spur to the switch so black is always-hot and white is neutral throughout. Then you will have neutral at the switch.

  • I thought that a white taped black was either a switched hot or an always hot, but with the preference being the former. You seem to indicate it should be the latter. If I understand your reasoning, it is that one could be more easily mistakenly think a white switched hot was a neutral than a white always hot. Is it really the case that electrical practice is to prefer to use a white (marked black) as an always hot over a black? – Jim Stewart Jul 23 '17 at 1:10
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    In new construction are houses being wired with wiring that will not work with old passive bulbs and mechanical switches? Do the new smart bulbs and switches allow wiring that reduces the wiring costs? What is the lifetime cost of these new bulbs and switches compared to the "old" technology? – Jim Stewart Jul 23 '17 at 1:19
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    @JimStewart Not that I'm aware of. Smart devices are often a way to rescue an otherwise unwinnable situation, it's certainly not a best-practice for how to wire new residences. Yet. I could see it starting to arrive in commercial, because facilities managers benefit more from the advantage of smart-device tech. Of course in this case our homeowner gets it too. As far as the durability of the tech, nobody knows, it's ALL about build quality. Insofar as I can tell, Code requires neutral to switch loops, it doesn't require switched-hot. If you can do that by a listed means, all good! – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jul 23 '17 at 3:28
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    @JimStewart white-as-always-hot vs white-as-swiched-hot each have their fans, there's not a wrong answer since a marked white is a hot. I think the people who favor white-as-always-hot are trying to make it more obvious that it is indeed a hot, especially when installers refuse to tape the white wire on the logic that the usage is "obvious", a reasoning now outlawed by NEC. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jul 23 '17 at 3:42

I just removed the bulb, tied the hots and neutral wires. Next I removed the switch and in place of it used the receptacle. Finally from the receptacle to a 2pole switch and lastly at the end of the branch, a light. Voilà!

  • I am not following you. – Jim Stewart Jul 24 '17 at 22:40
  • You "tied the hots and neutral wires" where: in the fixture box? Is the fixture box in the ceiling or in a wall? So did you remove the fixture from its original location and put a cover plate over that box? – Jim Stewart Jul 25 '17 at 0:14

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