I want to add a wall outlet by utilizing existing wires that are currently connected to my bathroom fan wall switch. I do not want a switched outlet. I want the outlet to have constant power. The existing fan switch only has a black and white wire connection. There are no other wires inside the fan switch box.

  • Without a picture or at least a description of the contents of the switch box one cannot say whether you could power a receptacle from the wires in the box. But you probably do not have a neutral in the switch box, and you must have one to power a receptacle. There is likely only one black wire and one white wire, and in this case the white would be connected to one side of the switch and so is a switched hot. Describe the contents of the switch box. Jan 5, 2018 at 0:05
  • To put this more hopefully, if there is a neutral in the switch box you could power a receptacle from it. If you have two cables in the box each with a white and a black wire, then probably you have a neutral present, and you could connect another cable to power a receptacle. Is this switch just an ordinary mechanical switch? Jan 5, 2018 at 0:30
  • It is a simple up/down paddle switch that just operates the ceiling fan. The wires connected to the switch are black and white. There are no other wires inside the box. There are no pigtails inside the box. The electrical cable runs directly up into the attic.
    – tcomguy
    Jan 5, 2018 at 20:31
  • 1
    That settles it--you have no neutral; the white wire is a switched hot. Jan 6, 2018 at 1:55

1 Answer 1


It's not possible. If you add a device on those lines you'll close the circuit to your light/fan and have several devices in series. This reduces voltage and creates a potentially hazardous situation.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.