enter image description hereenter image description hereI am converting a sitting area off our master bedroom into a walk-in closet, which requires me to add two separate switches (one for ceiling lights, one for a pair of wall sconces). The previous set-up in the room was that there was a switch that controlled one of the wall outlets in the space. It turns out that the switch is at the end of the run, as it comes after the outlet it controls.

Diagram of wiring

I’m not really concerned about the future use of the switched outlet, as I can leave it or just close it off as a junction box. What I need, however, is a way to get the two switches for the lights to function properly. I realize this involves having both outlets and lights on the same circuit, but it seems to me that this is workable – though I don’t know how to do it. I’m assuming some kind of magic has to happen between the junction box and the new switch locations, because in concept, the rest seems fairly straightforward.

  • That is what I thought, but once I wired up the new switches, the lights did not turn on/off (but the old outlet still did). The ceiling light wiring certainly seems simple enough, so I don't believe that is the issue. May 29, 2018 at 18:24
  • I can check the connections for the lights again, but I doubt that is the issue. Instead, I assumed it had something to do with the fact that the old switch was "after" the outlet that it controlled. I say after because the switch had only one wire- that which connected it to the outlet. May 29, 2018 at 18:28
  • Can you post a clear photo of the wiring inside the existing receptacle box? May 29, 2018 at 22:44
  • Please abstain from using the word "neutral" to describe white wires. Thank you. The fact that a wire is white does not make it a neutral. They can be redesignated to be hots, and indeed, one of yours is. Jun 1, 2018 at 1:38

1 Answer 1


I don't see a problem with that.

Right now, the cable between the switch and receptacle has 2 wires besides ground:

  • Always-hot (white, and it's supposed to be marked with tape, and it's not)
  • Switched-hot (hot when the switch is on; on yours, native black).

Your new wire assignment on that segment will be (and the colors are mandatory):

  • Neutral -- actual white
  • Always-Hot -- black

That's exactly what you need there to continue the circuit in the conventional way.

You will need to rearrange the wiring in the old receptacle box. Remove all the non-ground wires from the old receptacle. Put a 6" black pigtail on a brass screw and a 6" white pigtail on a white screw. Then wirenut all the white wires together... and all the black wires together... regardless of how they were arranged before. That should make the receptacle work at all times.

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