Switch has only 3 wires. 1 black, 1 white, 1 neutral. They are coming from outlet. No other incoming power source. Outlet has a source to the bottom half. Top half is controlled by the switch. Can I pull the wires for ceiling fan from the switch though there is no direct power source to the switch - other than it acts as a toggle for the outlet power.

Receptacle Box::

Switch Connections

Receptacle Connections

  • 1
    Where are you and what color is the wire you are calling a neutral? Jun 25, 2020 at 0:42
  • I assume there is a ceiling box to mount the fan. What wires are in the box and what colors are they? Also, you should take our tour so you will know how to participate here with upvotes for helpful information and checks for accepted answers.
    – HoneyDo
    Jun 25, 2020 at 0:48
  • Can you post photos of the insides of the boxes involved please? Jun 25, 2020 at 0:54
  • Sorry I meant to say: 1 Black wire, 1 White wire, 1 Copper Wire(Ground) in the switch nothing else
    – Raj
    Jun 25, 2020 at 0:57
  • In the pic of the box, do you know which cable is which? i.e. "the left one in front goes to the breaker, the left in back goes to the switch, the right carries power to the next outlet" or something like that? At a minimum, can you get a pic of the wires in the box and where they attach to the outlet so someone can trace the complete path.
    – FreeMan
    Jun 25, 2020 at 14:44

2 Answers 2


You run a cable from the ceiling to either the switch or the receptacle. You then need to change the connections in the outlet, and if you route to the switch you will need to change those terminations too. If you route to the switch you will lose the switched receptacle.

There are so many actual ways to make the terminations at the receptacle that you would really need to post a picture of the wires connected to the receptacle to get advice which terminations to intercept.

But basically if you route to the switch you get a new receptacle and connect all the blacks to the gold screw (small slot) side of the receptacle, and the whites to the silver screw (tall slot) side. Then at the switch connect whites together and blacks to the switch.

If you run to the receptacle you can either reconfigure to eliminate the switched receptacle or not. This is where a picture is needed, but essentially you connect the new cable to the terminals or wires connected to the switched portion of the receptacle. You will need to concerned the code limits the number of wires in a box based on size of the cu. in. of the box. Gauge of wire is needed to calculate.

Edit. You should replace the receptacle, re-using stab back receptacles produces questionable results. You will also need a few new wire connectors (tan wingunts) and a 4" piece of white wire.

Turn off the power, connect all ground wires together and pigtail to devices.

At the switch where you ran the new cable connect white to white using a yellow or tan wire connector, and blacks to the switch.

At the receptacle box remove the white from the red wire connector, and all the wires from the old receptacle. Connect all black wires and a black jumper together in a new tan (or red) wire connector. Form a hook at the end of the black jumper wire (using a hole on the wire strippers) and connect to a brass screw on the new receptacle.

Connect all the white wires and the new 4" jumper together in a new tan (or red) wire connector, connect the jumper to a silver screw.

  • If he connects to the switch from the new ceiling fan box where does he pick up a neutral? The white and black wires shown in the pic of the switch box constitute a switch loop - no neutral involved. Unless there is one hidden in the back of the switch box. Only other possibility I see is if OP can carry power to the ceiling fan box from another source and then run a switch loop to the wall switch. Am I missing something?
    – HoneyDo
    Jun 30, 2020 at 3:28
  • I'm assuming he has no use for the receptacle to remain switched if he is adding a ceiling light. The black and white no longer need to form a switch loop, my last two paragraphs describe repurposing the black as the hot and the white as a neutral. Jun 30, 2020 at 3:48
  • +1 Nice job. In reading your answer I didn't get that you were carrying the neutral back to the switch box and through to the light. Kudos to you.
    – HoneyDo
    Jun 30, 2020 at 4:14

Since you're running a new cable to a fan ceiling box that you will install you're going to have to source your power from the receptacle box since there isn't a neutral in the switch box. It probably doesn't make sense to have your wall switch activate both the fan and the outlet so I'll assume you want the switch to power the fan. You will then have constant power to the entire outlet (upper and lower). In order to accomplish this, do the following:

  1. Turn off the power and while following all proper safety precautions and following local codes, run your cable (14/2 w/ground if a 120v 15amp circuit) from the ceiling box into the wall outlet box. Remove the outlet completely (you'll be replacing it) and wirenut the hot-switched wire from the switch (top outlet) to the black wire going to the fan. Connect the white neutral wire that was connected to the upper switched outlet to the white wire going to the fan. This will through-wire the switched hot and the neutral to your fan ceiling box.
  2. Next purchase a new wall outlet and do not remove the connector between the upper and lower receptacles. Wire this new receptacle to the constantly hot black wire remaining in the box (brass screw) and the remaining white neutral (silver screw). Connect the wires using the screws rather than the backstabs. Connect all of the bare ground wires. This setup will result in the switch controlling the fan and the entire outlet being constantly hot.
  3. Importantly, make sure that you are properly installing a fan-rated ceiling box so it will support the weight and vibration of a fan.
  • If you decide add a cable to the receptacle box (contrary to the asked question) you should check the cubic inches of the junction box to see if the box is large enough to add another cable without exceeding code box fill requirements for the size of wire used. Jun 25, 2020 at 17:40
  • Good point. As mentioned above, you need to make sure that you meet all code requirements including those for box fill.
    – HoneyDo
    Jun 25, 2020 at 18:18
  • Thank you for the response. Outlet already has 3 wires coming in. 1 - Probably from Switch; 2- Powersource; 3- to the next outlet. It's totally cramped for space. Isn't there an option to connect the switch directly to the fan instead through the outlet?
    – Raj
    Jun 25, 2020 at 19:56
  • Does the below work?: Outlet Receptacle:: 1. Add a new outlet with the connector between Top and Bottom. 2. Wirenut all remaining based on color 3. Connect the source to the outlet (so, it always stays hot) Switch: 1. Draw a line to ceiling box connecting the like colors
    – Raj
    Jun 25, 2020 at 19:56
  • What do you mean "remaining wires"? If you meant all existing wires then with switch off light would be on, switch turned on would trip circuit. Jun 25, 2020 at 20:31

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.