I ran into a wiring issue while trying to help someone wire a new outlet...

He wants to add an outlet (to be always hot) to a switch that controls a ceiling fan (most convenient location). The power source comes in at the ceiling fan fixture. The only wires running from the ceiling fan to the switch is a single set of 14/2.

Question is: without changing any of the existing wires, can we add an outlet to the single set of switch wires to be always hot? Can this be done by perhaps using 14/3 and rewiring the setup from the switch box to the outlet box? The box for the new outlet has already been added below the switch box, we just need to know how to wire it if it can be done.

Thanks in advance to everyone that takes the time to read this and help us out!

  • With 14/2 there is no neutral wire at the switch. You only have always hot(black) and a switch hot(white, which should have black tape/paint at both ends). If you had 14/3 from the fan to switch, it could be done.
    – crip659
    May 10, 2021 at 0:58
  • Thanks for the reply...you've confirmed my researching. I will see if I can run off of an outlet from the basement and bring the wiring up between the studs.
    – D. Crusse
    May 10, 2021 at 1:32
  • Can you post photos of the insides of the boxes involved please? May 10, 2021 at 3:37

1 Answer 1


No. If the line wire goes to the light box first, the wires to the switch from there are used as a line wire and a switch leg. To add a receptacle at that location you would need a line wire and a neutral wire, so you'd need a 3 wire cable. One option you may have with modern products would be to switch the light to a wireless switch and use the wires as line and neutral, all though that may give you nuisance concerns. If removing drywall or damaging finish is prohibitively expensive, you may need to hire a Master electrician to pull a wire to a new box for you using a concealed work permit.

  • How long can you expect to keep a work permit concealed? Sooner or later some busybody inspector is gonna want to see it. May 10, 2021 at 0:58
  • @A.I.Breveleri A concealed work permit is a permit to do concealed work, like pulling wires into an existing wall and only strapping accessible parts. It must be done by a master electrician, at least in Canada.
    – K H
    May 10, 2021 at 2:21

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