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I recently replaced a 1-gang switch box with a 2-gang box and added a brand new switch. The 2nd switch currently has nothing hooked up to it, as I need to cut out a new outlet.

The first switch/existing switch, controls my kitchen pendant lights. It is also on the same circuit as my kitchen LED lights.

When I first opened the box before adding the new switch, I was only expecting to see two sets of wires - 1) power from the circuit breaker, 2) to the switch to pendant lights. I was a bit confused when I saw a 3rd set, which I am assuming has to do with the LED lights on the circuit (controlled by a separate switch at a separate location).

My end goal is to make the new switch I put in be wired to a brand new outlet I will put in.

Below is a picture of how my current 2-gang box looks. I don't know exactly what wires go to what, since this already came with my house.

Can someone help explain how to wire my new switch to control a new outlet? It doesn't matter if the switch controls 1/2 the outlet or the whole outlet.

Thanks! Box

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  • So its a combination junction box and switch? Since you have two switches and two circuits, a solution would be to use both switches (or to get a 2-gang switch). Jul 3, 2021 at 15:10
  • 1
    I take it the kitchen LEDs have their own switch somewhere else? Jul 3, 2021 at 15:13
  • @ Jeremy boden, the op stated that he was going to cut in a new receptacle box so I don’t think the receptacle will be at the switch location but a double switch with a separate receptacle would work with a 2 gang box.
    – Ed Beal
    Jul 3, 2021 at 15:20
  • Find/hire someone who knows what they're doing.
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 3, 2021 at 17:16

2 Answers 2

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Connect a white from the connector with the other whites to silver screw on receptacle.

To control the whole receptacle connect a short stub of black wire between wire nut that connects blacks together to one terminal screw on switch. Connect a black wire to the other terminal screw on switch and to gold screw on receptacle.

(Or if instead to control half break the tab off the black side only off the receptacle. Connect a short stub of black wire between wire nut that connects blacks together and to one terminal screw on switch. Connect another black wire from the blacks to one gold screw of receptacle. Connect a red wire from the other screw terminal on switch to other gold screw on receptacle.)

To the ground wire connection add a green (or bare) grounding wire to the green screw on switch, and another ground wire to the new receptacle.

If you use any metal junction boxes you must pigtail and add a ground to the boxes too, usually using a green 10-32 machine screw to a prethreaded hole in the back of the box.

Note that connectors are Listed (UL/CSA/ETL) for size and number of conductors, and it is sometimes hard to make a good connection with used connectors, you should consider getting new properly sized connectors. The size and number of wires allowed should be on the packaging.

Many cheap switches and receptacles have push in terminals, I did not just leave out the option of using those, I intentionally do not use those since they have a history of not holding wires securely.

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  • Thanks for the answer! I think I am following along correctly on this and it is making more sense what needs to get done. I'll am going to do the option to control the full outlet, no red wire since I already have the 14/2 romex. All 15a circuit. Most likely, will use a plastic junction box for the outlet since I already have it. It is going to be vertically aligned with the switch, but higher on the wall. I remade my image with the "-" being the new wires. Does this look right? LINK to Electrical
    – mikeyv
    Jul 4, 2021 at 13:57
  • Your linked diagram would (only) work if the hot comes in the top and two feeds to separate light fixtures feed out the bottom. Normally one feed goes out the top to lights, one from the bottom comes from the panel or previous receptacle, and the other out the bottom goes to the next daisy-chained receptacle. Normally your dashed line would need to be removed from connection to the top of the existing switch, and connected to the wirenut below the switch. Jul 5, 2021 at 1:58
  • Do you have a voltage tester? With the existing switch off which terminal on the switch is hot? Jul 5, 2021 at 2:00
  • I do and just tested it. It seems the bottom screw/terminal is always hot. If the switch is up or down, I always get a voltage reading on the bottom screw. The top screw/wire only has voltage when the switch is flipped "ON", so I see what you are saying about having the wire in the wrong spot. So, would this be the solution? Diagram 3?
    – mikeyv
    Jul 5, 2021 at 10:41
  • Yes, diagram 3 has correct logic. Jul 5, 2021 at 16:24
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This is fairly simple since you have a hot coming in and going out.

Turn the breaker off that feeds this and verify the size 15 or 20 amp.

the cable going to the receptacle needs to be the right size wire.

15 amp =14awg wire or 20 amp= 12 awg wire.

You will need to connect the 2 black wires with a short piece and go to the new switch of the correct wire size.

With your cable that is properly sized going to the receptacle connect the black to the unused side of the new switch. The white to the other whites, and the ground (green or bare to the others

At the receptacle. The black wire goes on the brass colored screw. The white goes to the silver colored screw and the ground goes to the green screw. If it is a plastic box that’s it, if it’s a metal box the box should be connected to ground. Some have a bump or bubble on the bottom of the box that s #10 green grounding screw is designed to go in. Some have clips that hold the ground wire the box needs to be grounded if metal.

Note if fishing wires in a wall no anchors are required for the cable but if you open the wall a anchor or staple will be needed within 8” of the box in most cases.

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