How do attach an outlet to an existing light switch? I want the outlet to be always hot and not controlled by the switch. Currently, the switch has a single romex with black white and ground into the switch. Thank you enter image description here

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  • 1
    Is the switch between power and light(easy), have a cable coming to switch and going to light, or does power go to light first and you have a switch loop, only one two wire cable(hot and switch hot only at switch)(very hard)?
    – crip659
    Apr 4 at 18:51
  • 1
    I uploaded pictures, maybe this will help. It sounds like the power is going to the light first.
    – Sam
    Apr 4 at 18:57
  • Pictures helped a lot to make sure what you had.
    – crip659
    Apr 4 at 19:18

2 Answers 2


You cannot add an outlet to that switch cable. You only have hot and switch hot and no neutral wire.

Will have to run a cable from a power source, another outlet, light or directly from the panel.

For an outlet to work you need to have a hot(usually black wire) and a neutral(white wire). Having a bare or green ground wire also is very nice, but not needed for a working(having power) outlet(also not safe).

  • ouch! I wish I had not cut the hole for the outlet! oh well. You live and learn. Thank you for your answer.
    – Sam
    Apr 4 at 19:35
  • If the is near the floor, can make a round hole though the floor and bring a cable up. Might have another outlet close by you can use for power.
    – crip659
    Apr 4 at 19:45
  • @crip659 Hole through the floor only works easily if the next level down either has an open ceiling or a drop ceiling. Apr 5 at 0:57
  • The white may be the neutral return. It doesn't have to be a switched hot. Depends on where the load (light) is. But, either way, OP still has a problem.
    – SteveSh
    Apr 5 at 1:29
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    @SteveSh even if this were a non-code compliant switched neutral (instead of switched hot), the problem is now that there's no hot in this box from which to power an outlet. Opposite side of the same problem's coin but with an added code violation for fun.
    – FreeMan
    Apr 5 at 13:14

First, you can't just eliminate switches.

Every room needs a switch in the usual place near the door. The switch needs to operate a light, or a receptacle. That is a Code requirement. It's because guests (particularly First Responders) need to be able to operate the light.

If you will settle for half the receptacle to be switched, that could definitely happen. Get us photos of the wiring inside the switched receptacle.

If there is another switch in the room, then this switch could be sacrificed.

There is no way to have both switch and outlet here

Given the wiring that is in your walls now.

If you are willing to replace the cable run inside the walls, then it can be done.

  • 1
    Both statements are correct If OP just wanted to replace the switch with an outlet life would be easier, if not legal/code. OPs problem is trying to add an outlet by getting power from that switch cable and keeping the switch.
    – crip659
    Apr 5 at 1:54

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