I replaced a ceiling light/fan with just a light. There were originally two switches for the ceiling fan/light. In the box there are two 4-wires coming in (blk, red, wht, bare). I want to put in a single switch for the light, and an outlet - independent of one another. For the light, I used blk, wht, bare from one set and capped the red. This works, But how should I wire the outlet? I tried wiring the outlet using the other cable as shown in the photo using blk, wht and then using the blk, red, wht (by breaking the blk side tab) but while there is power to the wires, the outlet is not energized.

There are two cables coming into the switch box (both are blk,red,wht, bare). Each of these cables is on a separate breaker. The outlet will go next to the new light switch, using one of the two cables in the box.

Here’s a picture of the box:
enter image description here

  • where is the outlet (to be?) located?
    – dandavis
    Dec 21, 2022 at 19:24
  • Are there two cables coming into the SWITCH box? Or are there two cables coming into the LIGHT/FAN box? (might be 3 cables). The other box will have 1 cable. A cable is several wires wrapped in a sheath. Dec 21, 2022 at 19:33
  • Provide a picture if you want relevant assistance. In general, pigtail the hot and neutral to the outlet to give it power, pigtail the hot to the switch, pigtail the light's return neutral to the line neutral.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Dec 21, 2022 at 19:40
  • 2
    Can you say how were the original 2 switches connected?
    – user28910
    Dec 21, 2022 at 20:25
  • Original switches were removed before I started so I’m not sure how they were wired.
    – 4lane
    Dec 22, 2022 at 13:54

1 Answer 1


If putting a switch between black and white didn't immediately blow the breaker, this is a "switch loop" in series with the controlled fixture, and you do not have both hot and neutral, just hot and switched hot. You can't install an outlet there without running more wiring, sorry. (Or most modern smart switches, at least not legally/properly.)

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