I'm adding a plug-in pendant to an existing lighting circuit that has a wall sconce, two separate switches, and a third electrical box that simply has wires. I wired a new outlet into the existing junction box and it would only energize if the lighting circuit is off. The goal is to have the wall sconce and the plug-in pendant power on at the same time.

The wires available in the junction box are GRN, RED, BLK, and WHT. Originally I pigtailed BLK to brass screw and WHT to silver screw on the outlet, but that inverted operation. I have since tried different combinations to no avail.

Any ideas how to configure the wires on the new outlet to have the pendant that is plugged into it turn on with the existing wall sconce at the same time? See attached photos, thanks!!!

Circuit Layout Junction Box

  • An outlet needs a hot and neutral. Neutral must be white, but white does not mean neutral. It is quite possible you have a bunch of travellers in that box and no neutral. Three way switch(two switches) circuits can be complicated.
    – crip659
    Commented Sep 1, 2023 at 15:48
  • You can't do that, from that location, without pulling new wire or cable. You are evidently tapping into the travelers between the switches.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Sep 1, 2023 at 17:21
  • 1
    @crip659 in this case, it's conduit, so if white (or gray) is not neutral, that's a violation. In cables, what you say is true - the rules are different in conduit. Not that some prior worker might not have violated code, but it should be neutral and nothing else, since it's in conduit.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Sep 1, 2023 at 17:28

1 Answer 1


Since you have conduit, simply pull a switched hot wire from the switch where the switched hot originates (one of the two switch boxes) rather than attempting to power an outlet from the traveler wires between the switches (if, as it appears, you want a switched outlet that switches with the lights.)

If you want an unswitched outlet, pull from the always-hot feed to this box; if you want a half-switched outlet pull from both always hot and switched hot to this location.

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