Wall switch to GFI electrical outlet?

Reply

  #1  
Old 07-27-17, 11:11 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 11
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Wall switch to GFI electrical outlet?

The bathroom has two wall switches adjacent to each other. One switch powers the lights on the medicine cabinet and has a yellow wire and a blue wire. The other switch controls the overhead lights and has a red and the end of the blue wire from the medicine cabinet switch. We want to remove the switch which controls the medicine cabinet and instead replace it with a GFI electrical plug outlet. I've read that while a yellow wire is "hot" it isn't designed for electrical outlets. Is there a way to replace this switch with an outlet? If so which color wire goes to which terminal on the outlet?
Name:  IMG_3026.jpg
Views: 205
Size:  29.2 KB
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 07-27-17, 11:31 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 59,034
Received 1,104 Votes on 1,024 Posts
Welcome to the forums.

What other wires do you have in the box.
Is that a white I see coming in with the blue wire ?
Are there two white wires connected there ?

What will become of the medicine cabinet lights ?
 
  #3  
Old 07-28-17, 12:05 AM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 11
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the welcome. We don't want to use the medicine cabinet lights any longer. There seems to be a white wire in the box but it isn't connected to anything- perhaps I can splice into it? Other than that there are no other wires; just the red, yellow, blue, and unused white.
 
  #4  
Old 07-28-17, 12:22 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 59,034
Received 1,104 Votes on 1,024 Posts
Unused white or a white that comes in one conduit and goes out another ?
 
  #5  
Old 07-28-17, 12:41 AM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 11
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Go in from one and out to another. I don't know which other it goes to, unfortunately. The house is from the 1950s and has a lot of relics from that time period.
 
  #6  
Old 07-28-17, 02:24 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Name:  IMG_3026.jpg
Views: 135
Size:  44.6 KB

If no white wire you do not have the wires you need for a receptacle.
 
  #7  
Old 07-28-17, 02:33 AM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 11
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yes, the arrow is pointing to a white wire.
 
  #8  
Old 07-28-17, 03:29 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Yes, the arrow is pointing to a white wire
Good then we are in business.

You have multiple options:
  • Combine both lights on one switch and use the receptacle in your picture.
  • Swap the receptacle in your picture for a combo GFCI Receptacle and switch and keep the lights on separate switches.
  • You can use the receptacle you have and a duplex switch.

Name:  31AVlnQTGGL._SY355_.jpg
Views: 125
Size:  6.8 KB

I've read that while a yellow wire is "hot" it isn't designed for electrical outlets.
No, on single phase any color but white, gray, and green can be hot. Yellow is often used as a switched hot and that is what I see in your box. Your hot seems to be blue. If blue is connected to both switches that is your hot, AKA line. Red and yellow your switched wires to the lights, AKA load.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 07-28-17 at 05:27 PM. Reason: Add an option.
  #9  
Old 07-28-17, 04:57 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 11
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
If I were to tap into the white wire in order to power the GFI outlet where would it screw into? How would I go about tapping into the white wire for use in the outlet? Would I continue to use the blue wire? What would I do with the yellow wire which I assume is the hot wire for the medicine cabinet lights? I'm uncertain what goes where.
 
  #10  
Old 07-28-17, 05:25 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
How would I go about tapping into the white wire for use in the outlet?
You would cut in the middle, attach two pigtails to one of the cut pieces. One pigtail to the other half of the cut wire and the remaining pigtail to the receptacle.
Would I continue to use the blue wire?
Please refer to my previous post. Blue is your hot, power in, nothing will work without it.
What would I do with the yellow wire which I assume is the hot wire for the medicine cabinet lights?
Depends on if you want it on a separate switch or same switch as the overhead light.

There is a third choice I failed to mention in my first post. You can use the receptacle you have and a duplex switch. That may be the best choice.

Here is that solution:
Name:  x.jpg
Views: 125
Size:  22.9 KB
Verify blue is power in using a multimeter before proceeding.

Note: You must run a ground wire (green or bare) from the metal box to the GFCI receptacle. (Switch grounding is optional.)
 

Last edited by ray2047; 07-28-17 at 07:26 PM.
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: