In daily life, sometimes we will need to repair electrical appliances in the house by ourselves. Since there are many things involved with electrical appliances, they are not so complicated that it is necessary to hire an electrician. Wiring electrical outlets and light switches is a job you can do yourself if you learn and know how to install them. Wiring a single outlet or switch is probably quite simple, but putting together a socket and switch in the same box is a bit more complicated. In this article, we will learn together: How to wire a light switch and outlet in the same box?
Why do we need to wire a light switch and outlet in the same box?
Each house will have its own design and installation of electrical circuits. The installation of sockets and switches in the house is highly dependent on the electrical circuit and layout of the house. Sometimes we can separate the outlet and the switch, we can also install 2 sockets in one enclosure box or 2 switches in the same box. So when do we need to wire the socket and the switch together? We will wire them in one box in the following cases:
- There’s only one power source in the room
- Only one enclosure box can be installed
- Wiring a light switch and outlet in one box will bring convenience when using the devices
This installation is not too difficult and we can do it ourselves. However, it is also necessary to have the basic knowledge to ensure that you install it safely and according to your intended use.
***Refer to more: How to wire an outlet from another outlet? [Expert Answer]
What is the combo of a light switch and outlet?
A combo of switch and outlet is that we install the same outlet and switch in one enclosure box. The switch can be used to control light bulbs or other items, while sockets are used to plug-in electricity. You can also use that switch to control the outlet.
For each different purpose, we will have different installation methods. Corresponding to each of these ways are different circuit diagrams. Therefore, in order to know how to install it properly for our purposes, we also need to understand the basic information about the installation methods. When installing electrical equipment, we need to pay attention to Line Hot and Line Neutral. We also need to know the basic difference between installing Switch and Outlet combo devices with Combo GFCI. There will be a break-away fin tab in combo Switch and Outlet, while the GFCI device way does not.
This break-way fin tab can be removed and then you can control the additional load.
How many ways to wire a light switch and outlet in one box? And what is the difference?
The ways to wire switch and outlet in the same box are divided based on their intended use and how they are installed. We have 2 ways as follows:
- Wiring a light switch and outlet in the same box in the usual way
In this diagram, we use one power source: Switch is used to control the light bulb, ( or control some other devices). The socket is used for other devices. Sockets and switches share the same power source but are not affected by each other.
- Wiring Combo Device where Switch & Outlet Controlled by Different Sources:
In this diagram, the purpose of the switch and outlet remains the same, but they are connected to separate power sources.
In addition, if the Switch is not used to control the light bulb, we can learn another way to install it, This is the wiring Combo Device where Switch & Outlet, in which the switch is used to control the Outlet.
How to wire a light switch and outlet in the same box?
#1. Wiring a light switch and outlet in the same box with a source
This is the simplest diagram of the combo switch and outlet installation methods. This is also a common method that we usually use.
In this way, Two devices use the same hot source. We don’t need to remove the break-away fin tab from the device.
Let’s start with the switch, Line Hot will be connected to the one line of the switch, The load side of the switch will be connected to the light bulb. For sockets, the neutral silver terminal of the outlet will be connected to Line Neutral, and then, do the proper earthing and grounding connections. The Line Neutral will also be connected to the light bulb, so we will have a wire nut.
Once installed, the switch controls the light source, and the socket outlet can be used for other loads and can be connected via plugs.
#2. Wiring Combo Device where Switch & Outlet Controlled by Different Sources
For this installation, you need to remove the break-away fin tab. If it still exists, the wiring will not be possible.
With this installation, the outlet will use one power source, and the switch controlling the bulb will be connected to another power source. 2 devices will be separate. Here we will use 2 power sources, we call these two powers: source 1 and source 2. Each source has a Hotwire and neutral wire.
After removing the break-away fin tab, connect the switch terminal to Line Hot of source 1, the switch load will be connected to the light bulb. The neutral line of source 1 is connected to the light bulb.
Regarding the socket, one terminal will be connected to Line Hot of source 2, the other terminal will be connected to Line neutral. And then measure the proper earthing and grounding connections
***Refer to more: How to wire multiple lights together? [Expert’s guideline]
Some other ways to wire outlet and switch in the same box:
If you want to learn more, we also have a combo of many outlets, switches, or a combo of many sockets and switches. Here, we can learn another simple diagram. Instead of using a switch to control the light bulb, we can also use the switch to control other devices or even the socket. If the switch controls the outlet, the switch can cut off the power of the socket.
In this diagram, first, the break-away fin tab between two hot terminals will also be removed. One terminal of the switch is connected to the hot wire of the power supply. Connect The load side of the switch to a terminal of the socket. Then connect Line Neutral to the other terminal of the outlet.
The last step is doing the proper earthing and grounding connections.
A few notes on installation:
To ensure the safest when conducting wiring, note a few criteria below:
- It is advisable to prepare an electric tester to ensure safety when placing it.
- Choose a convenient installation location, easy to operate, not entangled, not obscured.
- Choose a location where children rarely go or play, or use a protective box to shield the electrical outlet.
- Do not place the power outlet in damp places such as toilets, washing machines, and sinks.
- The power outlet should be replaced immediately if any damage or leakage occurs.
Wiring a light switch and outlet in the same box are not too complicated or difficult, we can completely install it at home if we understand the principles and have a basic understanding. Knowing how to install sockets, switches in general and wiring a combo of the light switch and outlets, in particular, will help a lot. Besides, there are also many other diagrams, if you are interested, you can learn more to know more useful knowledge.