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Tag: Ceiling Fan Wiring from Switched Outlet

Old wall switch with wires connected pulled out from the wall electrical box. The white wire on the switch is not a neutral. It is a LINE (Hot) wire being used to provide power to the switch. The black wire on the switch is the LOAD wire which feeds the power to the switched outlet.

Convert Switched Outlet To Hot

Dear Mr. Electrician:  How do I convert a switched outlet to hot at all times?  I want to use the switch to control a ceiling fan. Answer:  Usually, to convert switched outlet to hot all of the time a few simple wiring connection changes at the outlet box need to be made. NOTE: Some text links below go to applicable products on Amazon.  As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  Using my links helps to keep this website FREE. The easiest thing for a novice to do to convert a switched outlet to hot at all times is to remove the wires from the wall switch.  Using pliers, twist them together and cover them with a wire connector.  You can install a blank wall plate to cover the unused switchbox. However, continue reading if you will use the wall switch to control a light fixture or ceiling fan. Photos below are of a job I did for a client, installing two wall switches and a ceiling fan using the existing switch location.  As part of the task, I needed to convert a switched outlet to hot to supply power to the new fan. In the photo at the top of this post, you can see that the switch box did not have a neutral conductor in it.  The white wire on the switch was used as the LINE (Hot) wire, and the black went to the split switched outlet pictured below. According to the National Electrical Code, a white wire used as a hot must be changed to a different color.  It is not unusual to see the white wire as the hot conductor on a switch, but it must still be re-identified with a different color. If you are working on a white wire that will remain as the LINE (Hot), take the time to re-identify it with another color of electrical tape.  Do not use green or gray.  You can also use a permanent ink marker to colorize the wire. The switch-to-hot conversion job depicted below was done using plastic electrical boxes.  If you are more interested in converting a one-gang metal electrical box to two-gang or more, visit this blog post of mine. I submitted the electrical permit application for the job below a few weeks before starting the work.  The inspector did not require a rough inspection because it was a small job.  After completing the work, I only needed an inspection from the town electrical inspector. In my permit application, I included a one-page typewritten detailed scope of work describing what I would be doing.  It helps the inspector have a better understanding of what's going on. Top Of Page CONVERT SWITCHED OUTLET TO HOT The first thing is to shut off the power at the circuit breaker.  Test the wires with a volt meter, pigtail light bulb, or a non-contact voltage detector to ensure they are dead.  Next, disconnect the existing switch and tape the ends of the wire separately.  Do not connect the switch wires together. Even with the circuit breaker turned off and the wires...