Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


08:32PM | 10/09/05
Member Since: 10/08/05
2 lifetime posts
Hi Folks,

Hope all is well with you all.

I have a light switch and switch/receptacle combo in the same box that I am trying to replace. The fixtures are 40 years old so do not look like what we have on the shelves today. Here is the best description I can give of the present wiring:

To the switch:

There are 2 black and two white wires coming out of the conduit, but only the black wires are connected to the top and bottom contacts. A third black wire (I am guessing is the common wire) is connected to the top screw (contact).

To the switch/receptacle combo:

I guess this is where I am confused... There is a black and white wire coming out of another conduit. There are no screw contacts on this fixture. Looking at the back of the fixture, on the left side, two black wires make the connection at the contacts with the lower indicating the common contact (which does come from the other switch). There is a white wire that enters the back of the fixture at the lower right that is labeled outlet.

The problem:

Modern fixtures available at most home improvement stores all have screws for the contacts. How do I rewire this combination of switch and switch/receptacle combo without burning down the house?

Any help would greatly be appreciated.

Thank You.


Would you please reple to:

if in fact you have any suggestions. Thanks again.


11:10AM | 10/10/05
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
The box the combo sw/recp came in should contain a wiring diagram that will explain how to hook up this device in various configurations.

The white wire on the existing combo should be the neutral and will connect to the silver screws on the new device.

The jumper between the two switches and the wires connected at that same contact should be the always hot wires entering/exiting the box.

The other black wires connected to the switches at different contacts should be the switched hot wires to the controlled device (light?)

Based on your description, this is the best diagnosis I can give. Hope it helps.

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