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Author Topic: Light switches with a split outlet  (Read 23204 times)

JeffVolp

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Re: Light switches with a split outlet
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2007, 03:40:12 PM »

Quote
Originally, my wall switch controlled an outlet right next to the wall switch.  That is kind of like gluing one's TV remote onto the TV itself.  It isn't of much convenience.

They do it that way because it is easy and meets code.  In the bedrooms I wired myself, the light switch controls the bottom half of 3 receptacles spread throughout the room.  Those receptacles are identified with a little gold dot.

Jeff
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chewie8han

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Re: Light switches with a split outlet
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2007, 04:01:13 PM »

Quote
Originally, my wall switch controlled an outlet right next to the wall switch.  That is kind of like gluing one's TV remote onto the TV itself.  It isn't of much convenience.

They do it that way because it is easy and meets code.  In the bedrooms I wired myself, the light switch controls the bottom half of 3 receptacles spread throughout the room.  Those receptacles are identified with a little gold dot.

Jeff

At least you have switches that control outlets.  When I walk into my house, my entire living room has no switchable lighting.  That's one reason that I got X10 in the first place.  Now I have a couple of the slimline wall switches and they work wonderfully.

Kevin
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Walt2

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Re: Light switches with a split outlet
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2007, 05:14:10 PM »

They do it that way because it is easy and meets code.  In the bedrooms I wired myself, the light switch controls the bottom half of 3 receptacles spread throughout the room.  Those receptacles are identified with a little gold dot.

No, you misunderstood. 

My wall switch controls one and only one outlet.  That outlet is the outlet just below the wall switch. 

I don't think that codes require that. 
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KDR

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Re: Light switches with a split outlet
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2007, 05:40:37 PM »

chewie8han

In order to steer you in the right direction as far as options go we need to know what wiring is in your switch's work box. Can you tell us how many wires are running into it? If you only have one romex wire, (1 black, 1 white and a bare ground) then at this point you probably don't have a neutral wire in there the way its wired. If you tell me whats in the switch box and the outlet box I can draw up a print of what you have.

I didn't look yet to see if the X10 switches you listed as maybe wanting to use needs a neutral but most of them do. Now this is not to say that the setup can't be rewired to provide a neutral but in order to tell you how we will need to know about the wires going into the boxes.

----------------KDR
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Walt2

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Re: Light switches with a split outlet
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2007, 06:40:03 PM »

That is the main reason I suggested using the HCC10-1TW.   While it requires a neutral, it only requires two wires, hot and neutral.   

For switch boxes that have only two wires, it should be an easy re-wire in the outlet box, changing those two wires from being hot and hot-switched, to being hot and neutral.

For most DIY's, simply changing how the wires are connected, is much easier than running new or additional wires.  It is for me.
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KDR

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Re: Light switches with a split outlet
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2007, 08:08:57 PM »

I agree Walt2 and your idea will offer the biggest options for him. You could put a module in every room to work off that switch.  ;D

The one thing you might run into is that if the outlet is in the middle of a run there could be 3 romex wires in the outlet box. The small brass jumper on the hot side of the outlet has been removed and to power up both top and bottom you will need to add a jumper back on it. Might be a bit crowded in the box. If that's the case you could always just pick up a new outlet and replace it.

----------------KDR
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JeffVolp

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Re: Light switches with a split outlet
« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2007, 12:25:38 AM »

Quote
My wall switch controls one and only one outlet.  That outlet is the outlet just below the wall switch. 

I don't think that codes require that.

NEC 210.70:  "Habitable Rooms.  At least one wall switch-controlled lighting outlet shall be installed in every habitable room and bathroom.

Exception No. 1:  In other than kitchens and bathrooms, one or more receptacles controlled by a wall switch shall be permitted in lieu of lighting outlets."


A "lighting outlet" would normally be some sort of ceiling light.  That is obviously more expensive than just running a piece of 14-2 to the nearest receptacle.  Lets face it, unless they are building upscale housing, builders won't put in anything that is not necessary.  A switch-controlled receptacle near the door is the cheapest way to meet code.

Taking that NEC requirement literally, it would mean that using the HCC10-1TW transmitter would require at least one SR227 X10 receptacle (or equivalent) or a X10 controlled ceiling light to be in the room.  I doubt that an inspector would accept a plug-in module for the required switch-controlled light.

Jeff
« Last Edit: August 03, 2007, 12:42:56 AM by JeffVolp »
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-Bill- (of wgjohns.com)

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Re: Light switches with a split outlet
« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2007, 12:42:27 AM »

Wow $80 for a wall switch?  I definitely can't justify that.  Plus I'd have to use a Lamp module in addition?  Also, how does that switch work if it's not controlling the outlet at all (you said they'd be always on).  What is the switch wired to if it's not wired to the outlet anymore?

If current to the always on half of the outlet passed through the switch, it would be controlled by the switch and would not be "always on".   ;)

Bill, This is what I would think too, but if that's the case, I don't know what the other wires to the switch would be for.  I'd have to look again tonight, but if I'm remembering properly, I have 2 red wires and 2 black wires running to the switch.  I'm positive that this switch doesn't control anything else, so what would the other 2 wires be for?

Thanks,
Kevin

Yes, please double-check that wiring, as it doesn't make much sense if the switch definitely only controls one outlet.

The two black wires could be accounted for if one supplies Hot to the switch and the other is bridging that Hot over to another switch or maybe even the "always on" socket in the outlet.  As for two red wires on the other side of the switch, the only way that would make sense is if the switch is actually controlling more than one outlet or maybe the outlet and a light fixture or something.   ???
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chewie8han

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Re: Light switches with a split outlet
« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2007, 07:42:16 AM »

Here's what I found for my wiring.  Please note that this house is about 50 years old, so it might not use standard colors.




Hopefully, someone here can have a clue as to what's going on here.
Thanks,
Kevin
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Re: Light switches with a split outlet
« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2007, 08:13:27 PM »

Here's what I found for my wiring.  Please note that this house is about 50 years old, so it might not use standard colors.




Hopefully, someone here can have a clue as to what's going on here.
Thanks,
Kevin

Looks to me like any X10 dimmer switch that does not require a neutral connection should work.  Just connect both blacks to the Hot on the switch and connect the red to the Load side of the switch.
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chewie8han

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Re: Light switches with a split outlet
« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2007, 09:50:46 PM »

Looks to me like any X10 dimmer switch that does not require a neutral connection should work.  Just connect both blacks to the Hot on the switch and connect the red to the Load side of the switch.

Bill, if that's the case, then the XPD3-IW should work, correct?  I don't believe it needs a neutral wire at all.

Thanks,
Kevin
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Re: Light switches with a split outlet
« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2007, 10:53:46 PM »

Looks to me like any X10 dimmer switch that does not require a neutral connection should work.  Just connect both blacks to the Hot on the switch and connect the red to the Load side of the switch.

Bill, if that's the case, then the XPD3-IW should work, correct?  I don't believe it needs a neutral wire at all.

Thanks,
Kevin

Could be.  I am not familiar with the XPD3-IW myself.
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chewie8han

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Re: Light switches with a split outlet
« Reply #27 on: August 06, 2007, 12:00:55 PM »

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone that helped.  I installed the XPD3-IW this weekend.  It works like a champ.  Switch controls the top outlet and I've tried plugging in various other things in the bottom outlet without any problems what so ever.

Now, if I could just figure out the rest of my weird wiring.  I have 2 3-way switches that are wired the same way (as each other), but I have 3 other ones that aren't wired like anything else. 

Anyway, Thanks Again!!!!

Kevin
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JeffVolp

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Re: Light switches with a split outlet
« Reply #28 on: August 06, 2007, 12:33:22 PM »

Quote
I just wanted to say thanks to everyone that helped.  I installed the XPD3-IW this weekend.  It works like a champ.  Switch controls the top outlet and I've tried plugging in various other things in the bottom outlet without any problems what so ever.

Great that solved your problem.  Just remember that it doesn't meet code.  And be careful never to accidentally plug something like a vacuum cleaner into the top outlet.

Jeff
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chewie8han

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Re: Light switches with a split outlet
« Reply #29 on: August 06, 2007, 12:53:44 PM »

Yeah, I know it doesn't meet code, but if/when I go to sell the house, I'm taking my X10 stuff with me (unless the new people REALLY want it).  My wife knows to never plug anything into that outlet besides the lamp.  Plus there's plenty of other outlets in that room.

Kevin
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