Do you have a light in your home that just sits there unused? Do you need more outlets in a room or in your whole home and would like to use a light switch and turn it into an outlet that you need to use? Using a light switch can be useful because you do not need to redo all of the wiring to get it done. Just a few simple changes will be enough.
It is possible to turn a light switch into an outlet. By taking the right precautions and being careful when switching a few wires around, you can easily turn any light switch in your home into an outlet. Let’s take a look at how to do this process in your home.
Can I Make My Light Switch Into an Outlet?
Yes. It is possible to take a light switch in your home over to an outlet. If there is a light somewhere in your home that doesn’t seem to go anywhere, or you no longer use the light, then you may be tempted to change it over to an outlet that you can use instead. The process for converting your light switch over to an outlet is easier than you may think.
If you have some kind of light fixture in your home that you do not use, it may be a good idea to switch it over to an outlet. This is easier to do than many homeowners realize. You can even keep the light fixture and the switch and add in an outlet under it all. There are a ton of options available and it is possible to turn that light switch into an outlet if you choose.
How to Turn the Light Switch Into the Outlet?
Now that we know it is possible to do this, it is important to see what steps are necessary to turn that regular light switch over to an outlet. The steps include:
Find the Live Wire
One of the first steps that you should take before starting the replacement procedure is look around and find the breaker panel. This is inside the main panel and you need the one that will control the switch you plan to work on.
This needs to be turned off to keep you safe. Once the switch is turned off, you need to take the cover plate off and spend a moment testing the wires to see if they still give off any voltage. A voltage tester will help you see if this is a problem.
How To Test For A Live Wire
To test whether the breaker is off, you can turn on the switch you plan to do the work with and then place one lead of the tester on either of the black wires that are there and connect over to the switch. Place the other end of the tester on the green ground screw.
If you get any reading on the meter that is above zero or a light to show up when you do this, the circuit is still live. You need to turn off more breakers and not do any more work until you end up with a zero reading on the tester or the light on the tester no longer turns on.
Test The Terminals At The Light Switch
Once the right breaker is done, you can turn the breaker back on again before turning off the switch. Use the tester again to check out both terminals for power, using the same procedure we discussed above. One of the terminals is live and the other is dead here. Turn the breaker back off again. Then mark the live wire with some tape so you can remember it as you get to work through our next steps.
Steps For Converting the Switch Over to an Outlet
Remove Black Wires From Light Switch and Cap
Once you are done with the steps above, it is time to remove the black wires from the switch. Then take the wire cap and screw it onto the dead one before pushing it back into the box there.
This just helps keep everything out of the way for now. You do not want any exposed wiring to show up under the cap. If this does happen, you risk touching it with another wire or with your tools.
Remove Neutral And Ground Wires and Cap
From here, it is time to unscrew and then remove your ground wires. Make sure to separate them and then isolate the one wire that belongs to the cable that is the live hot wire. You can then untwist the white neutral wires that are inside the box, capping the one that is the same and belongs with the hot wire capped before.
At this point you should have a green ground wire, a white wire, and an uncapped black wire. Double check that all of these belong with the same cable.
Connect Wires To Correct Terminals on New Outlet
Now it is time to connect the black wire over to the brass terminals that come with the new outlet and the white wire that will then correspond to the chrome terminal.
A Note About GFCI Outlets?
Unless you plan to install a GFCI outlet, you get the choice of connecting these to either the lower or upper set of terminals. If you are doing the GFCI outlet, you need to connect them to the terminal that says LINE.
Connect Green Ground Wire
Finish all of this up with the ground wire. This wire needs to go over to the green ground screw. Make sure to screw it into the outlet and the box, and then add the right cover plate over all of it to keep the wiring inside.
Turn Circuit Breaker Back On
The very last step is to turn the circuit back on at the breaker panel. When this is done, you have successfully taken the light switch in your room and turned it into an outlet that you can use for anything!