Author Topic: Lamp outlet swap  (Read 2315 times)

Offline BadPirate

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Lamp outlet swap
« on: September 26, 2011, 09:14:29 pm »
So I have a fairly common scenario, an older house that has certain outlets hardwired to the light switches.  And the positioning of these outlets doesn't match my furniture/electronics plan for the room.  I have tried wiring in the GE light switches (existing switches just have 2 wires in the box, white and black, and only have a complete circuit if something is plugged into the outlet and turned on).   And found that I can't configure the GE switches to only trigger a scene change (and not dim the socket).

Is it possible to wire the GE switch in parallel with the white and black wires (basically short them together so the outlet is always on, and tap into that somehow to get enough power to operate the switch but not affect the power status at the outlet)... Or do I have to go with another solution?

For instance, I'm looking at the RF9500 switch as being a cover plate for a hotwired switch socket (so that the switch is in the same place, the outlet is always on, and I have a switch with which to control my lamp module which is elsewhere in the room)... but it seems pricey...

Kevin

Offline michaelk

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Re: Lamp outlet swap
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2011, 11:57:41 am »
not at all sure if you can wire as you are asking - sorry. (sounds to me like you will burn up the switch, pop you circut breaker, or burn down the house.  So I wouldn't try that without someone explicitly saying it's safe)

Sounds like you want a  3 wire switches (line, load, neutral) or a scene controller...

Offline aschwalb

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Re: Lamp outlet swap
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2011, 01:46:07 pm »
So I have a fairly common scenario, an older house that has certain outlets hardwired to the light switches.  And the positioning of these outlets doesn't match my furniture/electronics plan for the room.  I have tried wiring in the GE light switches (existing switches just have 2 wires in the box, white and black, and only have a complete circuit if something is plugged into the outlet and turned on).   And found that I can't configure the GE switches to only trigger a scene change (and not dim the socket).

Is it possible to wire the GE switch in parallel with the white and black wires (basically short them together so the outlet is always on, and tap into that somehow to get enough power to operate the switch but not affect the power status at the outlet)... Or do I have to go with another solution?

For instance, I'm looking at the RF9500 switch as being a cover plate for a hotwired switch socket (so that the switch is in the same place, the outlet is always on, and I have a switch with which to control my lamp module which is elsewhere in the room)... but it seems pricey...

Kevin

It would seem then that power is coming into the outlet then half the circuit is run to the switch.  If that is the case then you can re-wire the outlet to be powered (the black and white coming in as power attached to the outlet black and white sides then put the black and white going to the switch in parallel to that.  Now you have 110 at the outlet (you would have removed the switch first).  Now you can put in a scene controller that can do anything.  They run about $113 bucks. I like the Leviton Zone controllers VRCZ4-M0Z ($113 at ASIHome).

Offline BadPirate

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Re: Lamp outlet swap
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2011, 02:31:17 am »
So I would power the leviton controller off what?  (or are they battery powered)

Offline oTi@

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Re: Lamp outlet swap
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2011, 07:47:18 am »
So I would power the leviton controller off what?  (or are they battery powered)
Key is understanding the current wiring. As @aschwalb said, from what you describe it sounds like power (line+neutral) might be coming in at the outlet. The line side is run through the switch to make it a switched outlet. If so, you could wire the incoming power directly to the outlet so it is permanently powered, remove the switch, and then re-purpose the cable going to the switch to carry permanent power as well. You could then use that to power a zone controller (or whatever) in that spot.
Dezwaved at the moment...