Power Where There Was None! New Power Outlet From a Light Switch!

4 Materials
$20
30 Minutes
Medium

We just got a new Cordless Stick Vacuum. They are so handy to just grab and clean up on a nightly basis. The only problem is finding a place that is out of the way but has power near by.


Luckily I know a trick... tie into an existing light switch on wall wall to feed power to a new outlet on the other. Here is how I did it.


WARNING: We are all smart adults here. This is a general disclaimer that this is for educational purposes only. I am no expert and most likely, neither are you... so if you are NOT comfortable doing this... call a pro. I just want you to know you have options for power you might not have thought of.


Lets get going....




UPDATE:

I added in the notes some tips if you want to simply add an outlet to an existing light switch. Several options. Check it out below in the Question section.

Here is were I would like to put the hanging mount for the stick vacuum. No Power though!

On the other side of the wall... there is a light switch. Lets figure out if it will work for our needs. If you are lucky... power comes to the switch and then a separate line goes to the light. Lets find out.

Lucky for me... there is dedicated power to this switch. Turning the light switch off (Not at the breaker), power is still running to the switch. I could tap into this power source... run a new romex wire down the wall and connect an outlet. You can see I did that.. the Black/White/Copper wire sticking out in the top right... I added that.

I can't find my drywall saw... So I simply used a straight edge and scored the drywall several times. Most outlets are 12 inches from the floor... so that is where I started. I added a 1-Gang Blue Plastic Interior Old Work Standard Switch/Outlet Wall Electrical Box that has special clips that hold it against the drywall. PRO TIP: When tightening the screws do NOT use your power drill... you can easily pop out the drywall. A hand screw driver is the best tool for this, at least at the end for the final snug tightening.

Add an electrical outlet. In this case a 15 amp outlet. PRO TIP: On the back of many outlets there is a place to just shove the wire in to make a connection. Do NOT use that. Always use the side posts. It is a better connection and less likely to fall out. Make sure you curl your wire in the same direction as how you tighten it. SUPER PRO TIP: Your breaker should be off... and the new Romex cable should be added to the new outlet first. Don't start with the other side where power is. Just to make sure you are extra safe.

Install... again... use a hand screwdriver... make sure it is centered in the box.

Next.. the plate cover.

BREAKER OFF!!!! Connect all the wires to the correct location - You may need to buy larger wire nut connectors to accommodate the extra wires. Consult your electric guy down at the home center to get the right ones.

Since the power is out... use a nice bright LED light. I have one that has magnets... I just tossed it on the washer machine then turned off the breaker.

Tuck everything in nice and easy... and then add the cover. BONUS TIP: In all my bathrooms, closets and in the laundry room ... I add these motion sensors to auto turn the light on and off. They are well worth it and help make sure lights get turned off. If you have kids you know what I mean. (I feel bad for when they go to college and never turn off a light because they did not learn to do it as kids... but that is their roommates problem)

I added the vacuum mount to the right height.

Now I have a nice home for the vacuum with POWER! We use it every day and it is so easy to just grab and go. Hope this helps someone in their planning .

Here are only some of the tools I used. I also used a Utility knife to cut out the hole. You don't have to tackle this yourself... but it might give you an idea. Good luck.

Suggested materials:

  • Romex cable  (Lowes)
  • 1 Gang Power Box  (Lowes)
  • 1 outlet  (Lowes)
See all materials

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Jessica Serrano-Gregg
    on Oct 22, 2017

    First, thanks for the excellent tutoria! My question might be silly but I am still learning about DIY electrical work. I have the safety protocols down pat...lol but now am learning about all the cool stuff I can do...all by myself hehe.. ok so using your method, could I install a combo light switch and power source? Say if I didn’t want to loose the switch but just add an outlet to it By replacing, as you did, the guts of the light switch over to a switch/ power receptacle? I have a light switch that turns on my lamps in my craft room that are plugged into to the power receptacle but I don’t want to give up the switch obviously but I need to add power there for plugging in my vacuum for quick cleanups as there are only two power sources in the room..(old house, electrical upgrade to code) so one is Controlled by the light switch and the other is difficult to get to. Hence the need for an additional power source I can quickly get to without installing a brand new one. Thanks for your time.. hope I made sense lol but any input you could give me, even to say no That’s a bad idea..
    • Jessica Serrano-Gregg
      on Oct 22, 2017

      Thank you so much!! That’s extremely helpful and I appreciate the time you took to post the pics and schematic and your notes! I just printed them out. It’s much appreciate! You went above and beyond for me.
  • Juanita
    on Aug 18, 2020

    i have a ceiling fan with light that i want to install in a room with no overhead wiring. However, there is a lightswitch in the room that powers an outlet for my table lamp. Can i wire the ceiling fan into the existing light switch???

    • David McIntosh
      on Aug 19, 2020

      Depends if that switch has dedicated power going to it. If so, you can then fish a line from the ceiling fan back down to that box and wire in a new switch. For ALL my ceiling fans I put in a 3 setting switch which lets me put the fan in low, medium, or high.... it changes the power it sends to it. We love it!

Join the conversation

3 of 3 comments
  • Wendy
    on Oct 21, 2017

    A true DIYer! Thanks for posting!
  • Jessica Serrano-Gregg
    on Oct 22, 2017

    Lmfao..love the disclaimer
    great tutorial. Excellent pics. I got an impromptu lesson all of two mins at Lowe’s one day about how to do this but with your pics, detailed explanations step by step and the most important for me was your tips on what not to do lol. Thanks for sharing and I’m totally confident on how to do this now!


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