There’s a single-pole switch at the foot of my basement stairs, with a standard duplex receptacle beside it in the same box. The switch and the receptacle both draw current from the three-wire cable coming into the box (red, white and black wires, plus a bare copper ground wire — the only cable entering the box), but the receptacle is always live, regardless of the switch position. The switch controls a ceiling light.
That receptacle was the only one installed in the unfinished basement with the original wiring, 25 years ago. There are newer circuits which supply receptacles all around the walls, and we no longer need the first one. I’d like to remove it, and use the space in the box for another switch, on a different circuit.
I can’t find any description that matches the original wiring. Here’s how it’s been done:
There are two terminal screws on the switch (no ground screw). The red wire is connected to one of the switch terminals. The white wire is connected to one of the receptacle screws, but not to the switch. The black wire is connected first to the other switch terminal (bare patch about 4 inches from the end of the wire passes under the screw) and then continues on to the second screw on the receptacle. The bare ground wire is connected first to a grounding screw on the box, and then continues on to the green screw on the receptacle.
The guy who did the original wiring followed his own rules, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this was dangerous, or contrary to code, or both.
How can I wire a new switch into this circuit? Thanks in advance.