Half Hot Switch Controlled Outlet to Always on and Keep Power to Switch



I hope someone may enlighten me. I have a switch with two lines running into it. I believe the first to be power running from the breaker. There are yellow (or white yellowed with age), black, and bare copper wires in this first line. The second line has a yellow (or white yellowed with age), black, red and ground. I believe that the second line travels to what is now a half hot switched outlet.

Within the outlet there are two lines entering. The line from the switch entering into the outlet has yellow (or white yellowed with age), black, red and ground. The red wire is connected to the switched outlet half, the black is connected to the other half of the outlet which is always on.

At the switch, the yellow wires (or white yellowed with age) are pigtailed. The black wires are also pigtailed, but connected to the switch, as well.

At the outlet, the red are pigtailed. The yellow wires (or white yellowed with age) are also pigtailed, but connected to...

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In the house it seems that the original owner wanted all top outlets to be switched and the bottoms to be always on. I hate this and want to fix it.

So I took all the outlets out from the one room. Now I have two sets of red,white,black,ground at each 1 gang box. How can I properly wire each new outlet to always be on and to only use the white,black,ground without re-running wires?

I tested the wires at the switch box and now I am not getting any power to them, so I'm assuming its safe to cap these wires and hide them in the box, correct?

Update: I found which outlet gets the power from the feed. However, when I connect it to the outlet, all red wires become hot. How is this even possible if the next outlet is disconnected completely? Aren't outlets typically daisy chained? I have 5 outlets in the room and my switch is disconnected. The switch seems to work backwards and start at the last outlet.

Update*: Only two outlets are actually showing that red is...

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Something has to be different than what you say for this scenario to occur in a house that's wired in a manner even approaching code compliance.

The voltage drop on the outlet while the fan is on is normal. The fan is simply using some of the power of the circuit, decreasing the remaining potential elsewhere in the circuit.

You say that the voltage changes at the outlet when the fan is on, but the outlet does not work. This means you are getting voltage at the outlet even when the fan is on. Are you reading anything close to 120V? (anything between 110 and 125v is "normal" household voltage in the U.S.). Do you get significantly more voltage when the fan is switched off? If this is true, my hunch is that the branched connection at the J-box served by the panel is not as continuous as it should be.

With the circuit deactivated at the panel, take apart that junction (hot and neutral), make sure the wires all have about 3/4" of insulation stripped, the wires are...

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I am in the process of renovating the livingroom in my 1930's era house which only has two non-switched outlets in one 12x12 room. I would like some receptacles to have one switched and one non-switched outlet so I can plug a lamp into the bottom outlet controlled from the wall.

My plan is to run 14/3 to each of these boxes with the Black wire as Hot and the Red wire as switched using two three-way switches and connecting the red as a switched wire through a junction box.

On the input-side switch box, I will run a 14/2 romex from the breaker (via junction box) and then use a 14/3 as a traveler to the outside switch box. 14/2 Black wire to common and black/red of the 14/3 for travelers. White wires I will connect together with a nut. Ground wires I will connect together with a nut.

On the output-side switch box, I will run that 14/3 with the travelers and a 14/2 romex to a junction box. Red/black of the 14/3 to the traveler screws. Black of the 14/2 to common....

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Instructions on how to wire an outlet where one part is always hot and the other part is controlled by a switch; called a half hot outlet.

Many times people would like to have an outlet controlled by a switch to be able to turn on a lamp or some other device. Sometimes they have a switched outlet, but it is in the wrong location, or they would like to plug in another device that they would like to remain on all the time. A situation like this calls for a half hot outlet where a switch controls the top half of the outlet and the bottom remains hot all of the time.


As always when working on electrical systems turn off the power to the circuit at the breaker panel or remove the fuse for older electrical systems.

If you have an outlet that is switched, you will still need to run a new wire with two hot conductors and one neutral and one ground, 12-3 or 14-3 wire. The “3” stands for 3 conductors, black, red, and white. The red wire is required to...

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How a Switched Outlet Works

Electrical Question: I have a problem with a duplex receptacle where the upper plug does not have power but the lower half does. I took the cover off and found this: On the BRASS screws on the right side, a BLACK wire comes to the upper brass screw, and a RED wire comes to the lower brass screw. On the neutral side there is one WHITE wire being used to span the gap between the 2 silver colored screws and the little brass tab has been broken off between them? The lower plug in still works, so do I simply replace the plug making sure to wire it the same way? It has been working for years this way and just stopped today. I am not sure though if the brass tab has been broken on the brass screw side where the RED and BLACK wires feed?

Please advise.

This electrical question came from Ron, in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, Canada.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Ron.

How to Wire a Half Hot...

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Need some help:

New Construction; 14/2 leaving an outlet into a basic switch. Need that 14/2 power into the the switch to power the switch (and obviously send power to the light when the switch is on) and then send power to an outlet that is beyond the switch. I need the second outlet to always be hot, and not controlled by the switch.

Been trying to figure out to send constant power to the second outlet while also feeding wire into the switch and then back out to the light.

I know how to pigtail, just not sure where all the pigtails in this would be. I am currently running 14/2 back out of the switch box, but can put in 14/3 if i need to (though I don't want to run 14/3 to the light from the switch).

Any help would be...

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This is the preferred method of wiring a half hot switched outlet. If power is coming from the switch it is most likely a lighting circuit, intended to operate lights, not outlets. Yes, you will probably have a lamp plugged in, and yes that is a light, but the other half of the outlet could run anything. Best if this outlet is on a circuit intended for outlets, so if there is an option use the power already in the outlet box.

Whether you are installing a completely new outlet or replacing an existing one, the box will contain one or more 2 wire cables with a black, white and ground in addition to the 3 wire cable you have added. Cut a short, 6" piece of additional cable and remove the outer sheath. Splice all of the grounds together, with an additional 6" piece to go to the outlet. Splice all the black wires together with an additional 6" piece of black wire. Splice all the white wires together, again with a 6" additional piece.

Splicing is accomplished by stripping...

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As long as one of your systems is up you could use it to trigger the contacts for another one.

The simplest way would be to wire a small solid state relay to the parallel port header (on board) on one and then the contacts to the power pins on the other system. If one system goes down you can trigger a power up from the other. There are lots of utils around for setting pins on parallel ports so you would just script together calling such a util from a web page trigger.

Another way to handle this would be to have the systems watch each other. So if you use a parallel port to control a relay then the same port could use an input to monitor the 5V line on the other system. If you poll that parallel port every minute then when it sees the 5V line low it could fire the relay for 1 second to restart the system. Repeating that on each system in a daisy chain (loop) would ensure that as long as one system is up then all the others would soon start up too.

The only...

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Last week I described how an outlet should be wired for switch control when the voltage enters the circuit at the outlet. This setup is how our master bedroom was wired before I installed an overhead ceiling fan. As promised, I detail below how to modify this wiring setup with minimal effort so that the switch can instead control an overhead fixture. Later this week, I’ll post some before and after pics from our ceiling fan installation. Before we get started, let’s briefly review last week’s diagram:

Review of Switched Outlet Wiring (Power Enters at the Outlet)

In this diagram, voltage enters the circuit at location (A) in a standard 2-wire (+ground) Romex. The white neutral wire from this Romex is connected directly to the silver terminals on the receptacle (E), and the black hot wire is connected to the white wire running to the switch (B). The white and black wires from this Romex are connected to the switch (C). The black wire at the switch is now...

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–Check local regulations for restrictions and permit requirements before beginning electrical work–

This page contains several diagrams for wiring a switch to control one or more receptacle outlets including a split receptacle and multiple outlets wired together.

Switch Loop to a Receptacle Outlet

This wiring diagram illustrates wiring a light switch to control an existing receptacle outlet. The source is at the receptacle and a switch loop is added to a new switch. The hot source wire is removed from the receptacle and spliced to the red wire running to the switch. The black wire to the switch connects to the hot on the receptacle.

The source neutral wire on the receptacle is removed and spliced to the white running to the switch, and to a pigtail back to the receptacle neutral. At the switch, the neutral wire is needed to power some dimmer switches and is now required in most switch boxes.

Switch First

This wiring illustrates the...

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This article explains how to install a switched outlet, where the top outlet is switched, and the bottom outlet is always hot. Wiring a switched outlet is easily accomplished when the right steps are followed.

Q: I would like to install ‘switched outlets’ in two rooms of a new addition to my cottage/summer home; top switched, bottom always hot.

I’m not sure of the best way to do this.

Do I have to duplicate all the runs to the switched outlets? Could I use a 12/3 or 14/3 wire and share the neutral?

Please let me know. Any diagrams or sketches would be helpful.

– Dave

A: The easiest way to install a switched outlet is to run the power feed into the switch first, then a 3-wire from the switch to the first receptacle, and on to any other receptacles that you want on this circuit.

The 3-wire allows you to interrupt the power with the switch on one of the hot wires, and have unswitched...

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Wiring Half Switch Controlled Outlet To Always On Description

Now we give you wiring half switch controlled outlet to always on that offers along 6 pictures as well as
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electrical switch wiring, electrical outlet wiring, electrical safety furthermore light switch wiring diagram along with how to wire an outlet to a light switch wiring diagram including wiring a basic outlet together with patent us8363797 telephone outlet including wall outlets and switches wiring...

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Your going to have to look in the electrical boxes that the switch and the outles are contained. First turn the breaker off that is supplying power to the room. Then unscrew the outlets and look into the boxes.

There might be some wires in these that are capped off with wire nuts. The outlets might have once been wired as electricbill said(top recpt switched, bottom always on, or vice versa). If you see wires in there you will need to check all of them for power. If you find live wires you might be in luck and won't have to run any new cable.

Also you need to look behind the switch. You probably have one live set of wires coming into the switch box, and one or more set going to the outlets. If you have more than one set going to outlets, they you might also be in luck. You would have to figure out where these wires go and wire the ones you want switched to the switch and the others directly to the power wires.

In any case, you can probably set up your room...

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In this tutorial we will discuss a small relay board to control the power to a normal AC outlet using 5VDC control.

All the usual warnings apply:

Main voltage (120VAC or 220VAC) can kill you.

This project, done incorrectly, could certainly burn down your house.

Have your pet spayed or neutered


Shampoo is better


Do not

work on or solder to any part of a project while it is plugged into the wall - just unplug it!

You can get the Eagle files for the

control board here

. The control board is composed of a relay along with a NPN transistor and LED.

What’s a relay?

I admit, I really just wanted to build my own

Blender Defender

(I don’t even have a cat!). However, building a 5V controllable outlet can be handy for many applications. For these power hogs, a relay is the perfect fit.

A relay is a large mechanical switch. That switch is toggled on or off by energizing a coil.

In this example...

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A lot of people think when they turn off an electrical appliance that it doesn’t use any power. Time to think again, most electrical devices in your home still use electricity while turned off! Crazy! Some appliances never actually turn off, they are still consuming power in a standby power mode. Some electrical appliances in your home aren’t in a standby power mode, but still consume power because the way their power supplies are built. This is called many things, vampire energy, phantom energy, electricity leak, or leaking electricity. Continue reading this go green tip to learn how you can save electricity and save money!

What Electrical Appliances Still Use Electricity When Turned Off

Any electrical device that has an external power supply connected to it will still use electricity while powered off. Such as cellphone chargers, computer speakers, any of those electrical devices with a cubed power supply on it. Also any electrical appliances that have a clock,...

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Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ: Notes on the Troubleshooting and Repair of Small Household Appliances and Power Tools [Mirrors]


In appliances like waffle irons and toaster ovens, these are usually welded. This is necessary to withstand the high temperatures and it is cheap and reliable as well. Welding is not normally an option for the doit yourselfer. However, if you are somewhat suicidal, see the section: "Improvised welding repair of heating elements" for a more drastic approach. I have used nuts and bolts, say 6-32, bolt, wire, washer, wire, washer, lockwasher, nut. Depending on how close to the actual really hot element it is, this may work. If you are connecting to the coiled element, leave a straight section near the joint - it won't get as hot. The use of high temperature solder or brazing might also work. The best approach is probably to use high temperature crimp connectors: (The following from: sad@garcia.efn.org (Stephen Dunbar)) You can connect heating...
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Lately I have had many site visitors asking me to write an article on how to wire a duplex switch and receptacle combination device. While the switch/receptacle combo device is not common in the home, they have several unique applications where they can be very useful!

As with any electrical project, make sure that you take all necessary precautions, most important being to make sure you shut off the power. Always review the safety page on our website.

Another valuable resource available on our site is “The Basics of Household Wiring DVD”, which is also available as an instantly downloaded e-book. Follow this link to get your copy.

The switch/receptacle combo device is set up like a duplex receptacle, but has a 15A single-pole switch in one half, and a single 15A, 125V receptacle in the other half. They can work in conjunction with one another, or they can be connected and used independent of each other.

Here is a diagram showing the internal function of...

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