How to change a switched outlet to a half-hot outlet?


Response to comments about the white/neutral/illegal etc. for controlling an outlet with a switch. This is often used to serve a disposal (the best solution for a disposal installation is to use a product called an airswitch. You may have seen them, the button is then in the corner of the sink in a knockout and matches the finish of your sink). I am an electrical contractor with 20 yrs experience, feel free to heck NEC for confirmation. While it is good practice to label white wires that are used as an ungrounded conductor (make them a "hot wire"), it would hardly be the most egregious error a homeowner could make. It is however in the NEC to label it for use as such: Article 200.7(C)(1) (painting, taping, or other manner for identification).

The best wiring method in my opinion for a switched outlet also depends on how the wires are run to each box.

Scenario one feeds the switch first and then goes to the outlet. Scenario 2 wires runs to the outlet first and then to...

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Switch boxes in older homes usually used the white wire as a power wire, not a neutral. So when the white wires in a switch box are spliced together, any that go to a switch should be ignored and left right where they are.

Do not splice those white wires already on a switch to any other white wires, and especially not to the new white wire that is a part of your new 3-wire cable.

It wasn't until 2011 that the National Electric Code ruled that a white wire being used as a neutral was required in the switch box. Prior to that, it was acceptable to use the white as the switched "hot" wire, although a conscientious electrician would color it to something else (using magic marker, black tape, etc.).

So if you are replacing an older, existing switched outlet, and if it has 2-wire cable between the outlet and the switch, then the white wire is being used as either a permanent hot or as the switched power and IS NOT neutral. Care must be taken to keep it separate from...

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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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[Summary]How to Wire a Half Switched Outlet Video Mark Donovan of shows how to wire a half switched outlet. Learn how to electrical wire a half switch outlet circuit in just a few minutes. This video will also show you how to t


How to Wire a Half Switched Outlet Video

Mark Donovan of shows how to wire a half switched outlet. Learn how to electrical wire a half switch outlet circuit in just a few minutes. This video will also show you how to troubleshoot a half switch outlet circuit.

Power Outlet 3 Way Switches Half Switched Switch Outlet Electrical Wiring Done Right

Power Source at Outlet with 3 Way Switches


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Study the diagram below, photos and step by step procedure before attempting. Do not attempt unless you have a complete understanding of the job.


Shut off power to the circuit.


Test the circuit with a tester or lamp prior to working to be sure power has been removed.


Remove the wall plate from the receptacle and save the screws for reuse.


Unscrew the receptacle from the box and save screws for reuse.


Pull the receptacle gently but firmly away from the box.


Identify each terminal screw with a number written on masking tape, affixed close by. A booklet of adhesive numbers (like that in the photo) is great aid for a job like this.


Mark the silver or white terminals with even numbers 2 and 4; the green safety ground terminal (if provided) should be marked 5. The gold terminals on the other side should be marked with odd numbers 1 and 3. Be sure to...

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Subscribe and visit our weekly podcast for more tips I cover the steps to wire a switched outlet. This is in the Chicago area. USA. Subscribe for new tips. For rooms that don't have an overhead light, a switched outlet allows you to control a lamp with one side of the outlet leaving the other side on continuously. A switched outlet has 2 hot wires, so you have to break off the connecting tab on the brass terminals. When removing the old switched outlet, you can mark the hot wires going to the gold screws with masking tape to make connecting the new outlet easy. Connect your hot wires to the gold screws and your white neutral wires to the silver screws. Always turn off the breaker to any circuit you are working on.

How To Wire an Outlet - Conduit

Subscribe and visit our weekly podcast for more tips I cover the steps...

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Hello All,

I'm in Southern California, USA.

I'm a super noob at DIY electrical, but wanted to see if I can take care of this myself.

When I first moved into this house, there was a "half hot" switch, that controlled one of the Outlets on box located on the ceiling by the Garage opener.

Sometime later, I had a family friend (he was an electrician, but no longer around), who added another Outlet box on the right side of the garge, but he got the power source from the box on the ceiling. When he did this, he rewired the Outlet so it's no longer a Half Hot.

Now, I want the Half Hot back, and I also want to keep the new outlet on the right wall.

Can you see attached photos, and let me know if it's correct?

Any help is appreciated



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Before proceeding to the question of how to connect the socket with the switch, you need to determine the location of that depends on:

placing furniture; design furniture; placement of appliances and equipment.

If the repair meets an experienced designer or a ready design project, you can not even think about these details. In another case, these issues need to be taken into account by planning the placement of outlets and switches should be carried out only after installation of all walls and partitions in the room.

Installation of hidden outlets

Ordering a kitchen set, many already know his future location, design and options. On this basis, should have no difficulties with determining the place to install outlets flush type.

Hidden outlets — these are products that are hidden from view. In frequent cases, they are called embedded. In such situations it is important to know the design of furniture down to the millimeter, to ensure easy access to...

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Today we’re bringing you a video from our workshop on wiring half-switched outlets. A half-switched outlet is an outlet where either the top or bottom half of the outlet is controlled by a switch, while the other half is always on. This outlet configuration is common in homes built in the 1980s, when this method of wiring reached peak popularity. This video explains one wiring approach for creating a half-switched outlet to help you either diagnose or create this configuration in the future.

In this example, the power comes from the breaker panel, then to the switch box, and then on to the outlet. After the video and a few pictures, I explain an alternative method that can be used to achieve a half switched outlet when power comes to the outlet first.

Wiring Diagram Walk Through

If the video moved too quickly, these pictures should make the wiring setup clear.

Alternate Wiring Method

In the approach in the video, power...

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Posts: 3871
From: Cincinnati, Ohio
Registered: Jan 2003

It would be very advantageous for me to change a switched outlet (both outlets are switched) to a half-hot with only one outlet hot and one outlet switched.

I did some investigative work and it appears that I have the wires in the junction box to do this, and I really don't think it can be that hard, but I don't want to screw anything up.

I'm looking at this site: http://www.ask-the-electric...-wiring-diagram.html

Looking at my outlet in question, there are two white wires (assuming both are neutral) and a red wire (assuming it is switched). I see two black wires in the back of the junction box connected together with a wire nut. I'm confused exactly what needs to be done here as I need to keep the circuit complete. I have an idea but I want to hear from someone who knows better than I. Hmmmm.

Here's what I'm working with:

[This message has...

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If an outlet (commonly called a receptacle) no longer holds a plug snugly, it should be replaced. The procedure for replacing a duplex (two-outlet) wall receptacle is similar to that of replacing a switch. The only difference is that, depending on where the receptacle is located in the wiring scheme of your house, it may have more wires attached to it than you find attached to a light switch.

Credit: ©

Look closely at the terminal screws of the new duplex receptacle. On each side of the receptacle is a pair of terminal screws. The upper screw is connected to the upper outlet, and the lower screw services the lower outlet. A thin, metal break-off tab connects these screws. This tab enables you to attach a single wire to either screw and feed electricity to both outlets of the receptacle. If the tab is broken off, you can connect the upper and lower outlets to separate wires and control them independently.

If the receptacle is wired to...

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