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Old 12-27-2008, 03:15 PM   #1
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Electrical outlet controlled by a wall switch?


I have an existing outlet that is controlled by a wall switch (both top and bottom parts of outlet). I would like to convert this to only the bottom (or top) outlet to be controlled by the switch and the other one "live" all the time. Is there a simple solution to this, or will I need to rewire the circuit. I do not want to have to fish wires through the wall, or break into the wall to access the circuit. Are there any online diagrams or other resources I could refer to? Thanks

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Old 12-27-2008, 03:23 PM   #2
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Electrical outlet controlled by a wall switch?


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I have an existing outlet that is controlled by a wall switch (both top and bottom parts of outlet). I would like to convert this to only the bottom (or top) outlet to be controlled by the switch and the other one "live" all the time. Is there a simple solution to this, or will I need to rewire the circuit. I do not want to have to fish wires through the wall, or break into the wall to access the circuit. Are there any online diagrams or other resources I could refer to? Thanks
There might be wires in the box to hook it up so one plug of the outlet is always on, but not real likely.


Why are you unwilling to rewire or fish wires as necessary?

The easy way to do this is to call a licensed electrician and they will have it done in a snap.

If you want to learn how and spend a little time on the project then you can do it yourself, but saying you don't want to fish wires to do the project is pretty limiting.

Jamie

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Old 12-27-2008, 03:39 PM   #3
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Electrical outlet controlled by a wall switch?


Depends how it's wired. If they fed the receptacle and then brought switch wires in the box then no problem. If they fed the switch, then it may be a little more difficult.

Let us know how the configuration is and we can go from there.
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Old 12-27-2008, 03:42 PM   #4
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Electrical outlet controlled by a wall switch?


Whether is is simple or not depends if the feed is at the switch or the receptacle. If you have two black and two white at the receptacle it can be done easily.
One of the black should be connected to the white going to the switch. Add a black pigtail to these two wires. Cut the tab off between the two gold screws on the receptacle. Connect the new black wire to the other screw on the receptacle.
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Old 12-27-2008, 03:53 PM   #5
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Electrical outlet controlled by a wall switch?


Thanks for your help. Right now there is only one set of wires (black, white, ground) coming from within the wall (from the light switch). The switch controls the outlet where I currently have a lamp for reading, etc. I also want to use the outlet for radio, clock that needs to have power all the time. It's just very inconvenient for me to have to switch lamp on and off all the time (not that accessible, and it is much easier to hit the switch when I walk into the room to turn on lamp), and prefer not to have extension cords all over the place. I am comfortable replacing an outlet or pigtailing wires at the box, but it is quite a distance to fish wires through the wall and ceiling and I do not have those tools. If need be, I can reconfigure the layout of the room, lamp, radio, etc., but I was just looking for something simple I could do myself. By the way, I live in Northern California, and the house was built in the late 80's. Thanks!
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Old 12-27-2008, 04:47 PM   #6
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Electrical outlet controlled by a wall switch?


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Originally Posted by rinlo View Post
Thanks for your help. Right now there is only one set of wires (black, white, ground) coming from within the wall (from the light switch).
Since there is just one set of wires going to the box from the switch, There is nothing else that can be done without running more wire to that box. You can not have part of it switched and part of it always on without more wires run to that box.

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Old 12-28-2008, 11:48 AM   #7
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Electrical outlet controlled by a wall switch?


Remove the switch. Connect the two wires together that are on the switch with one wingnut. Put a blank cover on the switch box.
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:29 PM   #8
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Electrical outlet controlled by a wall switch?


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Remove the switch. Connect the two wires together that are on the switch with one wingnut. Put a blank cover on the switch box.
Maybe I misunderstood,but the OP stated:

"I would like to convert this to only the bottom (or top) outlet to be controlled by the switch and the other one "live" all the time."

Jamie
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:54 PM   #9
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Electrical outlet controlled by a wall switch?


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Maybe I misunderstood,but the OP stated:

"I would like to convert this to only the bottom (or top) outlet to be controlled by the switch and the other one "live" all the time."

Jamie

Yeah, he did. But he also said he didn't want to fish wires.

J.V. gave the most sensible solution to the problem. nut em together, put a blank on the wall.

The lamp can be controlled by it's own switch, and the clock will keep the correct time.

The OP could try one of those remote controlled switches.

Or if he wants to go old school........... clap on, clap off, the clapper.
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:56 PM   #10
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Electrical outlet controlled by a wall switch?


It would be against code to nut the wires together. You must have a receptacle or an overhead light controlled by a switch at the door.

Last edited by joed; 12-28-2008 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 12-28-2008, 02:17 PM   #11
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Electrical outlet controlled by a wall switch?


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It would be against code to nut the wires together. You must a receptacle or and overhead light controlled by a switch at the door.
Right. A room is supposed to have at least one switch controlled outlet, which can be either a lighting fixture, or a receptacle for a table lamp, etc.

The remote control idea would be the easiest. I have used Radio Shack's "Plug-N-Power" system. It works very well, as long as both the transmitter and the receiver are on the same leg of your service.
In the case of the remote, you just plug a lamp control module (which can be dimmable) into the receptacle that is now controlled by the switch.
Leave the switch on all the time.
Plug the transmitter(s) into another receptacle that always has power, then just press a button, and on comes your lamp. No re-wiring necessary.

I am not sure that Radio Shack sells the Plug-N-Power line anymore. If not, Leviton makes the same thing.
The original name for the system was "X-10" and was made by the BSR company (same company that made stereo equipment).

At one time, the X-10 division was located in the building next to where I worked, in Northvale, NJ. Sometimes they would throw out "perfectly good" devices, and some of us would go dumpster-diving.
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:17 PM   #12
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Electrical outlet controlled by a wall switch?


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It would be against code to nut the wires together. You must have a receptacle or an overhead light controlled by a switch at the door.

Yeah, 210.70 blah, blah, blah.

Sometimes you just have to decide for yourself what the best solution is, big brother be damned.
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:39 PM   #13
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Electrical outlet controlled by a wall switch?


Do the old "do not turn off" note scotch taped over the switch
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Old 12-28-2008, 08:39 PM   #14
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Electrical outlet controlled by a wall switch?


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Do the old "do not turn off" note scotch taped over the switch
For a similar situation I just used the plastic cover that is screwed over the switch to prevent it from being turned off. Easy fix for about a buck or 2. If the need changes you can just remove it!
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Old 12-28-2008, 10:30 PM   #15
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Electrical outlet controlled by a wall switch?


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Do the old "do not turn off" note scotch taped over the switch


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