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Old 04-18-2012, 06:48 PM   #1
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How to rewire outlet controlled by light switch?


Hi, I have a problem where if I turn off my light switch on one side of the room, it turns off anything plugged into the electrical outlet on the other side of the room. For some reason, they originally wired that outlet on the same circuit as the light switch. I would like to wire the outlet so that it does not switch off whenever you switch off the light on the opposite wall.

How do I go about doing that? Thanks.

(p.s. There are just the basic three wires in the electrical outlet; black/white/bare copper ground).
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Old 04-18-2012, 07:14 PM   #2
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How to rewire outlet controlled by light switch?


What are the wires in the switch box? Is the power (always live) wire enter there?
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:45 PM   #3
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How to rewire outlet controlled by light switch?


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Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
What are the wires in the switch box? Is the power (always live) wire enter there?
(p.s. There are just the basic three wires in the electrical outlet; black/white/bare copper ground).

Does that help? Or are you referring to the outlet on the opposite wall that controls the light switch?
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:55 PM   #4
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How to rewire outlet controlled by light switch?


So the wires you have at the "switch" are black,white and bare?
What wires do you have at the outlet that the switch is controlling?
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:17 PM   #5
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How to rewire outlet controlled by light switch?


What wires do you have in the light fixture? If you only have one cable in the switch and the receptacle then the changes you require need to be done in the fixture box.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:27 PM   #6
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How to rewire outlet controlled by light switch?


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So the wires you have at the "switch" are black,white and bare?
What wires do you have at the outlet that the switch is controlling?
There's a bit of confusion here so let me be clear about the wiring:

ELECTRICAL OUTLET: 1 Black, 1 White, 1 Bare Copper
LIGHT SWITCH: 2 Black wires (joined together on silver screw of light switch), 1 Red wire (on brass screw of light switch). There are also 2 white wires inside the box, joined by a cap but not connected to the switch.


So... do you think its possible I can fix the problem of the light switch shutting off power to the electrical outlet across the room, by making a change to the wiring in the light switch box, or the way the light switch is wired?

Last edited by BuckyGunts; 04-18-2012 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:29 PM   #7
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How to rewire outlet controlled by light switch?


Does the light switch also control a light in addition to the outlet?
If so,you will need to determine which black on the switch controls the outlet.
Once you do that take the black that controls the outlet and connect to the red with a pigtail that runs back to the switch where the red wire was connected.
You will now have power to the outlet all the time and still be able to turn the light off and on.
IMO!

Last edited by sublime2; 04-18-2012 at 10:34 PM.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:12 AM   #8
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How to rewire outlet controlled by light switch?


Oooooh, so close! I wired the light switch as you suggested (yes, it controls the power to a ceiling light fixture, along with the electrical outlet on the opposite wall). But no practical difference, as the switch still turns on/off both the ceiling light and anything plugged into the electrical outlet. Since a picture's worth 1,000 words, I took one to show that I wired it correctly: Light Switch Outlet Wiring Configuration

I wasn't sure if this configuration would work, because I am attaching both the red and the 2nd black wire to the light switch's terminal, whereas it only had a red wire attached to that terminal before. So I was surprised that it didn't blow things up real good, and more suprised that it didn't change anything! But why? Is it because the 2nd black wire (presumably wired to the electrical outlet) is still connected to the switch via the red (& white) wires, and thus still being operated by the switch?






Quote:
Originally Posted by sublime2 View Post
Does the light switch also control a light in addition to the outlet? If so,you will need to determine which black on the switch controls the outlet. Once you do that take the black that controls the outlet and connect to the red with a pigtail that runs back to the switch where the red wire was connected. You will now have power to the outlet all the time and still be able to turn the light off and on.
IMO!

Last edited by BuckyGunts; 04-19-2012 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:13 AM   #9
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How to rewire outlet controlled by light switch?


Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckyGunts View Post
There's a bit of confusion here so let me be clear about the wiring:

ELECTRICAL OUTLET: 1 Black, 1 White, 1 Bare Copper
LIGHT SWITCH: 2 Black wires (joined together on silver screw of light switch), 1 Red wire (on brass screw of light switch). There are also 2 white wires inside the box, joined by a cap but not connected to the switch.
Is this what the wiring looks like in the switch box??
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:22 AM   #10
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How to rewire outlet controlled by light switch?


In your OP you stated that 2 blacks and a red were connected to the switch. You now have a white connect to the switch.
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:45 AM   #11
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How to rewire outlet controlled by light switch?


This may or may not work. If it doesn't then you cannot do the job without stringing more wires.

Try moving one of the black wires to share* the screw with the red wire and the other black wire stays on the other screw. If that does not work then try exchanging the black wires (one still is alone on one screw).

* THe wires can share a screw while you are trying things out but before putting the switch back into the box, two wires may not share the same screw unless the wire ends are the same diameter and straight and there is a cover plate or grooves to hold the wires in place just before you tighten the screw. Alternately cut a short length of wire (pigtail) matching the color of at least one of the two wires in question, connect the pigtail to the screw, and wire nut its other end to the two wires in question.
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:47 AM   #12
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How to rewire outlet controlled by light switch?


bad perspective in that photo...cant tell which wires are under that wire nut. You think people would post more definitive photos
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:58 AM   #13
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How to rewire outlet controlled by light switch?


Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerlane
bad perspective in that photo...cant tell which wires are under that wire nut. You think people would post more definitive photos
Agreed.
The power(white wire) needs to be connected to the bottom of the switch. (switch the two wires)The white pigtail needs some black tape on it also.

Last edited by sublime2; 04-19-2012 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:03 AM   #14
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How to rewire outlet controlled by light switch?


here's a way it could work....no bare grounds are shown for ease of drawing....I have a lot of assumptions on how your existing wiring is but in the diagram below that setup will work the way you want: which is outlet always power and light controlled by switch.
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:53 AM   #15
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How to rewire outlet controlled by light switch?


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Is this what the wiring looks like in the switch box??
Not exactly. You can see in the photo I posted, what it looks like now, after rewiring per Sublime2's suggestion. I have attached a diagram to make it clearer.


Last edited by BuckyGunts; 04-19-2012 at 09:30 AM.
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