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Old 06-06-2013, 08:01 PM   #1
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need help wiring


I need to wire a outlet so half is always hot and other half is off the switch. I have it so the switch works but the other half is dead. what should I do. only black white and ground wires, thanks!

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Old 06-06-2013, 08:19 PM   #2
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I need to wire a outlet so half is always hot and other half is off the switch.
1) look at a receptacle. one side has silver screws the other side brass.
2) between the screws is a thin metal bridging strip.
3) break off that strip on the brass side
4) white wire on one of the silver side screws
5) one of the two hot wires on each of the brass side screws.
(you do have two hot wires there... right?)

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Old 06-06-2013, 08:38 PM   #3
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1) look at a receptacle. one side has silver screws the other side brass.
2) between the screws is a thin metal bridging strip.
3) break off that strip on the brass side
4) white wire on one of the silver side screws
5) one of the two hot wires on each of the brass side screws.
(you do have two hot wires there... right?)
I did all that and no, all that is coming in the box is the black and white wires. i know something isn't adding up, I have done wiring before when i added lights to my bedrooms but maybe im missing a wire and that's throwing me off. its grounded by the metal conduit. my house was built in 1971.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:00 PM   #4
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You sure you didn't break off the strips from both sides of the receptacle? It's the only thing to me that comes to mind as to why the outlet that should always be hot isn't, but the switched one works.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:20 PM   #5
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You sure you didn't break off the strips from both sides of the receptacle? It's the only thing to me that comes to mind as to why the outlet that should always be hot isn't, but the switched one works.
positive, just the brass side. i might just go buy a new outlet or something because i have become beyond pist tonight!
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:22 PM   #6
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you need another wire from the switch to the outlet
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:24 PM   #7
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I did all that and no, all that is coming in the box is the black and white wires.
Conduit? How many wires coming from each?

There should be one Black in one and TWO blacks
(or a Blk and a red) in the other and one white in each.
Is that what you have?

At the conduit with the TWO blacks... one is always hot the other switched. Figure out which is which.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:41 PM   #8
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Conduit? How many wires coming from each?

There should be one Black in one and TWO blacks
(or a Blk and a red) in the other and one white in each.
Is that what you have?

At the conduit with the TWO blacks... one is always hot the other switched. Figure out which is which.
I don't read two blacks, am I missing something?
Sounds to me that the entire outlet was switched, black and white wires, if it's conduit it shouldn't be hard to push a new conductor in from the switch tie it to the feed, of the switch, tie it to the other terminal on outlet.
Turn power off before doing this
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:17 PM   #9
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its armored cable I think its called. all I have at the switch is a black and white and all I have at the outlet is a black and white. so the switch works with the top of the outlet and the bottom as no power at all
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:28 PM   #10
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all I have at the switch is a black and white and all I have at the outlet is a black and white.
One pair in one cable? Then you're working at the WRONG outlet.

The other end of that (switch loop) cable goes to a box where AT LEAST one other set black and white wires are; probably two sets.
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:00 PM   #11
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its armored cable I think its called. all I have at the switch is a black and white and all I have at the outlet is a black and white. so the switch works with the top of the outlet and the bottom as no power at all
Jhack.... Wait a second..... you are saying that in your switch box you have only 1 black 1 white and at your receptical you have only 1 white 1 black.....
Take a flashlite and look again carefully

Thanks
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:52 PM   #12
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I assume the switch and receptacle wiring was existing (you didn't install it, right?).

You will have to get a 3rd colored (Black or Red) wire between the receptacle and switch. How you'll go about doing that (if the wiring between is not in conduit) depends on your creativity. If it's cable, you'll have to fish the wire between the two.

Then, you'll need to find out which location contains the feed (Hot Black wire); the receptacle, or the Switch.

If you can do that, then we can continue.
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Last edited by sirsparksalot; 06-06-2013 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:19 AM   #13
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Jhack.... Wait a second..... you are saying that in your switch box you have only 1 black 1 white and at your receptical you have only 1 white 1 black.....
Take a flashlite and look again carefully

Thanks
trust me I did! only 1 black and 1 white at each location and they were both existing
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:31 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by jhack836

trust me I did! only 1 black and 1 white at each location and they were both existing
The only way this setup would work the way you have described is if there is a wire junction somewhere besides these two boxes.
Where does your power feed come from if your only cable is a length of black, white, and ground between the switch and receptacle?
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:49 AM   #15
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What you're after will only work if you have two supplies of the hot side (typically black). There would have to be BOTH an always-on black lead AND a separate one controlled through a switch. Unless you have BOTH you cannot set up what you're after.

Now, it's possible to do this if there's only two sets of 2-conductor cable in there. One would be the power coming into the box. The other would be a switch leg running out to the switch. You'd make use of the white coming BACK from the switch as a the hot for the switched side of the outlet.

But this would require that power is coming from the breaker panel to the OUTLET box first. Not the switch. If the power is coming from the breaker to the switch first then you will NOT be able to set up what you're after. To determine which has power first you'd have to disconnect all the wires on both sides (while the breaker is off, of course) and then test the ends again with the power on again. If you find power at the switch but not at the outlet then you cannot set up what you're after. If you find power at the outlet and not at the switch then you're good. If you still find power at BOTH then you need to call in an electrician because something is f'cked up and needs a pro's attention.

Bear in mind that any load you put on this outlet would be first running through the switch. So don't go putting a switch in there that can't handle a full 15 amp load (or better). Otherwise you risk the switch failing, with all the risks that brings (fire, sparks, etc).

Also note that it violates electrical code to use a dimmer to control a regular outlet. Mainly because of the potential problems that will develop if you plug something else into that outlet. There are ways to do this using a special plug to replace the end of a lamp cord. The outlet then has the same socket style, in which a normal plug won't fit.


Last edited by wkearney99; 06-07-2013 at 06:53 AM.
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