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Old 10-07-2013, 09:54 AM   #1
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Re-wiring outlet on switch


I have an outlet on a switch that I find inconvenient because my TV and cable box plugs into it. My wife always hits the switch on accident (it's 1 of 5 in a 5-gang box). Whenever the the switch gets hit, the cable box can take up to an hour to fully reset.

I thought about making the outlet a 2-gang box and simply add a new outlet next to the switched one to have a solid plug.

I think this will work, but can anyone give a final "blessing" on it?

Thanks!
Mike
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Last edited by adgjqetuo; 10-07-2013 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:17 AM   #2
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Re-wiring outlet on switch


what you propose should work with out a problem, just make sure that the black wire has power on it.

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Old 10-07-2013, 10:25 AM   #3
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Re-wiring outlet on switch


Certainly your plan will work. Even easier if you do not need the additional receptacle:

Disconnect the red at the switch and pigtail (connect) the red to the black hot feed. This will make both halves of the receptacle constant hot.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:29 AM   #4
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Re-wiring outlet on switch


Thanks!

I also just had another thought, I could just break the tabs in the outlets right? And it would save me from ripping out the 1-gang box from the wall?

I'd like to retain something on the switch in case I ever need it for some reason.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:29 AM   #5
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Re-wiring outlet on switch


another option is to bust the tab at the receptacle and connect one of them to the hot. this way one of the single receptacles will always be hot and the other can still be switched.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:43 AM   #6
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Re-wiring outlet on switch


If you go the tab busting route, you only have to break the hot side. You can leave the neutral side tab in and just have the two neutral wires on the screw terminals with no pigtails.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:54 AM   #7
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Re-wiring outlet on switch


Even better - so I only need to break the hot tab and add a single hot jumper from the nut to the screw.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:25 AM   #8
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Re-wiring outlet on switch


yeap, you would have half hot & half switched, all you have to rember is which is which.
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:04 PM   #9
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Re-wiring outlet on switch


Your diagrams are all showing reverse polarity on the receptacles.
Hots go on the brass screws, neutrals on the silver.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:10 PM   #10
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Re-wiring outlet on switch


Nothing is ever easy...

I'm having a pretty big problem. I should have tested the switch prior to taking everything apart - (I know it worked at least a few weeks ago though)..

When the two blacks are connected it sends power to the 5 switches. When I disconnect the blacks the switches go dark - so I know which wire is my feed.

Now get this - when the blacks are tied together the red instantly gets hot within the same romex - on both ends. I know I have the right wire because when I disconnect the nut it all goes dark. What the heck is going on?

The only thing I thought of that changed was I hung the TV on the wall. I took down the bracket and cut a few holes to look inside to see if I hit a wire with the lags, but I couldn't see anything - the studs I lagged into looked clear.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:13 PM   #11
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Re-wiring outlet on switch


when you say 'blacks tied together', are you talking about at the switch or at the receptacle?
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:18 PM   #12
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Re-wiring outlet on switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by adgjqetuo View Post
Nothing is ever easy...

I'm having a pretty big problem. I should have tested the switch prior to taking everything apart - (I know it worked at least a few weeks ago though)..

When the two blacks are connected it sends power to the 5 switches. When I disconnect the blacks the switches go dark - so I know which wire is my feed.

Now get this - when the blacks are tied together the red instantly gets hot within the same romex - on both ends. I know I have the right wire because when I disconnect the nut it all goes dark. What the heck is going on?

The only thing I thought of that changed was I hung the TV on the wall. I took down the bracket and cut a few holes to look inside to see if I hit a wire with the lags, but I couldn't see anything - the studs I lagged into looked clear.
What are you testing for power with? If you're using a non-contact voltage detector, it's pretty common for them to falsely indicate power on a disconnected wire within the same cable as a hot wire. Check with a voltmeter.
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:23 PM   #13
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Re-wiring outlet on switch


I'm using a fluke pen - but when I connected it back the way I found it the outlet is always hot regardless of the switch. The Red and Black both have power.

In the below diagram - when the yellow nut is disconnected the 14-3 has no power. When it is connected, both red and black have power. This is with the red wire disconnected on both ends - outlet and switch.

I guess the switch had both ends hot on it. I'm not sure how that didn't cause a problem though?
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:27 PM   #14
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Re-wiring outlet on switch


do you have the switch closed?

edit: nevermind, saw you have the red disconnected at both ends. yeah, its phantom power in the tester. get a voltmeter and it should ready zero.
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Old 10-07-2013, 04:23 PM   #15
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Re-wiring outlet on switch




You were completely right!

I clipped the metal piece connecting the hots together, added the extra jumper put everything back together and when I tested the outlet with the fluke stick it said both sides were hot even with the switch off.

I then took everything back apart again and nothing looked out of the ordinary. I took apart the switch and again nothing odd either.

I turned the power on with the red disconnected on both ends and it read hot again. At that point knowing that it's a straight run the only thing I could think of that changed recently was mounting the TV.

I thought maybe I clipped the wire on the stud while lagging it in. I removed 3 sections of drywall (2-3" squares each) and the wire wasn't on the stud I went into.

I then re-read here and decided to plug a lamp into the socket and bingo - everything works like expected.

That test stick caused me a few hours of unnecessary investigation and frustration - UGHH.

And now I have to patch the drywall holes I created - I hate drywall work. They are mostly covered by the TV but the one I can see from the end.




All is working as expected though - thanks for the help...


Last edited by adgjqetuo; 10-07-2013 at 04:25 PM.
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