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Old 07-28-2015, 04:29 PM   #1
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Removing dimmer switch from electrical outlets


I have two separate outlets connected to a touch-style Leviton dimmer. Aside from it being not to code, it's annoying and now appears to have stopped working. The outlets have six wires, plus a ground. The top right outlet is the only always-hot out of four. The other three are dead--which seems to mean all three are switched. (I only used them enough to figure out I had no use for outlets on a dimmer--especially that style dimmer.) Obviously, I want to remove the dimmer from the circuit, and a standard switch doesn't serve much purpose here, as it's located directly above one outlet and about five feet from the other. Otherwise, I would have just replaced the dimmer with a single-pole switch. To remove it, is it as simple as removing the three-wire switch (red/black and ground), and connecting the remaining 2 wires in the box? (Yes, I have a voltage tester.) That leaves nothing to ground so I'm assuming the ground is just left disconnected? Thanks.

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Old 07-28-2015, 07:51 PM   #2
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Removing dimmer switch from electrical outlets


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Originally Posted by keymaster View Post
The outlets have six wires, plus a ground. The top right outlet is the only always-hot out of four. The other three are dead--which seems to mean all three are switched.
You will have to show the exact current wiring connections before anyone can provide exact instructions. We will also need to know which wire pair provides the power (possibly the one with the ground).

At least one of the outlets will have the tab between the two hot screws broken out - the top right outlet. It should be replaced, along with the other outlet if it also has the tab broken out.

You need to use the ground wire, it connects to the green grounding screws on the outlets. If the boxes are metal, they also need to be grounded.

The dimmer switch can be removed and, once the wiring is redone and extra wiring abandoned, covered with a blank plate.

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Old 07-29-2015, 09:46 AM   #3
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Removing dimmer switch from electrical outlets


It wasn't the ground at the outlet that I was believing could be abandoned, but at the switch. It's a plastic box and there's nothing to ground once the switch is removed. There a single cable to the switch directly above the half-hot outlet box (black/white/bare copper ground). It seems that to eliminate the switch, all one needs to do is connect black and white in the switch box, but maybe I'm missing something. I wasn't aware of the need to replace the outlet if the tabs were removed. They don't appear to be removed. I'll post photos and a sketch. Thanks.
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Old 07-29-2015, 09:48 AM   #4
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Removing dimmer switch from electrical outlets


If you're just abandoning the switch and putting a blank plate over it, then all you need to do is take the two wires off the switch and wire nut them together.
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:01 AM   #5
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Removing dimmer switch from electrical outlets


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If you're just abandoning the switch and putting a blank plate over it, then all you need to do is take the two wires off the switch and wire nut them together.
Thanks. That's what I did, and all four are testing fine. Is there any need to change out the outlet as billtech said? (I'm not even sure if there are tabs removed.) Correction/Edit: The half-hot outlet has ONE TAB removed on one side, and the other tab is intact. The second switched outlet is fully switched, and it has both tabs intact. It has only 3 terminals occupied.)

Last edited by keymaster; 07-29-2015 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 07-29-2015, 01:50 PM   #6
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Removing dimmer switch from electrical outlets


As far as I know, it is OK to just get rid of the dimmer and cover the box with a blank plate.

I would simplify the wiring and replace the outlet that has the broken link, but that is just my personal preference. Actually, if I understand your description correctly, then you could get rid of the wiring to the dimmer in that "half switched" outlet box.
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Old 07-29-2015, 03:00 PM   #7
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Removing dimmer switch from electrical outlets


Certain rooms are required to have a switch controlled receptacle or lighting outlet.
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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 07-29-2015, 08:08 PM   #8
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Removing dimmer switch from electrical outlets


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I would simplify the wiring and replace the outlet that has the broken link, but that is just my personal preference. Actually, if I understand your description correctly, then you could get rid of the wiring to the dimmer in that "half switched" outlet box.
I've decided to replace the receptacle so that it has both tabs intact, as you suggested. I'm attaching a diagram to make sure I have it wired properly. The diagram shows the half-switched outlet with the dimmer switch above. (There is a second outlet that was switched which isn't shown in my diagram. It must be fed from this box, as it has three leads.) The switch leads are wire-nutted and the box plated-off.



The switch wiring is connected to the two right side terminals (a black and white pair). I'm going to remove that pair and wire nut them, terminating the switch at both ends. The two black leads that are shown in the push-in terminals will be moved to the corresponding screw terminals on the right side. Do you see any problems with that wiring--with both tabs intact? (I prefer the screw terminals due to the gauge of wire.)
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Old 07-30-2015, 10:18 AM   #9
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Removing dimmer switch from electrical outlets


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Certain rooms are required to have a switch controlled receptacle or lighting outlet.
Good point. I believe the key to that requirement is the definition of a lighting outlet.
Lighting outlet: An outlet intended for the direct connection of a lampholder or luminaire--2008 NEC
The receptacle(s) being converted are in the dining room, and that room has a switched j-box in a cathedral ceiling (with a dimmer). I can't access it, but I'm fairly sure that the two switches control it. If the room lacked a ceiling outlet, I would need to convert half an outlet to a standard switch (but not dimmed, as it presently is).

The NEC forbids the use of standard dimmers with receptacles. That's one of the reasons I'm removing the dimmer. If you have a dimmer switch on a receptacle, anything can be plugged into it, which is a potential hazzard.
(E) Dimmer Switches. General-use dimmer switches shall be used only to control permanently installed incandescent luminaires (lighting fixtures) unless listed for the control of other loads and installed accordingly. 404.14(E) 2002

There is also a requirement of special plugs.

(F) Noninterchangeable Types. Receptacles connected to circuits that have different voltages, frequencies, or types of current (ac or dc) on the same premises shall be of such design that the attachment plugs used on these circuits are not interchangeable." 406.3(F) 2002

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