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Old 06-26-2011, 02:27 PM   #1
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Wiring Switched Outlet


Currently I have 2 outlets, both controlled by separate switches. Switch 1 has a red, white, and black wire, controlling outlet 1, which has 2 white and 2 black wires. Switch 2 also has a red, white, and black wire, controlling outlet 2, and outlet 2 has one white and one black wire.

I'd like to have the bottom half of each outlet always hot, and top half work with the switch. Is there any way to do this without running new wire?


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Old 06-26-2011, 04:56 PM   #2
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Wiring Switched Outlet


DO both switches control both outlets together?

Are there any other wires in the outlet boxes that are not connected to the actual outlets?

How about other wires in the switch boxes that are not connected to the switches?

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Old 06-26-2011, 05:00 PM   #3
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Wiring Switched Outlet


are the outlets controlled by more than 1 switch? for 1 switch to control 1 outlet it would only need 2 connections on it. it sounds like you have 2 3-way switches controlling both outlets. could this be the case?
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Old 06-26-2011, 05:39 PM   #4
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Wiring Switched Outlet


Nope, the switches and outlets are totally independent. At least that's the way they tested. There are no extra or free wires in any of the boxes.
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Old 06-26-2011, 05:45 PM   #5
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Wiring Switched Outlet


to split the outlet and switch one half and have the other half hot all the time you need 3 wires- 2 hot ones and a neutral with one of the hot ones switched. so to do what you want you would have to run more wire.
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Old 06-26-2011, 06:52 PM   #6
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Wiring Switched Outlet


That's what I figured. It just seems odd there's a red wire but nothing is switched. If I want to disable the switch and make the outlets always hot, would I connect the red and black together or black and white?
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:26 AM   #7
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Wiring Switched Outlet


did the switches have 3 wires connected to them?
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:03 AM   #8
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Wiring Switched Outlet


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did the switches have 3 wires connected to them?
Yes. Red black and white.
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:20 AM   #9
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Wiring Switched Outlet


If the switches have the 3 wires connected, then they are 3 way switches. To verify, the switch toggles will not be marked on/off.

If the red wires do not appear in the receptacle boxes then there are other switch boxes somewhere.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:34 PM   #10
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Wiring Switched Outlet


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If the switches have the 3 wires connected, then they are 3 way switches. To verify, the switch toggles will not be marked on/off.

If the red wires do not appear in the receptacle boxes then there are other switch boxes somewhere.
Maybe there is, but they must not control anything important. I have another 3 way switch in the kitchen that I have no clue what it controls. None of the lights or outlets. I'm sure I can cap off this switch that controls the outlet and they'll be nothing else affected.
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:36 PM   #11
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Wiring Switched Outlet


Any tips on what wires to connect to bypass the switch?
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:57 PM   #12
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Wiring Switched Outlet


You have another box somewhere, either another switched receptacle or a blanked-off box... maybe behind some furniture? Until you find that and determine how things are wired, I won't want to "guess" as to which wires should be connected.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:19 PM   #13
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Wiring Switched Outlet


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You have another box somewhere, either another switched receptacle or a blanked-off box... maybe behind some furniture? Until you find that and determine how things are wired, I won't want to "guess" as to which wires should be connected.
In the living room I have 4 outlets and 3 light switches. 2 of the light switches are 3 way switches and each control an outlet. The other light switch is a regular switch that I suppose controls a ceiling fan, but it doesn't work. The remaining 2 outlets are always hot. I just bought the house and painted so I know there's nothing else hidden.

The only place I see a red wire is on the 3 way switch and the other 3 way across the room.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:34 PM   #14
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Wiring Switched Outlet


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In the living room I have 4 outlets and 3 light switches. 2 of the light switches are 3 way switches and each control an outlet. The other light switch is a regular switch that I suppose controls a ceiling fan, but it doesn't work. The remaining 2 outlets are always hot. I just bought the house and painted so I know there's nothing else hidden.

The only place I see a red wire is on the 3 way switch and the other 3 way across the room.
It's gotta go somewhere... ceiling box? basement? attic?
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Old 07-02-2011, 10:41 AM   #15
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Wiring Switched Outlet


I checked the basement and didn't see anything. I did see the wiring for the outlet I wanted to make switched though. I may splice into another nearby line and just make the bottom outlet hot all the time. What's the best/safest wire to use? 14/2 and not use the other connections in it?

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