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Kevin
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the process of replacing all the switches and outlets in my home and I ran across a scenario that appears it was originally setup one way and then turned into something else.

Inside the switch I have 3 sets of wires coming in (14/2, 14/2, 14/3). The first 14/2 is the incoming power from an outlet. The second 14/2 set is outgoing power to a ceiling fan/light, and the 14/3 cable is running out to an outlet (I would assume at some point that outlet was controlled by the switch but they decided at some point of time to have it control the ceiling instead).

At the light switch, the 3 white wires are tied together as you would expect. Same with the ground (plus pigtailed to the switch). This is where I'm trying to determine if its OK and if the practice is OK. The incoming black wire is tied to the outgoing black wire plus the red wire and pigtailed to the brass screw on the switch (bottom screw). The remaining black wire is screwed to the switch (top screw) and ran up to the ceiling/fan.

Now at the outlet there's one set of 14/3 (incoming) and one set of 14/2 (outgoing). The two black wires are tied together and goes on its merry way. The white wires are pigtailed to the correct side of the outlet. The red wire is connected to the brass screw on the outlet. (The original outlet worked with/without the switch on both sockets and the tear away tab was not removed)

Regardless of the fact that the 14/3 cable is not needed in this case, is it a bad practice to just keep the wiring configuration the way it is or is it against any code with the way the red wire is being utilized?

Sorry if this seems like a trivial question but I just want to make sure I'm not turning heads if I keep the red wire being used as an always hot wire and tied into the outlet.

In theory it works but to me it just doesn't seem it would be ok in a professionals eye. I was thinking of maybe just capping off both ends of the red wire and pigtail the black wire to the outlet instead. What would be the correct procedure if I just want to make sure its right? Thank you!
 

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Licensed electrician
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13,379 Posts
Sounds fine the way it is. The switched function has been removed from the receptacle.
 
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Super Moderator
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20,886 Posts
The receptacle that the red wire goes was probably at one time only half switched. They changed the function to switch the ceiling light instead and made the receptacle always hot.

It is fine as is.
 
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