Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>Bedroom light switch wired into ALL outlets in the room
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Bedroom light switch wired into ALL outlets in the room

The contractor who built the house in the 1980's wired all the bedrooms so the light switch on the wall as you enter the room controls all of the outlets in the room--they are either all on or all off, instead of having all the outlets on all of the time, with one half of one the duplex outlets wired into the wall switch (there are no overhead lights/fans in the bedrooms).  How can this be fixed?  I'm really tired of groping for a lamp switch in the dark when I enter the room.  Can't ever turn the wall switch off, unless I want to ditch the clock radio and switch to a wind up alarm clock.

Background:  The general contractor who built the house I bought over 30 years ago (color me a young, naive first-time buyer back then, more interested in property suited to keep horses than a model home), built it out of cannabalized parts (hodgepodge of wall plate, outlet cover and doorknob styles and colors, antique well pressure tank, etc.), argued with the electrician over wiring to code (too expensive in contractor's opinion) and ended up doing most of the electrical himself (where were the code inspectors in rural VA back then?).   Over the years, I've gotten the electrical up to code with the help of licensed electricians as I discovered the problems (like--if the two hall switches weren't set in the right on/off combination, the doorbell wouldn't work; if you turned off the overhead light in the kitchen with one of the two 3-way wall switches, the stove exhaust fan light would come on when the overhead light went out; why two walls of outlets in the living room wouldn't work (gee, helps if there are wires there in the first place, not just an outlet covering a hole in the wall); everything in the two bathrooms--lights, outlets, heaters, ventilation fans--was wired into one circuit...just to mention a few of the problems).  And I won't even go into the pumbing and insulation fiaskos (on an exterior wall, be sure to stuff the insulation between the water pipes and the interior drywall, to make sure they freeze, or other problems...)  

Re: Bedroom light switch wired into ALL outlets in the room

 Hello, my name is jeremy and I have been an electrician for 20 years. A half hot receptacle needs an extra wire run to it from the switch. Usually, the extra wire is included in the romex that runs from box to box up to the intended location and is red, then romex without the extra wire continues the circuit. Based on the description, your worst case scenario is that he did not use the(more expensive) romex with the extra wire which would deny you the ability to individually switch anything without rewiring to some extent, though an electrician should be able to run a 14/2 romex in the attic, drop it down the wall to the switch and whichever outlet you would like and solve the issue that way. The type of connection error it would take to create this problem seems ridiculous, but if it was done by a general contractor without respect for the trade then maybe. So i would have the electrician check the switch makeup first, just in case.

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