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bobrien1775
Switchable Outlets

While swapping out electrical outlets I replaced two that were tied to switches and must have omitted a step because I can't get the switch to work with either outlet. Both outlets on each are live, but I'd like to hook them back up to the switch. I used replacement outlets that were similar to the ones I replaced. Did I miss something? White to silver, black to ****, ground to ground???

Re: Switchable Outlets

Did you break the brass tab off between the "hot" screws? If not they both stay on.

One half of the receptacle should be connected to the constant "hot". The other goes thru the switch.

bobrien1775
Re: Switchable Outlets
The Semi-Retired Electric wrote:

Did you break the brass tab off between the "hot" screws? If not they both stay on.

One half of the receptacle should be connected to the constant "hot". The other goes thru the switch.

No I didn't. I tried to wire the new outlet identical to the old one, but missed that step. Good scoop. I'll check out YouTube to see if there are any videos showing this.

Re: Switchable Outlets

It's real easy, using a pair of long nose pliers, just work the little brass link a few times, between the two brass screws on the receptacle and it will break off.

Fencepost
Re: Switchable Outlets

Unless you've got a really strange setup, don't break off the tab on the neutral side.

Re: Switchable Outlets
Fencepost wrote:

Unless you've got a really strange setup, don't break off the tab on the neutral side.

Very true, that's why I said "between the BRASS screws".

Fencepost
Re: Switchable Outlets
The Semi-Retired Electric wrote:

Very true, that's why I said "between the BRASS screws".

I never go by the color of the screws; I always go by the width of the slot (wide is neutral; narrow is hot). I once found a brand new outlet that had the brass and silver screws swapped.

bobrien1775
Re: Switchable Outlets

Success! I pulled the outlet out of the box and checked my wiring. I cut the tab between the two brass screws and it works. I knew my wiring was correct, but learned something new. Thank you for your assistance.:)

Re: Switchable Outlets
bobrien1775 wrote:

Success! I pulled the outlet out of the box and checked my wiring. I cut the tab between the two brass screws and it works. I knew my wiring was correct, but learned something new. Thank you for your assistance.:)

Great glad it worked out!:)

function
Re: Switchable Outlets

So is it standard to only have the outlet be half switched? I am in the process of changing out my cloth wrapped romex to 12-2 w/g and want to make sure my one switched outlet is done right.
Looks like I need to buy even more 12/3 to go along with the switch loops I need to improve upon in my bathroom.

Re: Switchable Outlets
function wrote:

So is it standard to only have the outlet be half switched? I am in the process of changing out my cloth wrapped romex to 12-2 w/g and want to make sure my one switched outlet is done right.
Looks like I need to buy even more 12/3 to go along with the switch loops I need to improve upon in my bathroom.

I'ts fairly common in LR, BR, Sun Rooms, Dens etc. anyplace you would like to place a lamp and not have to turn on overhead lights, when entering a room.

PS: To stay within Code, be sure to have a neutral in every switch box, even if it's not being used. It allows devices like occupancy sensors to be used.

If you plan it properly, even three and four way switches can be wired with three wire romex and still do this. Just feed the power in one end of the 3w circuit and take the feed to the light(s) from the 3w switch on the other end.

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