I have an AC wall socket, currently controlled by a wall switch. I
would like to change that outlet, so the one of the plugs is always
ON. The other plug would remaqin as is, ergo controlled by the wall
switch. I purchased a prior house with that configuartion for one
socket. Alas I never looked to see how that "split" outlet
configuration was implemented.
Can one inform me, how to make this change? Thanks
On Thursday, December 22, 2016 at 2:57:48 PM UTC-5, Dave C wrote:
It depends on how it it wired. If the hot wire comes to the receptacle box,
and then goes to the switch, it is fairly easy. You can cut the tab between
the upper and lower socket and attach a hot wire to one socket and the
switched to the other.
If the hot goes to the switch box first and then to the receptacle, you'll
need to pull an always-hot wire to the receptacle box.
This image shows the easy set-up because the source hot is available at the
This is how you require the receptacle after breaking the tab:
This shows the source hot at the switch meaning you have no always-hot wire at the receptacle. This will require more than just a simple rewireing inside
the receptacle box. You'll need to pull a new wire to get power directly to
That is often done with a 3 wire cable from the switch box to the receptacle.
On Thu, 22 Dec 2016 17:20:45 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03
First thing that needs to be determined is if there is a live wire
at the outlet with the switch turned off. If so, you have a "drop
switch" configuration and it is easy. It will have the black wire of
the "feed" wire-nutted to the wire to the switch, and the return from
the switch on the "gold" screw of the outlet, with the white wire of
the "feed" on the silver screw. By removing the "link" between the 2
gold screws and adding a wire to the black wirenut connection and
connecting it to the gold screw of the desired "always live" side of
the outlet, you have made one live and one switched.
If there is no live wire with the switch you have a "drop outlet"
configuration where the power comes throughthe box where the switch is
to the outlet - which is more involved to modify. Easiest way is to
replace the wite from the switch to the outlet with a 3 wire cable in
place of the 2 - with the black gouing straight through to the "always
on" and the red running from the controlled side of the switch to the
switched side. The black wire needs to be wirenutted through with a
pigtail to supply power to the switch.
Not easy to do in a finished wall without opening up the drywall or
On Thu, 22 Dec 2016 14:51:57 -0600, Gordon Shumway
I asked because I did not know how to do a specific home wiring task.
I knew the solution was simple, well within my capabilities -your
snide comment ignored.
BTW: I am a degreed electrical engineer - though my area of
knowledge/ experience is in designing Electronic Warfare microwave
systems. You can ask me how to design/build a 70 dB DR DLVA 15 MHz
video BW device and I will assist you - as used in ESM RWR receivers
On Fri, 23 Dec 2016 17:34:27 -0600, Gordon Shumway
Actually I graduated in the top 20% of an Ivy league University class,
as a EE. I was Director of Engineering at age 37, for a large defense
company. I retired at age 45, 23 years ago because I could !!
I merely asked for advise! Clearly I was not soliciting your USELESS
/Snide commentary !! I was fortunte, that other responders WERE
Helpful, with sage advise that I implimented successfully.
Oddly, as I have followed this site for many years, I may have found
your prior posts helpful. Too bad you find the need to .....
BTW: If you think it is Obvious, to cut the side connection, on the AC
outlet - I also know that you are are a LIAR.
On Saturday, December 24, 2016 at 3:01:10 PM UTC-5, Dave C wrote:
Aside from being a-hole, Gordo is apparently also under the mistaken assumption
that the term "Electrical Engineering" somehow equates to Electrician. That
assumption is something that I have experienced quite often over the years.
I have a BSEE so I can state with 100% certainty that "residential house
wiring" was not part of the EE curriculum, at least not back in the mid-80's.
If an EE knows how to wire a split switched receptacle, it is something (s)he
learned from a source unrelated to the degree they earned - unless perhaps it
was an elective. It sure wasn't an elective at RIT back when I attended.
On Sat, 24 Dec 2016 18:00:52 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03
Kinda like a mechanical engineer knowing how to change a tire. I've
known some who couldn't figure out how to change a refill in a
retractable ball-point pen - but they could design pretty intricate
On Sunday, December 25, 2016 at 4:46:09 PM UTC-5, email@example.com wrote:
I doubt you have an EE degree, but if you do, are you telling us that
where you got it, they had to instruct you on every single possible thing
you will ever see? Where I got my degree, they taught us to think like
an engineer, use electrical principles from Ohms Law to Maxwell's equations
and apply them to the real world. It takes nothing more than the most
basic understanding of electricity to be able to figure out how to wire
a split-receptacle, something I already knew before I entered high school,
let alone college. And no, no one had to specifically instruct me in how
it worked. I saw one, figured it out in maybe a minute.
If you graduated from there, they should be embarrassed.
I disagree. When I first learned about electricity and Ohm's Law, my
instructor used the 'plumbing analogy' and mentioned that it is not
exactly correct but 'good enough for most electrical work'. If you
wanted to go into physics or electronics it has many failures.
For one thing, current (measured in amps) does *not* flow through a
conductor even though almost all electrical people will insist that it
does. Current is the *rate* at which *charge* flows and the rate
doesn't *go* anywhere. The number of charge *carriers* (usually, but
not always electrons) past a certain point (or cross sectional area)
can be counted and multiplied by the amount of charge each carries, to
get the current.
Understanding Ohm's Law and/or Maxwell's equations may be a
prerequisite for your chosen profession, but that doesn't mean everyone
who knows them must also know how to wire household switches. There are
other endeavors within the electricity fields than construction work.
You would be completely bamboozled by ECM gear and someone who learned
about it from the ground up (basic E & E) might assume, like you do,
that the things they learned apply to all other fields, but they don't.
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