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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    23

    Default 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???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    623

    Default 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.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Switchable Outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by The Semi-Retired Electric View Post
    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.
    Last edited by bobrien1775; 01-23-2013 at 01:55 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    623

    Default 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.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,365

    Default Re: Switchable Outlets

    Unless you've got a really strange setup, don't break off the tab on the neutral side.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    623

    Default Re: Switchable Outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencepost View Post
    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".
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,365

    Default Re: Switchable Outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by The Semi-Retired Electric View Post
    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.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    23

    Default 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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    623

    Default Re: Switchable Outlets

    Quote Originally Posted by bobrien1775 View Post
    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!
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    236

    Default 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.

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