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Old 05-05-2006, 04:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Stupid electrical tricks.. - wiring switched receptacle with one outlet always hot.

In my new shop I have an exhaust fan that plugs into a standard 2 outlet receptacle that is controlled by a switch.

Both outlets are only hot when the switch is on.

Can I rewire one plug so that I have one outlet hot all the time and have the other outlet switched??

And if it can be done, how could I do this? Having one always hot will allow me to keep the radio where it is now.
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Old 05-05-2006, 06:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes but you'd have to run a section of new wire from another sorce(an outlet or the panel) to the outlet.
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Old 05-05-2006, 06:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes you can. I have it in my garage for the garage door opener/lights. One outlet is switched for my flourescent lights and the other is constant-hot for the opener. I ran two hot wires up to the outlet, one leads to the switch and the other is from the box. On the receptacle itself, there's a metal strip that connects both hot screw terminals- that strip needs to be cut to make each outlet independant.
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Old 05-05-2006, 07:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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you need power driectly to the outlet first

then connect white to the outlet, leaving the metal strip between the terminals connected on that side

then run 2 wires to a 2-pole switch (usually romex)

then pigtail the black of the 2-wire to the black from the power supply with a jumper to one terminal you want always hot on the outlet.

break the metal connector on the black side of the outlet

hook the white wire of the 2-wire from the switch to the other terminal on teh black side of the outlet.

now one outlet is always hot, the other is switched. Its all about those metal tabs between the terminals, but only break the one side

Last edited by Pavemen; 05-05-2006 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 05-05-2006, 07:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavemen
then run 2 wires to a 2-pole switch (usually romex)

then pigtail the black of the 2-wire to the black from the power supply with a jumper to one terminal you want always hot on the outlet.

break the metal connector on the black side of the outlet

hook the white wire of the 2-wire from the switch to the other terminal on teh black side of the outlet.
NOTE: The WHITE wire is NEUTRAL!!! If you use the white wire to provide power from the switch back to the outlet, you must wrap each end with BLACK tape to signify that it is a HOT wire, not a neutral.

PS.....never trust wire colors. Always verify with a meter as to which wire is hot, neutral and ground. You never know when someone cut some corners and didn't use the correct wire color or forgot to tape the wire.
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Old 05-05-2006, 09:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Eric, are you a electrician if so who do you work for?
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Old 05-05-2006, 09:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Run no wire.......
Rewire exististing wiring to be constant hot, add a second outlet at that location and install a X10 recept. and an X10 transmiter at the switch location.......
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Old 05-05-2006, 12:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric
NOTE: The WHITE wire is NEUTRAL!!! If you use the white wire to provide power from the switch back to the outlet, you must wrap each end with BLACK tape to signify that it is a HOT wire, not a neutral.

PS.....never trust wire colors. Always verify with a meter as to which wire is hot, neutral and ground. You never know when someone cut some corners and didn't use the correct wire color or forgot to tape the wire.
when you can tell me where to find romex with both conductors in black insulation, let me know. it would make things easier for me.

everyroom in my house has switched outlets and all use the method I posted (allowed by code at least back when my house was built) and none of the whites are marked/wrapped to indicate hot. simply looking at the wiring in the box should show you that something it up
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Old 05-05-2006, 08:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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just put the black tape on the end, or mark it with permentent marker, thats very common..
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Old 05-06-2006, 05:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavemen
when you can tell me where to find romex with both conductors in black insulation, let me know. it would make things easier for me.

everyroom in my house has switched outlets and all use the method I posted (allowed by code at least back when my house was built) and none of the whites are marked/wrapped to indicate hot. simply looking at the wiring in the box should show you that something it up
Code nowadays dictates that using white as a hot must be marked with black or it won't pass inspection. I guess it's possible that the code didn't exist when your house was built, or your electrician was just lazy. I've found all sorts of weird stuff in my house (old house where knob and tube wiring was replaced with romex at some point years ago) Even with the hatchet rewire job I've found, the electrician managed to mark the whites that were hot.

Haven't seen 12/2 Romex with two blacks, but you could use some 12/3 and use the black and red or you could run two single black conductors in flex conduit, but that sure seems like too much trouble/expense when a sharpie will do the job adequately...
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Old 05-06-2006, 08:14 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cebby
Code nowadays dictates that using white as a hot must be marked with black or it won't pass inspection. I guess it's possible that the code didn't exist when your house was built, or your electrician was just lazy. I've found all sorts of weird stuff in my house (old house where knob and tube wiring was replaced with romex at some point years ago) Even with the hatchet rewire job I've found, the electrician managed to mark the whites that were hot.

Haven't seen 12/2 Romex with two blacks, but you could use some 12/3 and use the black and red or you could run two single black conductors in flex conduit, but that sure seems like too much trouble/expense when a sharpie will do the job adequately...
my house is old, so i expect it to not be marked. however, if you are electrically inclined enough to attack any electrical project you should easily recognize that a white wire on that side of the outlet means its hot (or at least something it out of the ordinary)

If not, you are not capcable of doing the electrical work and will probably fry yoruself even with a standard setup.
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Old 05-06-2006, 09:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
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What I do when using a 14/2 or 12/2 as a switch loop is use the white wire as the incoming power then the black wire as the outgoing power. That way when you look in the fixture or outlet that the switch controls you have a white neutral and a black hot as it should be. The only place you see something out of the ordinary is in the switch box, you will see a black on one screw and a white on the other but as stated anyone with electrical knowledge will know that the white is hot when they see it on the switch.

I'm not a huge fan of this though. Say you wire your bathroom wall light this way and 5 years later you want to add an exhaust fan. Then instead of just removing old switch box and cutting in a 2gg and running a 14/2 up to the fan you have to find a neutral somewhere...
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