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Electrical Wire and Cable

Wiring a Plug to be Controlled by a Switch

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Wire Half-Hot Plugs and Switched Outlets: The outlets will need to be examined to identify the wiring that runs to the wall switch and then make the appropriate adjustment.

How to Wire Half-Hot Plugs and Switched Outlets

Electrical Question: How can I have the top plug to be switched and bottom to be live?

Any thoughts would help.

This electrical wiring question came from: Keith , a Homeowner from Racine, Wisconsin.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Keith.

Half-Hot Plugs and Switched Outlets

Application: Installing Wiring for a Half Hot Switched Outlet.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best Installed by a Electrical Contractor or Certified Electrician.
Tools Required: Specific to the scope of the work and the condition of the home and project. Electricians Tools, including Pouch of Hand Tools, Power Tools, Drill motor and Auger Drill Bits and Extension Cords, and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and install electrical wiring.
Precaution: Identify the circuit power source at the panel, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before installing wiring or working or making connections.
Notice: Installing additional outlet wiring should be done through the local building authority, according to applicable local and national electrical codes, with a permit, and have required inspections.

Wiring Half-Hot Plugs and Switched Outlets

More about Wiring Half Hot Outlets

Switched Outlet Wiring Diagram


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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “Wiring a Plug to be Controlled by a Switch”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Pat,
    To control a receptacle outlet from a switch take a 2-wire cable from the outlet to the switch. Create a splice at the outlet to feed the power leg out to the switch and back down to the outlet where the return wire is attached to the outlet. Please see the Wiring Diagrams section of the website for further assistance and visual drawings.

  2. Pat G says:

    How do you wire the source outlet only, to be switched with the remaining four outlets to remain hot all the time.
    I am not interested in splitting the outlet. Ty in advance.