Wiring a Switched or Half-Hot Outlet

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Wiring a Half Hot Switched Outlet: Question, I’m trying to wire my top outlet to be always hot and the bottom outlet to a switch.

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Wiring for a Half Hot Switched Outlet Wiring

Electrical Question: I’m trying to wire my top outlet to be always hot and the bottom outlet to a switch.

  • I’ve seen the write up for the half-hot outlet switched.
  • The outlet I have doesn’t have a tab that I can take off.
  • I also have two sets of power source as seen in the picture.
  • How should I wire this? Or do I need to buy a different outlet?
  • If there are two power sources, how will I need to wire it?

This electrical wiring question came from: JB, a Homeowner from Lakewood, Washington.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question JB.

Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Best if wired by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and electrical wiring.
Precaution: Identify the power source at the panel, turn it OFF and  Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional outlet wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Materials: Make sure to use materials of the same amperage and voltage rating as the electrical circuit.

Wiring a Half Hot Switched Outlet

How to Wire a Half Hot Switched Outlet so that a wall switch controls half of the receptacle outlet and the other half remains on all the time.

  • With the installation described in this question, you will need to purchase an outlet that has a removable tab or a provision for separating the top outlet from the bottom outlet.
  • As for having two power sources:
    • I believe you are referring to two sets of cables, one being the power in and the other is most likely the power out.
    • There  should only be one power source for a 120 volt circuit.

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