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Electrical Wire and Cable

Common Mistakes When Wiring a Switched Half-Hot Outlet

I replaced the switch and outlets in a bedroom, why don’t they work right? How to Wire a Half-Hot Switched Outlet and Avoid the Most Common Mistakes.

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How to Wire a Half-Hot Switched Outlet
Electrical Question #1: I replaced the switch and outlets in a bedroom, why don’t they work right?

I replaced the switch and all of the outlets in a bedroom; however, the switch now no longer turns the floor lamp on and off like it used to. I have double checked the wiring based on the diagram I found on your website and I can’t find a problem.

Any other ideas would be great.

This electrical question came from: Chris, a Homeowner from Quincy, Illinois.

Electrical Question #2: Why does my wall switch and outlet do not work right?

This electrical wiring question came from Ron in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Dave’s Reply:
Thank you for your electrical questions.

Wiring forĀ  a Half-Hot Switched Outlet

The Key to Wiring a Half Hot Outlet

Chris, the most often overlooked key to making a half-hot outlet work is to make sure to remove the bridge or tab that is the connection between the top receptacle and the bottom receptacle on the brass or power side of the outlet. With a typical half-hot switched outlet, if this bridge or tab is not removed then both the top and bottom receptacles will remain hot all the time and the switch will not have any affect.

The Key Mistake When Wiring a Half-Hot Outlet

The other most common mistake when wiring half-hot receptacle outlets is when the bridge or tab is removed on the silver or neutral side of the outlet. With typical wiring where there is only one neutral wire that is attached to the silver or neutral side of the outlet and the bridge or tab is removed this will prevent the connection from occurring between the top and bottom receptacle outlets and will prevent the switched receptacle outlet from working correctly as well.


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Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handy Women, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “Common Mistakes When Wiring a Switched Half-Hot Outlet”
  1. Ron Chadwick Pro Handyman says:

    Sir, As a retired California B-1 contractor for some years now. I’ve become a Handyman, OMG what is next lol. Your pages are the best I’ve had the pleasure to read, serious now, Pleasure. Keep helping the home owners to a safer and fun filled way to handle their projects.
    Ron Chadwick

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Ron,
    Thank you for your kind words. I enjoy helping others learn about home electrical wiring systems and electrical safety, and I am grateful that you approve.
    Thanks for the encouragement!