ask the electrician
Electrician Training Electrical Certification wiring recessed light fixtures Electrical Wiring Electrical Troubleshooting and Electrical Repairs wire outdoor light fixture Home Electrical Wiring Diagrams
wiring home generator and transfer switch wiring a 220 volt range cord outlet Wiring for GFCI Outlets Wiring Outlets and a Switched Outlet Wiring and Installing Ceiling Fans and Remote Controls wire dimmer switch wiring diagrams for switches wiring a dryer cord and 220 outlet circuit breaker panel
Electrical Wire and Cable

How to Convert a Switched Outlet to Non-Switched

How to Convert Switched Outlets to be Hot All the Time: The easiest way to convert a half-hot duplex receptacle or a switched outlet to be hot all the time is really not that difficult.

Home Electrical Wiring Video

How To Hook Up a Generator to the House Panel
Using a Circuit Breaker Interlock Kit
for Backup Power

NOTE: A List of All my Helpful Videos
Will Display at the End of This Video
So Keep Watching So I Can Help You Wire it Right!

Check out my YouTube Channel:
» AskTheElectrician «
and Subscribe!

Learn more about Home Electrical Wiring
with my online Video Course:
Basic Home Electrical Wiring by Example

Converting to a Non-Switched Outlet

[ad#block]Electrical Question: We are thinking of buying a house that has no ceiling fans in the bedrooms.

This electrical wiring question came from: JC, a Homeowner from Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Application: Rewiring 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.

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

Converting a Switched Outlets to be Hot All the Time

Rewiring a Switched Outlet to be Hot All The Time

More about Wiring Outlets


Wiring Electrical Outlets for the Home

Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.

How to Wire a Switch

Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1

Wiring Diagrams
Fully Explained Light Switch Wiring Diagrams. Detailed Electrical Wiring Diagrams and Pictures assist your Home Electrical Projects.

The following may also be helpful for you:

Dave's Guide to Home Electrical Wiring:

» You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes! «

Here's How to Do It:
Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book

Great for any Home Wiring Project.
  electrical wiring  

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
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

Learn more about Home Electrical Wiring
with my Online Video Course:
Basic Home Electrical Wiring by Example

Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!

The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.

Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!

The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..

The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.

More articles about Switched Outlet and Home Electrical Wiring:
« Previous Next »
Wiring a Kitchen Ceiling Light Fixture How to Wire a GFCI Switch and Light

FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

6 Responses to “How to Convert a Switched Outlet to Non-Switched”
  1. Paul says:

    Suppose you had 3 half switched receptacles in a row with a single switch, which I do. I want to convert the first and third receptacles to full hot and leave the middle receptacle as it is, so the switch still controls this receptacle. How do I bypass the first receptacle, do I just join the wires together coming from the switch leaving them free from the receptacle? Would I do the same in the third box?

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Paul,
    Each half hot switched receptacle will require a neutral wire, ground wire, non-switched hot wire, and a wire that is controlled by a switch. In your example of converting one or more receptacles within multiple half switched receptacles the process would include disconnecting from the receptacles the wire controlled by the switch, and replacing the connection with a lead wire from the non-switched hot wire.
    I hope this helps,

  3. Tom says:

    I have a totally switched two receptacle outlets that I would like to be either unswitched, or half switched. It only has 3 wires connected and there are no more wires in the box at the receptacle. It has a black wire and a white wire attached to the upper receptacle of the two, and it has a bare copper ground wire ground attached to a screw on the lower side of the unit. Is there a way to make this either totally unswitched or half switched without running additional wires?

  4. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Tom,
    In order to convert the switched outlet to be a half hot switched outlet the location of the power source must be identified which will help determine the electrical wiring method that will be required. To help you understand this process in detail please follow the link to the Wiring Diagrams section as described in the article above. In the wiring diagrams section you will see a listing for wiring half hot receptacle outlets.

  5. Colin says:

    Very much a newbie at wiring but have to start somewhere. I am trying to turn an unneeded light switch into an outlet but am struggling. The light switch is on our bathroom wall and control’s only a single light on the ceiling. We don’t need the light any more so I removed the light fixture from the ceiling and put caps on the exposed wires. The light switch itself on the wall I thought I would turn into an outlet. Popped the cover off, removed the switch and found I had only a black wire, a white wire and a ground to deal with. Excellent I thought. Usually I face a tangled mass of wires which I don’t understand but not this time. I can handle this one, I thought. So I hooked up the old wires to the appropriate terminal screws (the new outlet is a GFCI so I used the ones marked Line) put it all back together and ……….nada. No power to the outlet. Tried multiple times. Nothing. There is still power going to the wires (I checked) but the GFCI itself remains flatter than day old beer. What am I doing wrong? I know that anybody with any electrical knowledge would solve this one in a flash but sadly, I’m not there yet.
    Any help appreciated.

  6. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Colin, Typically the wiring for a standard light switch is nothing more than a looped power wire. So from what you have described the white wire in the switch box is not a neutral wire as needed for your new outlet. Back up at the old ceiling light, I would guess there was two sets of black and white and ground wires. If this is true then if these wires were spliced together, color to color, then you will have the necessary 120volt power for the new GFCI outlet. The only way to understand the circuit wiring for sure would be to use a voltage tester.
    I hope this helps you. Enjoy your new outlet!