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Switch Outlet Wiring Diagrams

Summary: This switched outlet electrical wiring diagram shows two scenarios of wiring for a typical half hot outlet that can be used to control a table or floor lamp.

Understanding Switched Outlet Wiring for Home Electrical Applications

The switched outlet wiring configurations show two different wiring scenarios which are most commonly used.

The wiring and connections will depend on where the power enters the circuit. The connections for a switched outlet also known as a Half Hot Plug.

The diagram shows the power entering into the circuit at the switch box location, then sending one power line for the outlet which is hot all the time and a switched leg for the top half of the outlet being used for a table lamp or a floor fixture


Switched Outlet Electrical Wiring Diagram #1

The Electrical Power Source Enters at the Switch

Outlet Wiring for a Table Lamp or a Floor Light Fixture

These electrical wiring diagrams show typical connections.

The diagram below shows the power entering the circuit at the grounded outlet box location, then sending power up to the switch and a switched leg back down to the outlet.

Notice that these outlets have the tab removed from the "hot" side or Brass side of the outlet which allows the top half of the plug to be controlled only from the switch while the bottom end of the outlet remains "hot" all the time. This is shown in the pictures below.

Switched Outlet Wiring Diagram #2 - Power Source Enters at the Outlet



Switched Outlet Wiring Variations

The switch I am replacing has two red wires plugged into the back and two black wires plugged into the one below. If I want to keep the same set up I can just connect the two red wires to the top brass screw and the two black wires to the bottom but must break the small brass tab between the screws not the plastic, correct? If I don't care to use the wall switch all I have to do is to cap off the red and connect one black wire to one brass screw and one to the other brass screw without removing the brass tab, correct?

From what you have described, I believe that you are correct.
The brass tab can be left in place if you no longer want half of the outlet to be controlled by the switch.

More About Wiring a Switched Outlet

  • Electrical Wiring for a Switch Outlet Combination
  • How to Install Electrical Outlet and Switch Combo Wiring – In most cases, the primary power source is shared between the switch and the outlet, either with a wire jumper or the bridge or tab that is located on the side of the combo switch and outlet.
  • Wiring a Combo Switch Outlet
  • How to Wire a Combo Switch Outlet: Wiring a Combo Switched Outlet or Half Hot Outlet, How to Convert a Switched Outlet.
  • Half Hot Switched Outlets Explained
  • How to Wire Half Hot Switched Outlets: The brass tab is a link between the top and bottom receptacles that allow them to be isolated from one another for applications such as a wall outlet that has one receptacle controlled by the wall switch while the other receptacle is hot all the time.
  • How To Wire Half Hot Receptacles
  • Wiring Diagrams for Half Hot Receptacles – A full set of wiring diagrams about how to wire half-hot and switched outlets.
  • Why is Only Half of the Outlet Working
  • How to Wire a Half Hot Outlet and Switched Outlet: I have a problem with a duplex receptacle where the upper plug does not have power but the lower half does.
  • Wiring a Plug to be Controled by a Switch
  • 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.

Learn more about Wiring a Switched Outlet


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