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.
How a Switched Outlet Works
Electrical Question: I have a problem with a duplex receptacle where the upper plug does not have power but the lower half does.
- I took the cover off and found this:
- On the BRASS screws on the right side, a BLACK wire comes to the upper brass screw, and a RED wire comes to the lower brass screw.
- On the neutral side there is one WHITE wire being used to span the gap between the 2 silver colored screws and the little brass tab has been broken off between them?
- The lower plug in still works, so do I simply replace the plug making sure to wire it the same way?
- It has been working for years this way and just stopped today.
- I am not sure though if the brass tab has been broken on the brass screw side where the RED and BLACK wires feed?
This electrical question came from Ron, in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, Canada.
Thanks for your electrical question Ron.
How to Wire a Half Hot Outlet and Switched Outlet
Application: 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 Outlets that are Controlled by a Wall Switch
- When half of an outlet does not appear to be working it may be because half of the outlet is controlled by a wall switch.
- Half hot or switched outlets are commonly found in bedrooms, living rooms, and other areas of the home where night stand lights or floor lamps are used.
- The wiring method that has been described in this question describes how a switch controlled outlet is wired, so all that is needed now is to find out where the controlling wall switch is located.
- Keep in mind that in large rooms there may be more that one switch that controls the switched outlet.
More about Wiring Half Hot Switched Outlets
Step-By-Step Procedure that must be performed for Switch wed Outlets to Function. One very important element can be easily overlooked as you will see in these pictures.
How to Wire A Switched Outlet
Electrical Outlets Question When wiring a half-hot outlet do I leave the tab on the neutral side connected? If not then do I need to run a neutral wire to both screws on that side?.
The following may also be helpful for you:
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
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.
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