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Hi! I am Mark Donovan from homeadditionplus.com and today, I am going to show how to wire a half switched outlet. One warning before we begin, make sure you turn power off at the circuit panel and check it at the outlet or switch boxes to make sure that indeed they are off before beginning any electrical work in your home.
For this specific type of a wiring application, we have power coming in the base of the outlet box and then fitting the power up to the switch and then back to the outlet or at least for the portion of the outlet that is going to be switched. The bottom part of the outlet will have power coming directly to it so it is always active.
For a 15-amp circuit, I am using Romex wire. This is a 14-2 wire. It contains a white, which is the neutral, a black which is for your hot and then a bare copper wire which is for your ground. In a 20-amp service, you would use a 12-2 Romex type wire; same wires but thicker gage for supplying more current to the lamp. In order for us to have a half switched outlet, we need to cut with a pair of dikes the brass plate that connects the two knots together here. You just basically use your dikes and snip this out. Now that we have snipped the piece of metal between the two knots on the brass side of the outlet fixture, we can then power the bottom half of the outlet to always be on and the top part of the outlet to be switched on or off. To wire the outlet itself, we have taken the power coming in from the base and the switch cable coming in from the top and first of all, we have connected the two bare copper wires together, twisted them together and attached them to the green knot for the ground. We have also taken the white wire coming from the service panel from the base part of the box and we have patched that as a neutral to the silver knots on the outlet.
On the left hand side of the outlet where we cut the spacer bar in between the two outlets, we have taken the black wire from the service panel and the black wire at the switch and a pigtail of black wire and twisted them together with a wire knot. The pigtail wire connects to the bottom portion of the outlet on this knot such as this outlet portion can always be fit. And then we have taken the white wire here which comes from the switch unit and attach it to the top portion of the outlet on the brass knot. Notice, we have a piece of black tape here. This is to indicate this is a hot wire. You want to do this on both the outlet side and the switch side.
The switch side of the circuit is fairly easy. The one set of wires coming in, we have the bare copper wire connecting to the green knot on the single pole switch. And on the opposite side, we have the black wire attached to the top knot and the white wire attached to the bottom knot, again, this piece of black tape to indicate that this is hot. When we turn the switch on, we are basically connecting the two wires together inside such that power comes through this black wire down through this white wire and over to the brass knot on the outlet itself. So this has been turned on and active. So we will put these all back together and we will test to see if the switch is now a half switched configuration.
So we will do a test of our half switched outlet. You will notice here we have the wire plugged into the light up at the top portion of the switch and it turns on and off. If we put the light plugged into the bottom half, you will notice that regardless of what we do with the switch it is always on. So that is it; very simple to do.
If you have any other home improvement questions, visit us at homeadditionplus.com today.