DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum (
-   Electrical and Wiring (
-   -   Single switch to receptacle (

jeff7 01-22-2007 03:11 PM

Single switch to receptacle
I have a single switch on the wall that controls a receptacle. I replaced the receptacle and switch and now the switch does not work. Both of the outlets on the receptacle work. I checked them and they are set up correct. If you are looking at the exterior of the outlet, the red wire is on the top right and the black is on the bottom right. One white wire is on the top left and the other is on the bottom left.

I have tried all combinations with a single pole switch and 3 way switch. Does anyone have some information on what I must be missing or how I have it set up wrong?? That would be a big help since I am not frustrated at usually such an easy fix.

petey_racer 01-22-2007 05:34 PM

Ooo! Ooo! I know! :D

There is a little tab between the gold screws on the receptacle. This tab MUST be broken off on ANY half switched receptacle.
With the tab in place the constant hot black is backfeeding the switched red so the switch is void.

Parrothead 01-22-2007 05:35 PM

It sounds like you have one hot wire, one switched wire and one neutral. Either the black or the red is from the switch, you'd need a tester to see which one.

Take out the new outlet and look on the side of it. There is a little tab on the side that connects the top and bottom receptacle, and that must be cut off for the switch to work if you are only switching half of the outlet. Only cut off the hot (brass-colored) side, not the neutral(silver-colored) side. then reconnect the three wires, black on one hot screw, red on the other, and white on the neutral side. Then you will have one part of your receptacle hot all the time and one switched

jeff7 01-22-2007 06:36 PM

I pulled off the tap and still no action from the switch. Do I need a three way switch or single?? Currently I have the Black on the top right and the red on the bottom right of the receptacle. Then I have a white on both the top and the bottom left. (this is if you are looking at the front of the receptacle). I have tried red on top and black on bottom and red on bottom and black on top on the single switch. They receptacle works great on btoh outlets but not on the switch.

Parrot - I have 4 wires not three. 2 whites , a red and black.

Let me know if you have any other suggestions. Thanks

petey_racer 01-22-2007 08:28 PM

There are more wires spliced in the back of the box. You cannot have just what you describe.

Are there other receptacles with red and black wires attached? All it takes is one with both red and black and the tab still in place to keep them ALL on.
If there is just black and white wires the tab should likely stay in place.

glennjanie 01-23-2007 01:18 PM

Hey Jeff:
You need a single switch with the black wire on the bottom and the red on top. If there is a white wire in that box, make sure it just passes right on through (if there are 2 whites, connect them together). The black and a white are the incomming power. The red and a white (possibly) are power going out to the receptacle.
At the receptacle you need the red on top, black on bottom and the 2 whites tied to the silver screw side (this gives you a common, common). Remove the tab on the gold side only. Now you should have a bottom receptacle that works all the time and a top one that can be turned off by the switch.
There are other ways to do this but this may be worth a try. If this plan doesn't work, I recommend that you take both the receptacle and switch apart, pull the wires straight out (untangled), take pictures of both boxes and listen to Pety Racer. He has a lot of experience at this and knows what he's talking about.

tdavis 02-18-2007 12:09 AM

Really tough problem, easy fix
sometimes in the switch box they ran a jumper from the hot (black) to one side of the switch and the red wire to the other side of the switch. (usually it has to do with the little brass tab though)


JoeD 02-18-2007 09:01 AM

There are probably other receptacles that were also half switched. The tab needs to removed on all of them. All the receptacles with a red wire attached are probably switched and need the tab broken.

diane1717 09-17-2012 08:53 PM

I replaced my switch that goes to a plug outlet and now it doesnot control outlet what did I do wrong

nealtw 09-17-2012 09:36 PM

Did you make sure you put the wire in same place on the new switch?

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:19 AM.