03:26AM | 11/04/00
Member Since: 11/03/00
2 lifetime posts
I recently moved into a new home and discovered a mildly daunting problem: in the room that I designated as my office, all three electrical outlets are connected to a single switch at the entrance to the room.

Since I keep my computer running 24 hours a day (and I have a TV and VCR on another outlet in the same room), this means that if someone walks in and accidentally turns the switch off, everything shuts off. (And I HATE re-programming the VCR each time!)

I'm hoping that re-wiring the outlets so that they remain always "hot" is an easy process. Can anyone please walk me through the steps? Thanks!


08:07AM | 11/04/00
Member Since: 07/21/00
76 lifetime posts
It can be as easy as removing the switch and wire-nutting the two wires together attached to the switch. Then putting a solid cover over the box. Is the overhead light on a different switch or do you even have an overhead light in the room?
Concerning the receptacles, are they totally switched or does only half of the receptacle switch and the other half always stay hot? This is a common way of switching receptacles so you have one that can be for a lamp and one that is always hot for other devices all in the same outlet. If this is the case i would suggest not changing the switch and using a good surge protector at the hot end of the receptacle to plug in devices. Give me a little more detail and i can be more specific if you still need help.


02:52PM | 11/04/00
Member Since: 11/03/00
2 lifetime posts
There are actually three outlets in the rooms, and all are controlled by the single switch. (There is no overhead light.)

And I've already checked -- unfortunately, every one of the outlets, top and bottom, works off the single switch.

I would like to keep the "third" outlet connected to the switch in order to control a lamp in the room. The other two outlets (two separate outlets elsewhere in the room) are at issue -- with my computer, monitor, TV and VCR plugged in to them -- and I'd like to keep them hot full-time.

Thank you for your assistance!


05:34AM | 11/06/00
Member Since: 09/14/00
5 lifetime posts
Your going to have to look in the electrical boxes that the switch and the outles are contained. First turn the breaker off that is supplying power to the room. Then unscrew the outlets and look into the boxes.

There might be some wires in these that are capped off with wire nuts. The outlets might have once been wired as electricbill said(top recpt switched, bottom always on, or vice versa). If you see wires in there you will need to check all of them for power. If you find live wires you might be in luck and won't have to run any new cable.

Also you need to look behind the switch. You probably have one live set of wires coming into the switch box, and one or more set going to the outlets. If you have more than one set going to outlets, they you might also be in luck. You would have to figure out where these wires go and wire the ones you want switched to the switch and the others directly to the power wires.

In any case, you can probably set up your room to have all the outlets always on. This would mean that your light switch would no longer do anything, and you would have no switched lights in the room. I don't believe this situation is up to code(I believe you need a light switch at the entrance to every room, so you don't fumble around in the dark), but If you can live with it, you'll probably be OK until you sell your house.

I have a room like this. I bought my house last year and the home inspector didn't say anything, nor did the electrical inspector when he was reviewing some work I had done. I just keep a floor lamp near the entrance, though.

Tell us what's behind those outlets and switches and we might be able to figure out what the wiring is in your walls.


08:48PM | 02/11/16
I have a two-switch thing by my front door that has a switch to my porch light and a switch to the outlet beside it. The house was built in the 50's and has no overhead light so I'm sure this was for a table lamp so you could switch it on and off easily. I have just recently replaced the switches in every room of the house except this one. I would like to change this switch to only one and disconnect the outlet completely because sometimes people switch this off when they leave and I don't realize it. The others were easy because I just put the wires back the exact same way they were. I've tried and failed to switch this to one light switch. There is a black wire on the left and on the right there is a black on top and a red on bottom. Can anyone explain to me how I can change this to a single light switch? I'm just starting electrical projects and don't understand a lot of the terms used in posts I've looked up. Thanks!


06:19AM | 02/12/16
Member Since: 07/22/04
642 lifetime posts
You have one feed wire and two outgoing wires. Find the outgoing that runs to the outlet and connect it directly to the feed along with a short piece of wire and connect these three with a wire nut. Then connect the end of the new wire to one side of the switch. Then outgoing to the light goes to the other side of the switch.
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