Switch controlled outlets


Old 09-01-02, 06:50 PM
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Switch controlled outlets

In most of the rooms in my house, a wall switch controls the top plug of all the outlets and the bottom plug is always hot or on. Today I replaced an outlet where the top plug was damaged. I was careful to replace the wires exactly as they were connected to the old outlet. Upon restoring power to the room, I found that the top plugs are always on just as the bottoms are. The switch has no effect on the outlets. What went wrong?
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Old 09-01-02, 07:01 PM
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The receptacle has a tab on both sides of the device that when broken seperate the functionallity of the top outlet and the bottom. Turn the power off, remove the recept and twist/break the tab on both sides (I'm assuming you have four wires conencted to the recept., two on bottom and two on top) with a screw driver.
Old 09-01-02, 07:54 PM
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Dont break the tab on the white side. Break the tab on the black (hot) side only, these outlets are most likley wired with 14/3 romex you will need the neutral to be continous.
Old 09-01-02, 07:57 PM
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Although HandyRon's advice is correct in some situations, it is a more common situation to break out the tab on the brass-screw side of the receptacle only. If one single-pole breaker turns off power to both halves of the duplex receptacle, then do not break out the tab on the silver screw side. If you still have the old receptacle, examine it carefully as a reference. Make the new receptacle match the tabs on the old receptacle.
Old 09-02-02, 06:49 AM
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Your advice was right on. I broke the tab on the hot side only. The switch now works as before. Thanks very much to everyone who responded!!
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