Making an outlet switched


Old 10-17-04, 12:54 PM
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Red face Making an outlet switched

I just moved into an apartment with no ceiling lights in the bedrooms and the switched outlets are on the opposite side of the room from the switch. There are four or five outlets in the room. Can I make one of the other outlets switched? I remember something about just breaking a tab on the outlet to make it switched, but am not sure. Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-17-04, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,599
Breaking the tab is only done if you want 1/2 the receptacle switched. You can make the whole receptacle switched which requires leaving the tab on.
In order to switch a currently unswitched receptacle you will need to run a cable form the recptacle to the location of the switch.
Old 10-17-04, 01:11 PM
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So, all the receptacles aren't in series? Are there two sources of power: one for the switch and switched receptacle and another power source to the rest of the unswitched receptacles?
Is the scenario below correct?

power-switch-switched receptacle

power-unswitched receptacle-unswitched receptacle-unswitched receptacle
Old 10-17-04, 03:47 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
It might be possible to make an unswitched receptacle switched, but probably not. A switched receptacle has a switched hot running to it. An unswitched receptacle has a unswitched hot running to it. A split-wired receptacle has one of each.

The outlets probably are wired in a line, but most electricians would not waste the wire running a switched hot any farther than the last switched receptacle. However, it's possible that the switched hot has to run past the unswitched receptacles to get to the switched ones.

Bottom line: there's no way of knowing without looking. Open up every receptacle box in the room, and the switched box, and see what wires are there.
Old 10-17-04, 04:55 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,599
All the receptacles might be in series. If one breaker turn them all off then they are at least on the same circuit. If the currently switched receptacle is one of them then you might be able to easily make all of them switched by changing some wires around

HOWEVER You said this is an apartment. You are not allowed to be altering the wiring.

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