just something interesting....

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  #1  
Old 09-27-05, 04:36 PM
myvalk
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just something interesting....

not a question but something i found that i thought was .... well .. interesting.

my son bought an old house and called me because he said half of the outlets werent working.
well i thought he meant half the quantity, but it really was half...the upper half.
to make a long story short, whoever wired this house, split the upper and lower duplex recepticles from each other, and had the upper ones operated by the wall switch, so lamps could be used , and the bottoms always live so clocks and radios and such can be used.
never saw that before..pretty...well pretty time consuming hahahaaa
 
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  #2  
Old 09-27-05, 05:12 PM
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This is common. More common years ago, but still done that way today in some cases. With this setup your son could change it so that any combination of individual receptacles (including none at all) is switched.
 

Last edited by racraft; 09-27-05 at 05:25 PM.
  #3  
Old 09-27-05, 05:23 PM
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This is extremely common, even for houses wired yesterday. Code requires a switched receptacle or light in each room, and it's cheaper to give you the switched receptacle. Also, the room looks cleaner without a ceiling fixture, people usually shop for homes during the day, and nobody notices the lack of a ceiling fixture until after they move in.

Builders don't spend a dime if it doesn't help sell the house.
 
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Old 09-27-05, 06:26 PM
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Interesting...lol...I thought I was the only one who had a living room with switched recepticals.
I had my computer modem plugged into it, and the kids complained they couldent get on line after they got home from school...then when I got home (it was dark), I had no problem getting online.
So is there a easy way to leave some of the outlets switched, and some of them not.
I have no light fixtures in my living room, so I need a few for lights.
 
  #5  
Old 09-27-05, 06:55 PM
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If you have exactly the same situation described here (i.e., half of every receptacle in the room switched and half not), then go buy a new duplex receptacle for each one that you would prefer be unswitched. Then shut off the breaker, and carefully pull the old receptacle out of the box. Carefully record the wiring. Then remove the wire or wires from the brass screw on the switched side of the receptacle. If there is only one, cap it off. If there are two, connect them together with a wire nut. Then remove all the other wires from the old receptacle and attach them to the same positions on the new receptacle. This receptacle will then be fully unswitched. By code, you must leave at least one of them switched.
 
  #6  
Old 09-28-05, 04:39 AM
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Yes, my setup is exactly the same as described above.
Ok donít tell my wife, I am going to impress her this weekend with my knowledge.

If I have understand correctly, I have 2 circuit paths here, one like normal, un-switched, with outlets either in series, or pigtailed, and the other circuit path that either starts at the switch, giving me one wire at each outlet for the switched side, or ends at the switch, giving me 2 wires on the switched side..correct?

Ok I know this is coming, so I will ask now..
When my wife finds out I have this knowledge she will then escort me to a big box store for recessed lights for the living room.
If I jump out a few of these outlets, is it acceptable as far as code and safety to do the following:
Instead of simply jumping out the switched side, take the switched wire from the outlet box to the attic, and back down to the outlet circuit, in essence removing an outlet from the switched circuit and replacing it with a light?
 
  #7  
Old 09-28-05, 05:53 AM
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Yes, adding a light that is switched is acceptable. What you describe is one way to do it. However, consider load on the circuit. The circuit size (15 or 20 amp) and the existing load (TV, other lights, occasional vacuum cleaner, etc.) may prevent you from adding more than a light or two.

One other caution, if you ever want a dimmer switch for these lights, you will have to make all the receptacles unswitched. It is against code to have a dimmer on a receptacle, not to mention that you risk damaging whatever is plugged into that dimmered receptacle.

Before you proceed, determine how many lights you want to add (determine the total bulb wattage), and then decide if the exiting circuit can handle the load. If it cannot, consider adding a new circuit, or at least attaching to a less loaded circuit. While you are doing this work
 
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