Removing light switches, leaving sockets on all the time


Old 12-06-11, 03:54 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 2
Removing light switches, leaving sockets on all the time

Hi all. I'm buying a house that seems to have light switches (the standard kind) everywhere. Each room has an extra switch that controls a socket or two in the room.

I'd like to leave those sockets on all the time, and remove the existing light switches from the wall. I plan to pull off the old switch and eventually patch the wall and paint over it.

My question has to do with the wiring left behind. I'm assuming I just need to connect the two wires to create an "always on" situation for the sockets.

However, is there a safe or preferred method for doing this? Since i'm patching over the wall, I want to make sure the wire joining is as safe as I can reasonably make it.

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Old 12-06-11, 04:02 PM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 715
No Pro here, but I do believe it is against NEC to cover junction box's. You maybe able to remove the switch and "hard wire" the connections, but you can't patch over the box. You can put a blank plate over them.

Only other solution would be to run new wires, so it a continous run, no box inbetween.

If only half of the plug is controlled by the switch, the feed may be coming from the other half of the plug and the tab between the top and bottom has been broken off. If this is the case, you may just need to remove the wiring and replace the plug.
Old 12-06-11, 04:35 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 2
Thanks for the quick response. Good to know that it's against code.

I suppose an alternative might be to convert the two single switches into one double switch. They're basically one right above the other. So I could just pull the wires up to the new double switch on top, and patch over the hole beneath it. That way, no wires or boxes get hidden from view.

Would something like that work?
Old 12-06-11, 04:44 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,251
Yes, depending on how the wires are run, you may be able to do a few things...

If the power goes to the receptacle and the switch is just on a switch loop (one wire with two wires), you can abandon the wire and box since you'd be able to completely disconnect it from the power and cut/push it out of the box.

If there's some slack in the wire where it goes into the box, you may be able to move the wire into the still working switch box, wire nut it, and cover the old box (since now there are no wires in it).

It all depends on where the power comes in, where the wires go, and if there's any slack. I'd start by disconnecting the switches and see what you're dealing with. Pictures and/or a diagram of how things are wired up may help us figure out a good solution for you.
Old 12-07-11, 07:08 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Michigan, USA
Posts: 63
Be aware that by code, every habitable room must have a wall switch-controlled lighting outlet. Kitchen and baths cannot have switch controlled receptacles for lighting, but the other rooms of the house can. Rooms that have switched receptacles only need to have one receptacle switched. (A duplex is 2 receptacles, which is why many times you’ll find a receptacle half switched/half hot) There also are other areas that require switch controlled lighting…halls, stairs, basements, etc.

If a room has more than one switch, you can eliminate some, but not all. At least one must remain by code. It’s best to have it near the main entrance of the room.

Boxes can be patched over and buried only if they do not contain any wires by removing the wires completely from the building, or if they are completely disconnected and made dead at both ends, and abandoned in place. Sometimes it’s not always advisable to patch a box over if it contains abandoned wiring. You may want them in the future. Every situation is different.

Last edited by pcboss; 12-07-11 at 08:08 AM. Reason: bold for emphasis

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