How do I convert a switched outlet to always stay hot?

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Old 03-13-17, 08:38 PM
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How do I convert a switched outlet to always stay hot?

So here is my situation, I currently have one switch in a bedroom that controls one light in the ceiling and two of 4 duplex outlets throughout the room. I would like to leave the switch to control the ceiling fixture but have the all four outlets stay hot at all times; is this possible? At the switch I have two black wires while the two white are tied together and not part of the switch....all 4 outlets have 2 black wires and two white wires....when i disconnect all the receptacles and seperate all the wires from one another there is only one black wire in outlet 3 that is hot...all the other black wires in all the other boxes do not have power...including the switch....this outlet that has the hot wire is currently not one that is controlled by the switch...is there an easy fix to this to make this work or do i need to look into running a new cable?? any help would greatly be appreciated...
 
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Old 03-13-17, 08:59 PM
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Have you taken down the light fixture? Your answer may lie there. From what you've described outlet 3 is where power comes in and goes to everything else. It also indicates that you do not have a switch loop (2 black wires at the switch indicates power goes from a constant outlet, to the switch, then to the light). You will need to do a process of elimination to see how the daisy chain works. Where is outlet 3 in relation to the switch? Where are the two switched outlets in relation to the two constant outlets?

What it sounds like to me is that the other black from outlet 3 goes to the other constant receptacle. From there it probably goes to the switch. From the switch it either goes to the two switched outlets and then to the ceiling box, or from the switch to the ceiling box and then to the switched outlets. Unfortunately neither of those scenarios can be rewired the way you want to without replacing at least one cable unless there is an unused red wire in the switch box.. The only hope you have is if it goes from a constant outlet to the ceiling box first.

Honestly that's a rotten way to wire a bedroom - with all outlets and the ceiling light on the same circuit. Good practice says there should be at least two - preferably three - circuits serving each bedroom (not counting the smoke detector circuit).. One for the ceiling light (nt necessarily dedicated, one circuit that serves only lighting in the bedrooms on that floor for example) and one for the outlets. Ideally the outlets in any given bedroom should be on two separate circuits (again, not necessarily dedicated, could be split between outlets in other bedrooms). That way if you overload a receptacle circuit you're not left in the dark.
 
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Old 03-13-17, 09:16 PM
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thanks for the reply...i havent taken down the fixture only because its a pretty big chandelier....heres a breakdown of the room....if you walk into the room the switch is right on your left hand side...outlet 1 is on the same wall...outlet two is on the left wall, outlet three is on the wall directly in front of the entrance across from the switch and outlet four is on the right wall....so i just tied the black wires together starting with outlet 3...once i did that there was power in outlet 4...then the switch...then outlet 1 and then outlet 2...so it looks like i am SOL....is that right?? also, now that i have all blacks tied together, shouldnt the ceiling light work?? because it doesnt, and neither does a couple other outlets that are in another room that are on the same circuit....please help!
 
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Old 03-13-17, 09:28 PM
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also not sure if it matters but i have all the white wires independently wired nutted together, none of them are tied together....does that matter??
 
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Old 03-13-17, 09:40 PM
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Wait, what do you mean "independently nutted together" and "none of them are tied together"? White on the same circuit should all be together.
 
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Old 03-13-17, 09:53 PM
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in each box i tied the two blacks together and just put a wire nut on each white...should i tie the whites together too?
 
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Old 03-13-17, 09:53 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

It's actually common to see an entire room like a bedroom on one circuit.
What is very strange is a switch controlling a ceiling light and two receptacles.


Yes.... tie the whites together.
You need to carry a complete circuit thru.
 
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Old 03-13-17, 10:04 PM
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hey, thanks for the reply....ok i will do that to see if my other outlets work as well as the ceiling light...i am just doing this until tomorrow when i can go ahead and re-install my outlets....yeah this is an old house...the wiring is a mess
 
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Old 03-13-17, 10:11 PM
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ok so i tied the whites together in each box and everything seems to be up and running...i guess i will just have to install new receptacles and leave it the way it was, correct??
 
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Old 03-13-17, 10:15 PM
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Does this appear correct ? Receptacles 1 and 2 are switched. 3 and 4 are always live ?

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Old 03-13-17, 10:19 PM
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yup, thats exactly how it is
 
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Old 03-13-17, 10:25 PM
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thats just that room...there are other rooms and outlets on that circuit...seems like most of my basement is on the same circuit
 
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Old 03-13-17, 10:26 PM
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You had said that a few receptacles weren't working in another room. I'm guessing they are on the receptacle 3 or receptacle 4 wall.

The easiest way to do what you want is to get a two wire cable from the switch box to the light box. Then you would cap off the line from receptacle 2 to the light.

OR

You could get a two wire cable from the switch box to receptacle 2. This cable would carry the switched power to the light.

It would pretty safe to say that an electrician didn't do that wiring.
 
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Old 03-13-17, 10:32 PM
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ok that all makes sense...i will have to see what i can do....i think i may be able to get a cable from switch to box since my basement below me has a drop ceiling...but i might just put it back to the way it was...i was trying to do all this because i have all casetta dimmers in my house and i know its not good to dim a switched outlet
 
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Old 03-13-17, 10:36 PM
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lol yeah i dont think so....when i changed the fixtures in my basement i came across bx, and uf so im thinking it was just some handy man that had leftover material they wanted to get rid of....once i get settled in and everything is up and running i will be looking into re-wiring everything....let me ask you one other thing...is there a way to just simply remove the two switched outlets so that i can still use the dimmer on the ceiling light?? if i keep the blacks tied together and the whites tied together and just put a blank plate over them will that solve the dimming problem??
 
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Old 03-13-17, 10:43 PM
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Yes.... you can splice thru those two boxes and blank the boxes off.
You just won't have any receptacles on those wall.
 
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Old 03-13-17, 10:46 PM
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what do you mean by splice through those boxes??
 
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Old 03-13-17, 10:55 PM
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You'll remove the receptacles, connect black to black and white to white.
You'll be splicing thru the box.
 
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Old 03-13-17, 11:03 PM
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Ok great, thank you for your help
 
 

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