Converting switched outlets to always live.

Old 04-17-17, 01:09 PM
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Converting switched outlets to always live.

In my living room I have 6 outlets that are controlled with a(well 2) 3 way light switch. Just after Christmas I mounted a television over my fireplace, and the the only available power is from one of the switched outlets. Excited about the TV, I used the switched outlet and 'fixed' the power issue by putting a couple pieces of duct tape over the switches. The room was previously lit with lamps, and I converted those to smart bulbs and smart modules which are on a schedule. In addition they can be turned on and off manually from our phones, or tablet we keep in the room, and eventually by shouting at Alexa. I'm very pleased with the setup so far.

EXCEPT, my wife is increasingly unhappy about the duct tape on the switches. I appeased her for a while with some fancy white duct tape but I can tell that my reprieve is about up. I offered to change it seasonally, a nice pastel around Easter, a Green in the summer, Orange in the fall, but she was not amused. So I will need to remove the switches to make the outlets always on.

In 'normal' 3-way switch setups I have seen over the years, I would have neutral (white) wires connected together, but not connected to the switch. The switch would have 2 black wires and a red wire connected to the switch. This being an older house (early 1960's), when I pulled the switch out, I found there is no Neutral in the box, and the switch just has 3 black wires connected to it.

Now, I assume I still want to connect the 2 hot wires with wire nut, but without a neutral - or ground in the box - I'm not quite sure how I figure out which wires are hot, and which is the traveler.

1-Without a Neutral or Ground, how can I determine which wires are hot, and which is the traveler?

2-How important is it that I remove the traveler from the circuit?

3-Can I safely just wire all 3 together as a last resort?
Old 04-17-17, 03:24 PM
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First off, I assume these are duplexes? Are you sure that you don't have one side that is switched and the other that is not switched? This is the way that I believe most of the ones in our area anyway are, but have run into many who didn't realize this. In our living room and bedrooms for example, the bottom receptacle is switched while the top one is not.
Old 04-17-17, 03:55 PM
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Open the receptacle and tell,us the connections. You may be able to make the change at the receptacle .
Old 04-20-17, 12:34 PM
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Sorry for the delay -

The outlets are not duplex . I've tried plugging lamps into both top and bottom and they are both switched - I wish that was not the case, as it would be an easy fix then!

I've open up all the receptacles, and in 5 of the boxes there are 4 black wires that all look the same, 2 connected to each side of the outlet. I assume there is hot and neutral in, and the other pair is hot and neutral out.

In the 6th box there are only 2 black wires, one to each side of the outlet - this must be the outlet at the end of the run.
Old 04-20-17, 12:41 PM
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Very good.

That means the changes need to be made at both switches. It's possible it could be done at one switch but making a change at both is much easier.

Go to either switch. Remove the wire on the common/dark/black screw and one traveler wire. Connect them together. Leave the other traveler on the switch.

Go to the second switch and do the SAME exact thing. The common wire to the same color traveler.

That should be it.

I would note the wiring changes on a note left in the box or ID the common wire.

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