3 way switch outlet

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by blk90s13, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. blk90s13

    blk90s13 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    I have an outlet that is controlled by two switches in the living room, we have a floor lamp plugged into one terminal on the outlet and the other side we wanted to use for the TV dvd etc etc but dont want it to be turned on and off with the light

    is there a way to isolate one terminal on the outlet to stay on on its on with out the light switch ?
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,081
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Yes, the side of the outlet has tabs that can be broken out to "split" the receptacle. Several of my rooms are wired so that the top outlet is switched and the bottom not.
    [​IMG]
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,081
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Oh, I should mention that the box needs to have the necessary conductors to provide continuous power to the other side of the receptacle and if it has not been so provisioned, splitting the receptacle would not work. There are code issues with regard to this as well so it is best to consult a licensed electrician, which I am not.
  4. SacCity

    SacCity In the Trades

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    The assumption is that you can not do as you want.
    You will need to count the conductors coming into the box, and trace out the wires,
    There are several ways of running the wires and without tracing them and counting conductors cannot give a hard answer to this query

    Michael
  5. blk90s13

    blk90s13 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    I remember when I wired a 3 way switch in the basement it had an always hot ( red ) can I just tap off there to wire the bottom on the outlet after breaking off the tabs
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,081
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    No, a properly wired 3-way will carry the neutral through and toggle the hot on one or the other carrier. If the neutral is being switched, it is wired wrong.
  7. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    If it was wired to the switches originally, I supsect there is a good chance that it IS wired for half the outlet to be live all the time. Then someone came along and replaced the receptacle, but forgot to break off the tab. Look at the receptacle....see if there are perhaps both a red and a black wire connected to the side with the brass screws.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  8. blk90s13

    blk90s13 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    I opened up the outlet today found two wires one on each side a white and a blk so I need to snake in a new feed to run my tv off of

    I was hoping life will be easier but what was I thinking lool
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