Converting a standard wired outlet to a switch controlled

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Jeff Knecht

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Bedroom has 5 outlets with 1 outlet that has a switched plug. I want to convert another outlet in the bedroom, that is a standard wired outlet, to a switch-controlled outlet.
Plan:
- Run a red wire from the already switched outlet to the proposed switched outlet plug.
-Of course, break the buss/bond on the power side to isolate the switch and "always-on" lugs.
My question is since the proposed switched outlet already has a neutral and ground from another outlet,
can the red wire be run alone without a neutral and ground? The new switched outlet is in between two outlets.

If a neutral is needed, I will remove the single gang box and install a 2 gang old work box for a little more room
Jeff
 
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wwhitney

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A single conductor such as THHN can't be run by itself in the walls. So you need to run something like NM cable. Given that, just run 12/3, rather than running 12/2 and only using one wire in it. [Or 14/3, if the existing wires are 14 gauge and the breaker is 15 amps.]

If the receptacles are daisy chained (likely), you could replace the existing 12/2 hops with 12/3 as required. Or you could bypass the daisy chain and go straight from the existing switched receptacle (or possibly the switch) to the newly switched receptacle. In that case you'd want to just connect through the existing 12/2 daisy chain in the newly switched location.

Since you'll be adding more conductors to some of the boxes, you'll need to check the box fill on each of them, and upsize the box if needed.

Cheers, Wayne
 

Jeff Knecht

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A single conductor such as THHN can't be run by itself in the walls. So you need to run something like NM cable. Given that, just run 12/3, rather than running 12/2 and only using one wire in it. [Or 14/3, if the existing wires are 14 gauge and the breaker is 15 amps.]

If the receptacles are daisy chained (likely), you could replace the existing 12/2 hops with 12/3 as required. Or you could bypass the daisy chain and go straight from the existing switched receptacle (or possibly the switch) to the newly switched receptacle. In that case you'd want to just connect through the existing 12/2 daisy chain in the newly switched location.

Since you'll be adding more conductors to some of the boxes, you'll need to check the box fill on each of them, and upsize the box if needed.

Cheers, Wayne
Thanks Wayne

I ended up running 14/3 Romex directly from the existing switched outlet to the new switched outlet. Connected the wires color for color, red being the switched plug on both outlets. Broke the tab.

Again, thank you.
 

wwhitney

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That works assuming a 15 amp breaker. But in the new switched receptacle box, the new 14/3 conductors should go to the receptacle only, and the existing (2) blacks and (2) whites should just be connected to each other. That is, all (3) blacks and whites should not be connected together, doing that creates a loop in the black and white, which is not allowed.

Did you check the box fill calculations for the 2 boxes the new 14/3 run connects to? Assuming neither one is at the end of the daisy chain, the existing switched outlet box would have (2) 14/3s, (1) 14/2, and the receptacle, for a count of 3 + 3 + 2 + 1 (grounds) + 2 (receptacle) = 11 * 2 (allowance for #14) = 22 in^3. If the box is smaller than that, you're supposed to replace it with a larger box.

The new switched outlet should be one less allowance (assuming (2) original 14/2s plus the new 14/3), so only 20 in^3.

Cheers, Wayne
 
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