I just moved to into a house and was trying to wire a new USB receptacle to an receptacle that is controlled by a switch. The old receptacle has the brass tab broken and the red wire is wired to the top brass terminal. The USB receptacle has only two terminal screws, so there's no way to wire the red wire to the switch. My question is, can I wire the USB receptacle to this outlet box without the red wire? Should I just nut/tape it off?

I do have a switch can controls overhead light, so I don't really need the switch to control that receptacle.

  • Thanks guys. Capped and taped off the red wire, kept the switch but labeled it for the next owner whenever that would be. Everything is working good. – Brian Oct 19 '16 at 18:33

You are correct. Simply cap off the switched red will be fine.


You cannot "split" your new outlet. It must all be constant-on or switched. As you suspected, you need to connect only one of the hots (probably the black) and cap off the other. Do not try to connect both. At best, you'll bypass the switch for everything. At worst, you'll trip a breaker or, if the breaker fails, start a fire!

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