Have a question on wiring a duplex receptacle. My living room presently has several outlets that are controlled (completely, top and bottom) by a switch. It also has outlets that are not controlled by a switch and are always on. What I'd like to do is convert one of the existing outlets to have the bottom be constantly powered and the top be fed by daisy chaining from one of the outlets controlled by the switch. My plan is to break both hot and neutral tabs and have the 2 wire from each go to the receptacle. Is there a problem doing this? Let me know if it doesn't make sense.

Thanks Dan

  • Unless you have easy access to constant power at this outlet, it isn't as easy as breaking the tabs and swapping wires around.
    – Jeff Cates
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 3:05
  • I do have access to constant power at this outlet. What I want to do is break the hot/neutral tabs on the receptacle and have the constant power on the bottom. Then I'd like to continue the outlet chain controlled by the switch into the top outlet. Want to make sure this is kosher
    – Dan
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 4:41
  • Yes, just make sure you wire it correctly. The tabs are there for that purpose. I have one in my garage that is 2 different circuits. The bottom being by itself for a high amp item like an air compressor, and the top with the rest of the garage for regular everyday tools and the likes.
    – Jeff Cates
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 5:08
  • Makes sense. Can the ground wires from the two separate circuits be twisted together and connected to the single ground terminal on the receptacle?
    – Dan
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 13:41
  • Pigtail the grounds because the ground screw is only rated for 1 wire
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 16:15

1 Answer 1


If you can Daisy chain from one of the existing outlets the correct way to do this would be to break both tabs to make sure you are using the same neutral as the hot. It is that easy and would be code compliant.

  • Worked perfectly as suggested.
    – Dan
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 20:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.