I am wanting to add an outlet to (what I believe is) the end of a switched circuit. There is only one set of 4 wires coming in to my existing outlet (black, red, neutral, ground). I don't need my new outlet to be switched, so I'm thinking I don't need to run the red wire to my new outlet. Is that correct? I have sketched out what I believe to be the correct wiring connection below.

Also, if I'm not continuing the switch, do I need romex cable with the red wire? Or, can I just use 14/2 cable with black, neutral, and ground?

Thanks in advance! Adding an outlet

  • 1
    Technically, the circuit you're extending isn't switched. There's nothing different here from adding an outlet to a standard run except that you have an additional (switched) hot running alongside, which isn't really a factor.
    – isherwood
    Apr 25, 2017 at 18:02

2 Answers 2


Right on the money!

You might consider running /3 cable anyway. Every bedroom in our house has a long extension cord circumnavigating the room because the switched outlet (instead of a proper overhead light) is not in the roght place for how we fit out the room. You can just cap off the unused red wire. A future use of the room could swap wires so the switched outlet is in the new location and the present outlet is all unswitched. The hard part is getting wire into the walls!

  • Thanks! That's a good point, and I might as well run the red wire anyway. Funny that you mention overhead lights. None of our bedrooms have them either (the closets do, but the rooms don't...). That will be one of my next projects, but I still have plenty to research about that before I begin.
    – mcriecken
    Apr 25, 2017 at 14:38

If the bottom outlet is not switched your plan will work. if the top outlet is the switched one you do not need the extra wire going to the new outlet unless you want to create a second switched receptacle. Make sure the breaker is a 15 amp if using 14 awg wire. If the breaker is a 20 amp the wiring to the outlet should be 12 AWG.

  • Thanks for the response! I realized my image might have been a little confusing since I had the existing outlet there twice (I just updated it). So, basically, this will work as long as I don't need the new outlet to be switched? I'll be adding it behind a mounted TV, so would rather it not be switched.
    – mcriecken
    Apr 25, 2017 at 13:26

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