Simple question:

I have a switch that controls an outlet across the room, i want to make it always hot and just have a dummy cover plate it its place.

I have read that all i gotta do is join / screw cap off both the black wire, but

1) What do i do with the neutral wire, if there is one? Should i also join it with the other neutrals and cap it off?

2) What do i do with the bare copper ground? Do i just leave it hanging or should i twist it with the other grounds ( The wall has 2 other 3-way switches that controls lights)


  • 1
    Can you get us photos of the inside of the box? Also, are those other switches on the same circuit or different circuits? – ThreePhaseEel Jul 19 '17 at 3:56
  • 1
    If you mean that you want to remove the switch, and there is only one switch that controls the outlet, the simply remove both wires from the switch and join them together with a wire nut. Neutrals if they exist at the switch don't need to be changed, leave them just as they are. If a bare wire is attached to the switch you won't need it, take apart the wire nut it comes from and remove it, putting the rest of the bare grounds back together. – Tyson Jul 19 '17 at 10:36
  • @Tyson No need to do all that with the ground... Simply tuck it back with all the other grounds, or attach it to the box with a ground screw (if the box is metal). – Tester101 Jul 19 '17 at 11:00
  • @Tester101 I started to type just cut it off, but figured I'd get criticized for that ... you're correct to point out if its an ungrounded metal box it should be attached to the box instead if there is no ground attached to the box already--I've never run into that particular sloppyness tho (that being: expecting the box to be grounded from the switches pigtail) – Tyson Jul 19 '17 at 11:16
  • " if, there is one?" why start by speculating instead of just opening the box to see what you have? – agentp Nov 8 '17 at 12:51

First, turn off the breaker that controls the circuit you are working on. If there are any other circuits in the same box as the switch, turn off those breakers as well and verify that there is no electricity running through the box with a non-contact voltage tester and by flipping the switches (lights should remain off).

Hot/black wires: take the two hot wires connected to the terminals on the switch and cap them together.

Neutral/white/gray wire: if this is a smart switch (i.e. the switch itself consumes electricity) then either cap the neutral or if it is pigtailed from the other neutrals in the box, you can remove the pigtail and recap. If this is a "dumb" switch (99% of residential switches in the USA) it does not have a neutral and nothing needs to be done.

Ground/green/bare wire: you can leave the ground wire as-is (no need to cap it). Just tuck it behind the other wires. If the box is metallic and does not have a ground wire, you can (and should) ground the box. Metal boxes should have a screw hole in the back where you can attach a ground wire and secure it to the box. This ensures that if there is a wiring fault and a hot wire energizes the box, electricity will flow to ground and trip the breaker, alerting you to the problem rather than burning the house down or zapping you if you touch the box.

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