Kind of long story.. I had a run of half hot outlets in a bedroom. I added a wall sconce and ran wire pigtailed off of one of the outlets half way through the run to have a switched reading light. We want that light to be dimmable, so I also replaced the old switch with a dimmer switch.

Then I learned dimmable outlets are a bad idea..

So, I replaced the outlets in the run with new outlets, leaving the tab in place. The run uses 3 conductor wire (w/r/b) and I've just twisted together the reds in each box and have black to black + the outlet, and white to white + the outlet.

My question is, what do I do with the switch (red) wire in the last box? Do I just cap it off? Is it ok to have a sometimes hot wire capped off in the box? That's what I've done, and everything seems to work, just makes me nervous having that one wire not connected to anything and sometimes hot, seems wrong.

Thanks in advance!

1 Answer 1


You can leave the red wire capped off in the last box as long as you make sure the cap is on secure. You also have the option of wrapping the cap and end of the wire with some electrical tape.

You say the red wire has nothing connected to it but I am going to guess that is not really the case. Somewhere along the circuit you should have connected into this red wire to branch off to your switchable sconce/reading light. The red wire should also be the one connecting into one side of the dimmer switch.

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