Can a dimmer switch be replaced by an electric outlet? Currently I have dimmer switches in 2 rooms that control 1/2 of every outlet in each room. This is very inconvenient. However 2 extra electric outlets would be most welcome. Would like to try to correct this on my own. Have replaced other electric outlets and switches when needed in the past.

  • Can you post photos of the insides of the receptacle boxes? – ThreePhaseEel Aug 14 '17 at 22:08

An outlet should never be on a dimmmer. Someone could plug normal equipment like a vacuum into it and it won't work properly.

They should be replaced with single pole switches or the receptacles should be wired hot.

Good luck and stay safe!


Probably, but it would not be simple to do so the way you describe.

The "1/2 of every outlet" is accomplished by running wiring from the circuit through the dimmer switches, then to each outlet - SEPARATELY from the circuit supplying power to the other half of the outlet. The outlets have to be split in order to do this, usually by breaking off a conducting tab between the top and bottom outlets (US).

If you just replaced the switches with outlets, effectively forcing the wiring to ON then you'd have voltage potentially from 2 different circuits in the same outlet locations, plus the new outlets in the switch position which is typically at shoulder height on the wall. This is nonstandard and dangerous - it could result in too many outlets on a circuit or breakers supplying power where there should not be, making it dangerous for technicians to work on the circuits.

To correctly do this, you should eliminate the dimmer switches and their wiring completely and replace each of the outlets with normal outlets, where the top and bottom outlets are still joined together.

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