My house was built in the 70s so most of my outlets are on a switch in which the bottom is always hot and the tops are controlled by the switch.

I'm installing recessed lighting and I'm going to use the switch the outlets are on for the lights. While doing that I"m going to install new outlets throughout the room and I want them to be wired hot all the time now.

The red wire in the picture is the switch wire, I have tested it via meter to confirm. Both outlets are wired a little different with one have 3 neutrals and the other only having 2 so I'm a confused on how to wire the new outlets in leaving them hot on top and bottom.

PS: the outlet with 3 neutrals is jumpered for power

Thanks!!!! enter image description here

  • 1
    What is the other white wire which is on the same screw as the red wire? That is weird. I gather all the blacks come together in a wire-nut off camera? Which other wires share a jacket with the red wire? Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 20:07
  • Can you post a photo looking into the back of that box? Commented Sep 1, 2017 at 22:12
  • It won't allow me to add any more pictures unfortunately, but yes there are 2 blacks that come together with a wire nut and a jumper from them to power the outlet. I don't have the walls torn out so I can't see anything other than what's in the pictures, the switch that controls the outlet only had single run of 14-2 Commented Sep 2, 2017 at 1:55
  • For your outlets to be hot all the time : In the switch box wire Nut your Hot from the line in to the line out going to the outlets. That makes those hot all of the time! I don't get this "the outlet with 3 neutrals is jumpered for power" : Something sounds screwy - where is it jumpered - it should be in that switch box because that is where the hot should originate.. but ..no info. Do you have a second switch for those outlets - known as having a 3-way ?
    – Ken
    Commented Sep 2, 2017 at 10:38

1 Answer 1


If you're installing new outlets, simply wire nut the switched hot wires off, tape it, and jamb it into the back of the box.

Neutrals stay, they aren't switched.

Btw, that third white wire stabbed in below the red is not a neutral, it's the switched hot running to another receptacle. Always be sure to use a tester before identifying wires, color is not a good indicator of a wire's purpose.

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