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I have a regular outlet too white to black to red and a ground which is controlled by the light switch. I should say half of the outlet is controlled by the light switch. I want to replace it with an outlet that includes USB plugs. But I do not want to USB plugs controlled by the light switch. Do they make outlets that can be installed with half of the outlet still being controlled by the light switch to be able to turn off lamps and such but still have the USB ports ready at all times?

closed as off-topic by mmathis, Daniel Griscom, ThreePhaseEel, Ed Beal, Machavity Oct 29 '17 at 2:03

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  • Can you post a photo of the inside of the box? Also, is replacing the existing box with a bigger box an option? – ThreePhaseEel Oct 25 '17 at 23:31
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    So far as I know, there are no “split” AC/USB outlets, where neither AC outlet nor the USB ports can be separately powered. – DoxyLover Oct 26 '17 at 0:15
  • All you can do is shop for a USB receptacle that can be split wired. As DoxyLover said, so far they don't seem to be making them but new stuff comes out every day. – ArchonOSX Oct 26 '17 at 1:02
  • the flush clip-on usb outlets i've seen have connectors around both top and bottom of the outlet screws. this implies the switch no longer works and that you should NOT run heavy loads off of the switched-off outlet. – dandavis Oct 26 '17 at 1:53
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    This is a shopping question, and no, they don't. The answer is, this is a drywall job, replace the single box with a 2-gang box, and keep the existing receptacle and put the USB receptacle right next to it. I for one think USB receptacles are a waste of time since they're expensive and become obsolete quickly, e.g. very few support two tablets at 10-12W each. Genuine Apple iPad charging blocks are about $8 on eBay, I just do that. – Harper Oct 26 '17 at 3:17
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I've never seen 120V+USB which were splittable in the way you want. (And we're not a shopping-aid site, so helping you find one isn't really our thing here).

The answer is, this is a drywall job: replace the single box with a 2-gang box... keep the existing receptacle and put the USB receptacle right next to it.

You will need to pigtail at least the hot wire, as you won't have enough screws to land supply, hot to the switch, hot to the USB receptacle, and hot to the downline. Don't use both screws and backstabs (actually using backstabs generally is asking for trouble).

I for one think USB receptacles are a waste of time since they're expensive and become obsolete quickly, because it takes time for them to grind through the UL listing process. e.g. very few can charge a tablet at full power while also charging anything else, and two tablets is out of the question. Many are built around an obsolete TI controller chip which provides a 10W and a 5W USB port and you must pay attention to which is which (why????) Genuine Apple iPad charging blocks are about $8 on eBay, I just do that.

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k I know this may sound silly but here is how to split wire most outlets like your talking about. on the hot side of the outlet, you just break the tab that is between the screws and then hook up the hot to the one you want on all the time and the other one is for the switched one. this is without even looking at the outlet itself so make sure you get one that the tab can be broken or cut.

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    The original poster is talking about outlets with built-in USB charging ports. As far as I know, there are none with the tabs you write about. They generally have one set of hot/neutral wires coming out. If you know of one with the tabs, please post a link and prove me wrong! – DoxyLover Oct 26 '17 at 5:44
  • said it was without even looking I agree with adding the 2 gang box, then they could look to see if they could find some with the tabs there to cut. if they use a recep that has the USB in the place of the 120v outlet having 1 outlet and 1 USB outlet they could look for some that had the tabs. – Bart N Pain Oct 27 '17 at 10:23

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