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I have one outlet controlled by a switch. I would like to make it constantly hot. I also have a ceiling fan which is always hot and would like to have that controlled by the switch (later). For now, I want to just focus on the outlet, being I screwed it up.

I read a few posts regarding the same situation and tried to follow the advice given, but I screwed it up. For now, I disconnected the switch and outlet and put a wire nut on each end.

The first two pictures are the switch and the other the outlet.
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Here’s the room with the additional hot outlets. Thank you all for the help!enter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description here

  • Were there any things "downstream" of this receptacle that were switch-controlled? – ThreePhaseEel Sep 10 '18 at 22:20
  • Do you mean like additional outlets? Nothing but this one outlet was controlled by the switch. All the others outlets are constant hot. – Lumberjack Sep 11 '18 at 0:23
  • I take it there's a switched lighting outlet (light fixture or switched receptacle) somewhere else in the room? – ThreePhaseEel Sep 11 '18 at 0:30
  • Negative. This was the only switched outlet 🤷🏼‍♂️ . There is a ceiling fan and 2 other outlets (on different walls) which are constant hot – Lumberjack Sep 11 '18 at 0:40
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    Is there a light attached to the ceiling fan, and if so, how is it switched? Remote? Pull chains? – ThreePhaseEel Sep 11 '18 at 1:25
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Normally the wire colors in cable distinguish the wires in the cable and absolutely do not indicate wire function.

However in your case there appears to be a happy accident. It looks like every white wire is neutral, every black wire is always-hot, and every red wire is switched-hot. Even happier, these are the preferred color codes for those functions.

That makes this super easy.

  • You don't want to use switched-hot anywhere in the photographed areas, so simply cap it off on both ends.
  • You will not be using the switch.
  • The always-hots get connected to each other and also to everywhere always-hots go, i.e. Brass screws on receptacles.
  • Neutrals likewise (silver screws).

Next time, a couple things. First don't take everything apart like this. Remove only the wires which were attached to the device, and take pix first. I get the impulse, but we call this "trying to learn electrical by dismantling your house". Won't work, it is very inefficient and will give swiss cheese knowledge (as will Google) - instead, get a book on home electrical and read it cover to cover for a well-rounded primer on the subject.

You got lucky, but this can also end at an impasse, having to call an electrician to spend a couple hours sorting/ringing everything out.

Second, stop forcing the screws all the way off. They are captive screws and you are supposed to stop turning them when they get stiff. Often the captive screws hold essential parts of the device (e.g. Screw-and-clamps), but in any case you will gore up the fragile brass female threads so they won't hold well or pass current well. Once you've descrewed a rceptacle, throw it in the trash.

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    The rub here is that he needs a switched outlet somewhere in this room to comply with 210.70 (IIRC, don't have a Codebook in front of me ATM) -- and that switched receptacle he's trying to take out is the only one present at the moment – ThreePhaseEel Sep 11 '18 at 5:01

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