I am currently going through the process of replacing all the outdated cream colored outlets in my home with white ones. Recently I was doing the ones in the master bedroom, where there is no overhead light, and instead there are wall hung lamps attached to a half hot outlet controlled by the light switch. As I was replacing these I didn't think to make sure that the new one was wired any special way, and did it the way I believe the old one was set up. However, now the new outlet is not working off of the switch, it is acting just as any other outlet with both receptacles being hot, but not controlled by the switch. At first I did remember that I hadn't broken the gold tab on the outlet so I figured there's my problem. I went back and did that and still no dice, the light switch doesn't control the outlet, and I am at a loss of what to do. Here are some pictures of what I am working with:

Inside of switch box:

Inside of switch box

Right side of outlet:

Right side of outlet

Left side:

Left side

I've had the red wire on both top and bottom of the right side and it didn't seem to make a difference. Thank you so much for all of your help!

I am just about positive that the switch and outlet are wired properly, but it's not working. The outlet has two white, two black, a red, and a ground, which also confused me a bit since most others didn't have as many wires coming through to it. I apologize if this is a dumb question and the solution is something blatantly obvious, but I appreciate all the info and help you can provide!!

  • What color are the wires at the light switch, and which tabs are broken off on the old outlet?
    – brhans
    Oct 19, 2018 at 14:04
  • I uploaded the images for you. The wiring looks basically correct to me, but hopefully one of the experts can figure it out. The basic setup should be black from panel to switch, red from switch to outlet, whites nutted together in the switch box for future use, white to top & bottom of outlet (technically only need one since they are connected anyway; so second is a convenience to chain to the next outlet), red to switched outlet, black to unswitched outlet (and extra black is there too to chain to next outlet along with one of the neutral whites). So it all looks good except that Oct 19, 2018 at 14:06
  • Light switch has one black, one red, and a ground.The broken tab is the bronze/black side
    – tyjova
    Oct 19, 2018 at 14:06
  • the 2 blacks to the outlet should be done with a pigtail so that only one wire is on the screw to make a better connection - but that wouldn't explain the problem you're having. Oct 19, 2018 at 14:07
  • 1
    Thank you for the help uploading the pictures!
    – tyjova
    Oct 19, 2018 at 14:10

1 Answer 1


I don't think your problem is the switch, but another outlet in your room. Check all of the outlets.

  • Any of the outlets that you DON'T want to be switched or half-switched MUST NOT have the red wires to attached to the outlet.
  • Only switched outlets should be connected to the red wire and their tab should be broken.

enter image description here

  • That's what I was thinking... Oct 19, 2018 at 15:19
  • 2
    That makes perfect sense since it seems to me like the switch and outlet are wired properly. If I understand correctly. if I come across another outlet with a red wire, my options are to either hook it up and break the tab to make it controlled by the switch, or ensure that it is properly pig tailed into the red wire going out?
    – tyjova
    Oct 19, 2018 at 15:29
  • Yes, you are correct.
    – longneck
    Oct 19, 2018 at 15:40
  • You really need to go back and look at your old receptacles and see where the tabs were broken there. Yes, you probably have more than one switched outlet in the room, and the other one didn't have its tab broken off, as a result the tab is shorting out the switch and leaving the lamps always on. Oct 19, 2018 at 20:49
  • After going through all other outlets in the room, I did find one that had a red wire feeding into it and the tab wasn’t broken so hopefully that’s the issue. Before moving forward though I did have a question. This one has two red and one black feeding the hot side. I’m assuming the reds should just have one on the screw and one in the insert and then have the tab broken?
    – tyjova
    Oct 19, 2018 at 20:55

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