I currently have an outlet that is wired to a switch. I want to turn it into only half hot so one is always powered on and the second is controlled by the switch. I understand that to accomplish this i have to break off the tab by the brass screws. Most postings talk about a white, red and black wire. I only see a white one on the neutral side of the box and the red one feeding onto the brass side. I do not see anywhere a black wire though. Any ideas? Thank you.

  • how many cables enter the outlet box?
    – jsotola
    Commented Sep 8, 2019 at 16:13
  • It would be helpful to see a photo that is nicely focused of the inside of the outlet electrical box.
    – Michael Karas
    Commented Sep 8, 2019 at 16:21
  • I gather you are looking at the wires attached to the outlet. In the back of the junction box should be more wires. We need to know all about them. Commented Sep 8, 2019 at 16:45
  • Can you post photos of the insides of the boxes involved? Commented Sep 8, 2019 at 19:03

1 Answer 1


If you have conduit you will have to pull a black #12 or #14 copper wire from the light switch to the outlet. Pigtail this wire in the switch box to the black (feed) wire going to the switch. at the outlet connect the black wire to the screw next to the red wire. Now remove, break off, the tab by the brass screws. If you have Romex wiring, you will need to replace the /2 cable with 12/3 or 14/3 cable, black, red, white with bare ground. Wire the switch and outlet with the new wire in the same positions as above.

  • I would agree since the OP said no black and would hope it is in conduit that would make sense not having a black in the box.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Sep 8, 2019 at 17:57

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