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Half hot receptacle and the regular receptacle: always hot receptacle controls (powers) other power receptacles down the line . What's throwing him off (Mr) is there are black and white wires crimped together and grounds crimped together. I've included pictures below and I'm not sure if they're of any help though. I can take more and or explain betterenter image description here enter image description here

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    Does a switch control half the outlet. Where on the planet are you? White can be hooked to black for switching but crimped is weird.
    – JACK
    Dec 29, 2019 at 0:55
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    Yes, is there a switch associated with this outlet? Dec 29, 2019 at 2:05
  • Thank you for all of your help everyone! We ended up calling an electrician. He looked and said "it tells a story".. We've been in this house forever any nothing seems to go "like it should" so to speak. Yes, there is a switch related with the outlet. The switch has 2 toggles, with left being the one that controlled the top outlet and the other switch (toggle) is on a different circuit and controls the front porch. Dec 31, 2019 at 1:48

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All cables are the same exact colors: Black and white. Or sometimes, black white and red. This means colors are almost meaningless. There are three rules:

a) bare and green are always ground;
b) White must be neutral if present, otherwise always-hot if present; and
c) if the white wire is not neutral, it must be marked with tape or paint.

This is an old style switch loop. It contains always-hot and switched-hot; no neutral. Therefore the white must be always-hot and must be marked.

The black and white joined together need to stay together. These are "always-hot". These two wires also go to the brass screw on the always-hot socket.

The remaining black wire is "switched-hot", it's preferred to mark it with red tape, and it goes to the brass screw on the switched-hot socket.

The remaining white is neutral, and goes to a silver screw.

Note that the tab between the brass screws is removed.

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  • Another standard my local inspector gave is that in a switch loop the black should be always hot, white should be switched hot, and "if the white wire is not neutral, it must be marked with tape or paint." Dec 29, 2019 at 12:02
  • 200.7(C)(2) is the code section your inspector needs to read, that white must be prefentially used for the always-hot. This is to assure no one ever measures a hot black and a 0V white, which would lead them to the wrong conclusion. Dec 29, 2019 at 15:50
  • Duly noted, thank you. Which version of the NEC is that from? Dec 30, 2019 at 1:10
  • Not sure @EricSimpson, probably from the 00's. It predates NEC 2011, which nearly obsoletes it by requiring actual neutral in most switch loops. Dec 30, 2019 at 1:11
  • Thank you for all of your help everyone! We ended up calling an electrician. He looked and said "it tells a story".. We've been in this house forever any nothing seems to go "like it should" so to speak. Yes, there is a switch related with the outlet. The switch has 2 toggles, with left being the one that controlled the top outlet and the other switch (toggle) is on a different circuit and controls the front porch. The house was built in 1972 , so everything is pretty obsolete, and nearly always confusing. I do appreciate everyone's help Dec 31, 2019 at 1:51

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