I have a room where all the wall outlets are half switched, bottom half always hot, top half are run by two 3-way switches. One of the 3-way switches is on a wall I am removing and turning into a pony wall. Instead of just wiring it together and hiding it in a junction box can I convert one of those switches and turn it into a wall outlet while retaining the ability of the other switch to switch the half outlets? The switch I want to convert is not the one that receives power, it's at the end of the line. It is a 3 + ground wire.

The 3 way switch that I'm leaving that is the start of the line with power coming in has black bottom right, red bottom left and black top left. Inside that box a red and white are connected with a wire nuts.

The wall plugs are all snipped on power side with red on top, black on bottom and both whites connected.

  • 1
    Possibly. It really depends on the wiring layout. Snap us some shots of what is in the light switch boxes and a typical recep box, and edit those into your question, and we'll be able to advise. Jan 16, 2020 at 6:30
  • 1
    You said the hot was not there so , it could be done with some re wiring if I understand the question:
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 16, 2020 at 6:31
  • So the existing outlet and the switch with power in the box are at the same end? Jan 16, 2020 at 19:54
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    A plug is the knobby thing on the end of a cord. You're asking about an outlet or receptacle (or socket, as a last resort :) ).
    – isherwood
    Jan 16, 2020 at 20:32
  • Can you post photos of the insides of the boxes involved please? Jan 17, 2020 at 1:23

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can, and the general idea is:

If the power feed comes first to the switchbox you want to keep:

  1. Convert your 3 + ground to 2 + ground by capping off the red wire with wire nuts at both ends. (see Correct way to remove a red wire from a circuit)
  2. Replace switch with outlet, wire up.
  3. Replace remaining 3-way switch with a 2 way, and pigtail some new connections as such:

    1. Bundled with feed black - Black from converted cable, black to hot outlet, pigtail to new two-way switch (This is 4 blacks - use the right size nut!)
    2. Red to switched outlet to other terminal on switch.
    3. All whites bundled. (3 wires)
    4. All grounds to box grounding screw.

The major issue might be fitting everything into that one box. As always, turn off the breaker before doing any work.

  • Just double checked outlets and top half with red wire are the ones switched. Edited post to correct this, does this change anything with your answer?
    – Jonah V
    Jan 16, 2020 at 21:25
  • Doesn't matter really. On that wire, black from power feed to always on, red from switch to switched outlet. Jan 16, 2020 at 21:28

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