I have a 2 gang box in my mud room with 2 switches, each of which controls 1 light. I want to change one of the switches to accommodate a switch and an (always on) outlet. I think the latter is called a half hot outlet.

I have some reasonable DIY wiring experience but this one is stumping me. It seems like it should be a simple solution but I can't figure it out. Any ideas?

  • 2
    Your first issue is whether there's a neutral present in the box. There could well be only a feed and switched returns. If so, you'll have to pull another wire in.
    – Phil G
    Feb 11, 2020 at 23:00
  • 4
    Can you post photos of the inside of the box on question please? Feb 11, 2020 at 23:43
  • Aside: We have a duplex receptacle with one side always-on and the other controlled by an adjacent timer: receptacle image. The markings clarify that one side might not work all of the time. Our friendly local building inspector had no idea of what it was. At least the education wasn't painful.
    – HABO
    Feb 9, 2021 at 15:34

1 Answer 1


I assume you want to use one of the switches to SWITCH an electrical outlet and also have it HOT all the time for the same outlet correct? This is called a half outlet meaning one half is SWITCHED and the other half is HOT all the time. To accomplish this you will need to break the tab on the outlet making it two separate halves with a common sharing neutral. From the switch to the outlet you will need three wires: RED SWITCH,BLACK HOT ALL THE TIME, and WHITE NEUTRAL. Again you will need a three wire from the chosen switch to the outlet. Hope this helps.

At the outlet the black will go on one brass terminal HOT and red on the other terminal SWITCHED and the white NEUTRAL on the silver terminal.

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