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How to bypass a switch that controls lights, keep outlet live 24/7?

I have a small office in the basement I need to alter wiring on so I can work from home. There's a wall switch that controls two overhead lights and (at least) one outlet.

Computers+ will need to remain running even when I'm not in the office and lights are off.

I've rewired a condo w help of a super handy-friend & done many small wiring projects around the house without issue, but I could use some advice before moving forward.

Simply put: I'm looking to retain power to the outlet even when the lights are off. Can anyone offer advice/guidance/tips on this? I've now added images below! Think I'll at least have get a new switch & outlet.

Thanks!

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  • If the outlet half switched, or are both of them switched together?
    – brhans
    Apr 8, 2020 at 20:08
  • If your answer to brhans is "no", we'll need photos of what's inside both junction boxes. How things are connected now is the only source of data for where those wires go, so do not destroy that information carelessly by removing devices. Apr 8, 2020 at 20:11
  • Probably a simple wiring change at the light switch. Post a picture of the wiring to the switch and inside the box. Don't attempt to do this unless you know now to not zap yourself.
    – Ack
    Apr 8, 2020 at 20:15
  • It is dependent on how the light switch box is wired, in theory you can remove the load wire that goes to the the outlet from the switch and add it to an existing wire nut connection to the line wire supplying the power to the switch box. electricianslibrary.com/line-vs-load
    – Alaska Man
    Apr 8, 2020 at 20:17
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    Can you find the other outlets this switch controls? Apr 17, 2020 at 1:07

2 Answers 2

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You'll need to do one of these:

  1. Bypass the switch by linking the two hots and use other means to control your lighting (smart bulbs, local switching).
  2. Pull a new cable from a constant-hot source to that outlet, and cap off the existing wires.
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Apparently, the feed goes to the switch first, then to the lights and finally to the receptacle. If you’re willing to go with wireless switching, you can wire a receiver to each light, connecting the wires according to instructions. (Be careful, though, since some wireless receivers use European wire colors, where the neutral color is blue rather than white.) Then you simply remove the switch, clip and strip the two black wires in the switch box and connect them together the same way the white wires have been connected and then close up the box with a blank cover. You can just stick the wireless switch to the wall nearby. Also, since you clearly have a ground wire in the receptacle box, I strongly recommend you replace that two-hole receptacle with a three-holer, since you plan to plug a computer into it.

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