the living room has a light switch inside the front door, however it does not control any of the outlets. the photo is of the outlet closest to the switch. this outlet has the red wire (another outlet does not). With the breaker switched off, if i break off the tab between the red and black wires, (while still wired in the box) will this allow me to plug a lamp into either the top or bottom of the outlet and have the switch control it, without possibly screwing up any of the other outlets that may be on the same circuit. Thank you.enter image description here

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    Somebody may have replaced the outlet in the past, not realizing the tab was removed for a switched outlet and just wired it up the way he/she found it. Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 0:51

1 Answer 1


The red wire may be a switched hot. The best way to find out would be to remove the black wire with the power off put some tape on the black and with the power back on see if this is now a switched hot. If it is great turn the power off break the tab and put the black back on.

If nothing happens pull the switch and see if the red is connected in the switch. I would guess the black is the always hot and someone changed the receptacle without breaking the tab so it is always hot.

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