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I know this has been asked a few times before, but I am having trouble finding an answer thread in my combination.

I have 3 sets of wires in 1 outlet 15A. The outlet is currently controlled by a light switch successfully. But because I want to connect my TV to it, I don’t want to let the light switch control all of it. My goal is to make the top switch always hot and the bottom one controlled by the outlet.

In the diagram I drew, I believe #1 goes to the switch since it’s the only positive power I see and the outlet is successfully controlled. #2 and #3 must go to other outlets or the box, but I am not sure.

My question is this: if I run a black wire from where the wires are capped to #12 on the diagram and then disconnect the tab between them, will that make the top of the outlet always hot and the bottom controlled by the switch?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

See pictures:

enter image description here https://i.imgur.com/ixWNYJ7.jpg

enter image description here https://i.imgur.com/kYvusIl.jpg

enter image description here https://i.imgur.com/EGPOZOk.jpg

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You are correct

Breaking the hot-side tab on the receptacle and then running a pigtail from the current junction of black and white wires to the screw you labeled "12" on your diagram will indeed make your receptacle a half-switched receptacle. Don't forget to mark the white wire connected to that junction as a hot wire with some black electrical tape or permanent marker!

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  • Got some wire, pigtailed it in and connected with the instructions. Worked great! I tied some electrical tape around the white wire from the switch and closed it up. Good to go! You saved me from a lot of accidental shutting off my TV lol – Matt Sprague Jun 14 '20 at 20:36
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Some wires need to be marked here (on both ends)

The white wire that is with the blacks is not a neutral. It has been assigned to be a hot, and as Code requires, it's being used for the "always-hot". As such, Code also requires it be marked with colored tape, paint or shrinktube, and I recommend black. Like any marking, it should be done on both ends.

Now, I am a big fan of also marking the switched black wire "red", so it's clearer that it is the switched wire. That's not mandatory, but it does make things a lot clearer in the box.

At this point, this gets super easy: just break the tab on the "hot" side of the recep, and connect one screw to red (switched-hot) and the other screw to black (always-hot).

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  • Thank you! After picking up some wire and electrical tape to make some distinctions, I’m closed up and successfully able to switch my lamp on and off with my TV on :) – Matt Sprague Jun 14 '20 at 20:40

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