I’m trying to wire multiple outlets that are powered by a switch. I do not need to split the outlets. The power is coming to the outlets from the panel first. The switch is on the end of the run. Would prefer a diagram for the answer. Thanks

  • 3
    FYI, plugs are on the end of a cord. You're talking about outlets or receptacles.
    – isherwood
    Aug 21, 2020 at 20:15
  • Stan forgive Isherwood he is very concerned we have the correct terms and modern voltage terms in our questions and answers. But he is correct . With the switch being at the start of the run between the panel and first switch this should be easy, +
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 22, 2020 at 1:48
  • 1
    Stan says the power is coming to the outlets first. Aug 22, 2020 at 2:27

2 Answers 2


If the switch is at the end of the run then you will need 3-conductor cable between the several outlets and between the outlets and the switch.

switched outlets with power to outlets first

Pass the hot through all the outlet boxes to the switch via the black wires.

Pass the neutral through all the outlet boxes to the switch via the white wires, and also connect the neutral to the neutral side of each outlet via white pigtails.

At the switch, leave the white neutral wire capped off. This is required by code against the possible future installation of a powered switch.

Connect the black and red wires to the switch. The red becomes the switched-hot.

Pass the switched-hot back to all the outlets via the red wires. At each outlet except the one furthest from the switch, connect the hot side of the outlet to the switched-hot via a red pigtail.

Using the pigtails as illustrated will avoid the potential embarrassing situation where a connection fails at one outlet but other outlets stop working.

Also note that if in future you decide to split any of the outlets, you already have constant-hot available in every outlet box.


It's a little more complicated when fulfilling the modern requirement of a neutral at the switch. You need a three-wire cable for the switch loop. I think this is your scenario.

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  • The receptacles are powered from the switch so the cable should go there first , the neutral would be in the switch box then can go on with the Switched hot broken by the switch , nothing fancy , Meets all modern code. Depending if fed by GFCI or AFCI breaker depending on use and room, and don’t forget tamper resistant receptacles.
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 22, 2020 at 1:53
  • 1
    Stan says the power is coming to the outlets first. Aug 22, 2020 at 2:27

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