I replaced a switched outlet together with a switch, but now the outlet has permanent power no matter what position the switch is in. When I was replacing this single pole switch, I think I wasn't too carefull about attaching all the wires to the same connectors. One of the black wires was connected to the ground screw. I thought it was a mistake made by the previous owner, and I attached all the black wires together on the switch. Please take a look at the pictures that I am attaching, and please advise what I should try to change in my set up to make the outlet be controlled by the switch again.

P.S. At first I thought the problem was a defective switch and replaced it once again, but it didn't solve the issue. I did replace all other outlets in the same room without any issues, although none of them was switch controlled.


Outlet (tab is broken)

Outlet (tab is not broken)

  • Can you supply a photo looking more squarely into the back of the switch box please? Oct 31, 2020 at 23:53
  • 1
    fyi, that's incredibly sloppy work with the black twisted around the screw on the switch. Poor connections arc and can cause fires. Nov 1, 2020 at 0:28
  • Did you also change the outlet? Was the outlet split - half switched half always-on? Nov 1, 2020 at 4:13
  • Yes, the outlet that I replaced was a split one.
    – sprogissd
    Nov 1, 2020 at 7:55
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    Fundamentally, you need to figure out which of the black wires at the switch is always hot. The always hot feeds the always hot half of the receptacle. That same always hot also goes to the switch and sometimes feeds hot to the red wire. Since the switch box has 3 black wires, you need to figure out what the extra black wire is doing. For all this, you need a multimeter. I don't want to be insulting when I say this, but you might need a professional. Nov 1, 2020 at 19:01

1 Answer 1


Are you testing the receptacle on the top half? The end the red wire goes to of the receptacle?

It looks like you have it wired correctly the bottom receptacle will be always hot (the end with the 3 blacks) and the top will be controlled by the switch. That is how you have it wired and that part of it is hot all the time I believe you are checking the wrong side because it is wired correctly.

Now for the critique, although a back and side may be listed for 3 wires the wrap is 2/3 to 3/4 around the screw. A better method would be to add a wire nut and short piece of wire so the 3 wires are connected securely and only 1 wire is under the screw

  • Yes, I expect the top half to be controlled by the switch, but it is always hot just like the bottom half.
    – sprogissd
    Nov 7, 2020 at 9:00

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