I have a light switch connected to a split outlet (one always hot, other controlled by light switch) that appears not to work when the switch is grounded. To be clear, the switch no longer routes power, and the always hot half of the outlet remains working.

I came about this as I was replacing the outlets and switches in my livingroom. I first replaced the outlet as a split outlet, and confirmed that replacement was correct before moving on. Next I went to replace the switch.

The switch is single pole and has 2 wires coming in to it (one black one red). I am assuming the black is hot, and I believe the red goes to the split outlet (I saw a red wire there earlier). The first thing I noticed as odd is that there was a taped off green ground wire in the box.

I decided to untape and attach the ground wire to the switch. The switch does not work.

I unground the switch (but not yet screwed to the box) and the switch operated the outlet just fine.

I screw the switch into the box (I'm assuming it gets grounded by the box), and the switch no longer works.

Any guesses what might be going on?enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 6
    How about providing a few pictures of the switch and switch box.
    – JACK
    Jan 1, 2021 at 20:19
  • 2
    Just to confirm, when you say "split outlet", you mean that it's a duplex receptacle and that one outlet is always hot and the other is switch controlled, right?
    – FreeMan
    Jan 1, 2021 at 20:22
  • @freeman correct one outlet always hot and the other is switched Jan 2, 2021 at 18:38
  • @jack image uploaded Jan 2, 2021 at 18:38
  • Can you post a photo that looks squarely into the back of the box please? That'd help us see where that green wire goes... Jan 2, 2021 at 18:46

1 Answer 1


turns out the problem was with the switch, there was a bad contact with the switch on once seated. I replaced the switch and everything worked as expected

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