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I am in the process of upgrading switches and receptacles in an older home (DIYer). I love learning electrical, but I am stumped on the wiring for a circuit with a half hot outlet. Wondering if a kind soul might be able to point me in the right direction.

Basically, I replaced old receptacles and switches with Decora units, connecting the wires the same way they were originally. I broke off the tab on the half hot outlet (Outlet A in the diagram).

There was one outlet that was a switched outlet.

After swapping everything out, the receptacle that was previously half hot does not operate as expected, and stays on all the time.

Any advice is greatly appreciated! Half Hot Wiring

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  • receptacle that was previously half hot does not operate as expected ... which one is that?
    – jsotola
    Jun 1, 2021 at 17:01
  • A is wrong ... the wall switch is connected between hot and neutral
    – jsotola
    Jun 1, 2021 at 17:02
  • @jsotola there is no wall switch at A. The wall switch is at C. You're looking at a wire nut, graphically. The connection to the switch loop is at B, and correctly (for a switch loop) connects the always-hot to white and the switched hot to black.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jun 1, 2021 at 18:13
  • @jsotola because the switch loop is coming out of B. The /2 cables coming into A and D are simply onward wiring to other outlets, and power source. (hard to say which is which). Jun 1, 2021 at 18:15

3 Answers 3

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Simplest option is that outlet F was also half-hot/half-switched and you were not aware of that, so breaking its tab (or isolating that red wire from the outlet and insulating it, if you don't want it half-switched) might fix your problem.

I would guess that you missed that in the original wiring, or it would work as expected.

Connections at B look like a switch loop out to the switch C, and the switched hot on red. The white wire in the switch loop should be re-marked with red or black tape at both ends to indicate that it is hot.

Actually, the blue connections at B look like you've got another half-switched at B, as well.

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Read our FAQ for receptacle/switch replacements.

So I gather you prefer using receptacle A to plug in your light. Here came an error in logic: since you only want a split receptacle at A, you only broke off the tab there. You missed the fact that receptacles B and F also had broken-off tabs.

By wiring it up as you found it but not breaking off the tabs, you short-circuited (literally) the switch.

Two options.

A) Break off the tabs there and A, B and F will have switched sockets.

Or

B) If you'd prefer to have receptacles B and F be full-hot, then you can cap off the red wire at F, and delete the blue pigtail at B which connects to a red wire.

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The earlier answers seem correct. To make this less confusing and to make the switch easier to work with, re-identify the white wire attached to the switch and also attached to the wire nut at receptacle B using black electrical tape.

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