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The switch in this room controls the ceiling fan and a half-hot outlet. I would like to convert the half-hot outlet into a full-hot outlet and continue using the switch for the ceiling fan. I've included pictures the switch and the receptacle. I'm not familiar with how this is wired (white being used for power?) and could use some pointers.

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Update: I followed the instructions @RMDMan gave in his answer and the result was that the outlet was always hot, the fan didn't work, and the light switch didn't work. I'm wondering if I did something wrong. The wiring after I followed the instructions is as follows:

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I tried a few other configurations which led to different scenarios, none of which were the desired outcome. For example, one configuration led to the fan working, no power going to the outlet, and the switch not working. Some configurations also led to no power going to the bathroom next door.

This led me to believe, and I'm probably wrong, that the black wires work as follows: one black wire is hot (the one with the white dot in the picture below), one black wire carries power downstream to the bathroom, and one black wire along with its corresponding white wire come from the light switch as part of a switch loop.

The current state is in the picture below. This gives me an always-hot outlet, a working fan, but a light switch that doesn't work.

What could I be missing here?

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  • 1
    Is the top or bottom switched? Jul 24, 2023 at 1:05
  • 1
    somethings wrong: the black of the switch loop isn't visible in the photo of the outlet.
    – Jasen
    Jul 24, 2023 at 4:08

2 Answers 2

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What you have at the switch is a "switch loop" using the white (usually neutral) to carry power. That is no longer allowed, but you may be grandfathered in if you just put the switch back and don't touch anything. ( I'll let the code experts ring in on that)

The outlet you will need to replace with a new one, with the bridge still intact between the upper and lower screws.

Remove the black wire that I marked in the pic with yellow and discard. Keep the white and the other black together.

Attach the black that I marked with green to the gold screws on the new outlet. Add a pigtail to the whites and attach to the silver screws of the outlet and the ground wire to the green screw.

Now the switch will work the fan. The outlet will always be hot both upper and lower.

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  • To be fair, switches controlling receptacles can still use old-style switch loops... Jul 24, 2023 at 3:51
  • Thanks! I’ll be giving this a shot sometime this week or next weekend
    – Bruno
    Jul 24, 2023 at 4:07
  • @RMDman I tried your suggestion but no luck :-( I've added more details about what I tried in the original question above.
    – Bruno
    Jul 31, 2023 at 18:50
  • The wiring you have will make both sides of the switch always hot. If the black wire with the white dot is hot from the breaker, Find what the other black wires do and mark them with different colors and report back here. Remember to check wires with the switch bot on and off to determine which are controlled by the switch.
    – RMDman
    Jul 31, 2023 at 20:06
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I was finally able to figure out how to get the result I wanted. That is, having a non-switched outlet that is always hot on both receptacles and a switch that controls the fan.

This is the final configuration:

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I came up with a couple of crappy diagrams that depict why I believe this set up works. The top image is the original setup, which had a half-hot switched receptacle (note the broken gold tab on one side). The bottom image is the setup now.

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