I've been searching DIY but haven't found a clear "how-to" for my exact situation. I've got a light switch that controls both the recessed lighting in a room as well as an entire outlet below it. I'd like the outlet to be permanently hot without impacting the lighting.


  • The outlet has not had the brass connector removed
  • When tested with an outlet checker, both outlets are "correct"
  • The circuit is turned off


Switch box


Outlet box

  • 1
    I can guess with about 25% confidence that the yellow wire nut behind the switched outlet is a source of unswitched power. If you know how to test that, test it. It's hard to diagnose other peoples' spaghetti over the internet. You could make it easier by carefully unfolding all the wire bundles in each junction box, without disconnecting anything, and scraping the white paint off the wires so we can tell what wires from what cables are connected to what.
    – jay613
    Commented May 18 at 16:15
  • 2
    Agree with @crip659 about moving the red on the switch. Also want to point out that backstabs are generally bad (don’t do them). The strip length on the red on the switch tells me the “electrician” didn’t give a damn, so I’d be going through the house to remediate every outlet and switch. (Eventually — this isn’t something I’d take the next week off to do.) Commented May 18 at 17:01
  • @crip659 the solution you've provided seems to work! The switch now controls lights only and outlets are "always on". If you turn your comment into an answer I'd be happy to accept it! Commented May 18 at 17:38

1 Answer 1


On the switch, the single black on the bottom should be always be hot.

The red and black together should be switched hots. Seeing a red hot on the receptacle, that should be from the switch.

Remove the red and either put it on the bottom screw or connect it to the hot black bundle with the red wire nut.

Adding it to the hot bundle will allow you to change the remaining back stabs to the screws.

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