I was installing an HDTV antenna in my attic and there's an outlet up there to which I can plug in the amplifier. The problem is that both outlet plugs are switched - they're connected (along with two lights) to the light switch right by the attic door. When I turn off the switch, I lose power to my antenna amplifier as well (I resolved my problem short term by leaving the switch on and unscrewing the light bulbs).

It doesn't make sense why the plugs are switched - can I wire them to power to they're always hot, or is that against code? I'll just pull live power from the switch to the plugs if I can - it's not far - but I don't want to cause code or safety problems later.

Thanks! I live in Arizona, but if there's a potential code concern, I'll consult an electrician.

1 Answer 1


No, there is no requirement that an outlet in the attic be switched.

If there is an attic fan, there is a requirement there be a switch for that, in case someone gets caught in it. Local code could interpret the fan switch requirement in such a way that if an outlet is placed so that a fan could be plugged into it, then the outlet must be switched.

Naturally for lights, most homeowners would want to be able to turn them off, so there should be a switch for those.

If I were you, I would rewire it so the outlet is always live and the switch only turns on/off the lights. Who could possibly object to that?

  • That's what I was planning on, I just wanted to make sure there wasn't an obvious reason it was set up that way. It sounds like you're confirming what I suspected - they either wired it wrong or just interpreted code a bit to aggressively.
    – SqlRyan
    Dec 27, 2013 at 19:46
  • You could have two switches -- one for the fan, one for the light.
    – TomG
    Dec 27, 2013 at 21:19

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