In my house I have various rooms where the builder installed a light switch which only activates (1) half/switched outlet. The problem is, the outlet they chose in most instances was stupid / non-ideal. I've done some electrical work (installed dimmer switches, timers for porch lights, etc), but by no means do I know how things are wired off the top of my head. Is it possible for me to change which outlets are turned on by the switch? Are all outlets potential or did they just run the circuit from the switch to that one outlet? What do I need to look for?

1 Answer 1


It would be easy to change the half switched outlet to always on (by replacing it), but not trivial to make the switch control a different outlet. There is a dedicated wire running from the switch to the top half of your outlet (see red wire below). To control a different outlet, you'd need to run that wire to it.

half switched outlet

  • I figured that's what it'd be. Do you think there's any chance that they somehow ran a line to the other outlets to be helpful, or is that just wishful thinking? Jan 20, 2014 at 3:28
  • 2
    @2LeftThumbs Builders don't like to waste money, it's not likely they ran any extra wire.
    – Tester101
    Jan 20, 2014 at 11:18
  • Check into wireless options (Insteon is one that comes to mind, and there are others). You could replace your current switch with one that does wireless send/receive. It would control the existing outlet, but you could add receivers on the other outlets to control as well.
    – skaiser
    Jan 20, 2014 at 22:44

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