I am trying to change a switched outlet to a half-hot outlet. If you can see the picture, the outlet currently only has a white, black, and ground wire coming to it.

The switch is on the other side of the wall and it would be eextremely difficult and ugly to run another wire to it. (no crawl or attic space). So my question is, can I change the current outlet/wiring within the outlet to make it a half-hot? My understanding is that removing the brass connector will just make half of it dead. outlet

  • Is the switch at about the same location, just on the other side of the wall? Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 11:51

2 Answers 2


No. It's not possible to do what you want, without running additional wires.

  • The reason being you need two hot lines (two blacks, two reds, or one black one red) at a half-hot outlet, one switched and one always hot. If it is switched now, you don't have an always-hot wire in the box.
    – bib
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 16:37

As @Tester101 said, you can't do it just with wiring unless you run new wiring.

If you were willing to permanently remove the switch (making the outlet a hot circuit), you could then install a outlet with one unswitched outlet and one switched outlet controlled via carrier-current (X10) or radio protocols, then mount a controller module where you wanted the switch. Not cheap, but might be less expensive than the labor of running more wires. Of course you'd also need to install the same kind of remote-controlled switching for anything else that switch controls. Look at "home automation" catalogs to find the appropriate hardware.

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