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gregmac's terrific, detailed replies here prompt a question for me. I have a switch mid-circuit that will control half of the next outlet downstream. There is one more outlet after that one, and it's the terminus of the circuit. After I've added the 3-wire romex between the switch and the second-to-last outlet, can I go back to 2-wire from that outlet to the last one?

Thanks in advance for any and all help!

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Yes! I do that all the time. I use my own "standard" conventions:

  • Use the red wire for the "switched hot", black for "always hot".
  • Make it the top half of the receptacle that is switched.
  • Mark the switched half of the receptacle with a dot or something, to show it is switched.
  • Thanks Tom. So the always hot (unswitched supply) will feed into (3 wire) and out of (2 wire) the bottom receptacle, obviously. And I just nut off the neutrals, yes? (I'm a cabinetmaker, not an electrician - to paraphrase Dr. McCoy!) – Anthony Noel Jan 29 '15 at 22:57

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