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I have some duplex outlets where one of the two receptacles is on a switch. I wanted to install the one on the switch upside down (ground up) so that it's easy to tell which one is on the switch. Unfortunately, I'm not sure a device like this exists. How can I make the switched receptacle different?

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  • Never seen such an outlet. Also, how is that easier, you will have to remember which one is which? – Hank Oct 28 '15 at 1:33
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    Permanent marker (brand agnostic) and done. Also, ground pin up IS right side up. – Ecnerwal Oct 28 '15 at 12:25
  • Just to be clear, do you plan on using a dimmer? – Kris Oct 28 '15 at 14:39
  • I don't plan on using a dimmer on the switched outlets – Ben McCann Oct 28 '15 at 17:46
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I suspect that you are way way over thinking this issue. Lets just say that you were able to purchase a duplex outlet that looked like this:

enter image description here

...And then you decide to wire it up such that the outlets with the safety GND hole UP would be the switched outlet. That would require you to remember that this orientation was switched. It would turn out that this would always be on the bottom side of the duplex. So why not just use normal outlets and simply remember that the switched one is on the bottom.

If you really do need a visual indicator then get some acrylic paint or nail polish of a likable color and paint the surface of the switched outlet.

enter image description here

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  • The majority of the outlets in house are not switched. That means almost all receptacles will be ground side down. That will make it very easy to remember which are the ones that are different – Ben McCann Oct 28 '15 at 16:07
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Lutron makes this outlet

enter image description here

That works with this plug

enter image description here

So you can tell which one is which, plus no accidentall plug-ins.

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  • To be clear, this outlet is not made just for switched outlets. It's made when you want to control half of an outlet with a dimmer. Some electronics and devices can be harmed by the undercurrent of a dimmer, so a "safety" measure is needed to stop you from plugging anything in other than a lamp. With a normal switched outlet, you can safely plug anything thing in, so this is a very expensive and unnecessary option. – JPhi1618 Oct 28 '15 at 13:45
  • To be precise, this outlet and plug combo DOES NOT REQUIRE a dimmer. Also, if a dimmer is used later, then this is NEC code complaint. Yes it is expensive, and other options do exist. – Kris Oct 28 '15 at 14:17
  • Never said it required a dimmer. It is designed to be used with a dimmer, and that's really the only reason it was made. Of course you can spend $80 to use this with a regular switch, but no one will. – JPhi1618 Oct 28 '15 at 14:23
  • I will happily remove my answer if I can get the OP to confirm they are not using or plan to use a dimmer. – Kris Oct 28 '15 at 14:40
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    I think its a fine answer and fits the question for future users. I was only adding that its really designed with dimmers in mind. – JPhi1618 Oct 28 '15 at 14:45

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