I have a half switched outlet that I want to change back to a regular outlet. When I am looking at the wires, there are 2 neutral (white) wires going to the silver screws, a ground wire, and a red and black wire going to the brass screws. Is it as simple as replacing the outlet with a new one and not removing the brass tab? Would the wiring be the same? This wall switch controls many different outlets in the room, not just the one I want to change.


One of the sets of hot/neutral wires are switched (probably red/white) and one is unswitched (probably black/white). You only want one set connected to your new outlet. If you connect both, you'll short them together. Best case, your whole switched circuit will become unswitched. Worst case, you'll connect together opposite legs of your 240v feed and blow breakers or start a fire!

Try connecting the black and corresponding white to the new outlet and cap the other two wires with wire nuts. If the whole outlet ends up switched, exchanged the connected wires with the capped wires.

Edit: as Michael Karas points out (thanks), check the side of the old outlet where the white wires were connected. If that tab was not broken, go ahead and connect both white wires. The outlet may have been used as a jumper to extend the neutral to other outlets/loads. You still never want to connect both the red and black wires.

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    A clarification needs to be made as to if the tabs were removed on both sides of the outlet or just on the hot wire side. If the tab is intact on the neutral wire side then the two white wires attached to the current outlet are using the outlet to connect them together. In that case they will want to stay connected and not leave one open. – Michael Karas Jan 1 '16 at 0:21
  • @MichaelKaras very good point. I'll edit. – DoxyLover Jan 1 '16 at 0:59
  • Yes the tab on neutral side is intact, so I will connect both white wires then. Thanks so much for the advice, I will try changing it out soon. – M. Williams Jan 1 '16 at 1:20

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