A switched outlet is a device that allows you to control electrical devices such as lights or fans using a wall switch.
The outlet has two wires connected to it, and each wire is attached to either the hot (red) or neutral (white) side of the circuit.
You can connect multiple switches to a single outlet, and you can also connect several outlets together. This means that you can turn off multiple appliances at once.
In this article, we will show you how to wire a switched outlet in your home. We will cover:
What are switch outlets?
Wiring a switched outlet
How to install a switched outlet
How do I know if my switch outlet needs replacement?
Table of Contents
What Are Switch Outlets?
Double switches are used when two lights must be controlled together. Un-switched plugs are used when appliances need power without needing a switch.
Switch-controlled receptacles are used when you want to control power to appliances using a switch.
A switched outlet is an electrical device that lets you control power to various electrical devices by turning it on/off with a wall switch.
It is used for controlling lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, and other small appliances like lamps.
How To Wire Switch And Outlet Combo
A combo device is the combined switch and outlet in the single enclosure box. The built-in switch can be wired into the receptacle in the box.
The switch can also be wired through a jumper wire, where the switch controls an additional load point, such as a light fixture.
Before installing a combo device, you need to understand the difference between a combo GFCI and a combo switch outlet. There is no breakaway fin tab on a standard combo GFCI.
Instead, there is a test button and a reset button on the GFCI. On a standard combo switch outlet, there is a fin tab on both sides of the line terminals.
This means that the line terminals can be used as sources and loads.
A combination switch/outlet device needs two blades, one for neutral and one for hot. The neutral blade should be narrower than the hot blade.
The neutral blade should also have a breakaway fin tab. The breaker tab can be removed if the switch controls more than one circuit.
Combo switches are commonly used in residential areas as well as commercial areas. These devices are usually installed in bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, etc.
Using these devices, you can turn off lights when leaving a room or turn them back on after a certain time period.
Wiring Light Bulbs With The Switch Outlet
In this simple wiring diagram, we have a combo switch & outlet connected to the 120VAC supply through a CB.
The breakaway fins tab is intact therefore, the line (hot) is attached to the (only) brass terminal on the line side. The neutral wire is connected to the neutral terminal.
The switch load terminal and the neutral wire are connected to a light bulb.
This way we can use the built-in switch to control the lighting point and socket outlets can be used for other uses and can be connected via plug.
Also, don’t forget to do the proper grounding connections according to your area code.
Wiring The Outlet To The Combo Outlet
This is how you add another outlet to your combo device. You need to connect the line, neutral, and ground wires together.
Use tight wire nuts when connecting the cables and wires.
Wiring The Combo Device To Different Sources
This is how you turn off your lights when you leave the room. You should use a power strip instead.
Keep in mind that if the disconnection fin tab is not available inside your existing or new combo outlet device, then this type of wiring connection is not feasible.
Switch Outlet Installation Guide
Wiring A Switch Outlet
Light switches are usually located near the outlet boxes. When turning off lights, you should turn them off using the switch next to the outlet box.
You’ll need to check your electrical panel to see what circuit controls the outlet you want to change.
Turn off the power to the circuit, and remove the cover plate from the switch or toggle switch.
Then flip the switch back on, and test the outlet again. If the outlet still works, you’ve found the right circuit.
To wire a switched outlet, you need to follow these steps:
Remove The Existing Switch
Remove the faceplate, remove the screws holding the light switch on, and test the power. Then remove the screws holding the junction box.
Two different sets of wires coming in means that there is a second switch somewhere else.
You need to check every other outlet and make sure none of them have a second switch. There are two black wires connected with the switch.
The other two are tied together with a nut, and the white wires are connected with another nut.
The black wires are the power wires and the white wires are the return wires. When you turn off the switch, electricity stops flowing through the light bulb.
Screwdrivers can be used as weapons when you’re fighting someone. You need to use them carefully because if you accidentally touch the metal part of the tool, you could get shocked.
Which Wires Are Hotlines?
Screwing the wires together helps prevent electrical shorts. Spread the wires away from each other so that they won’t short out.
Use pliers to straighten the wires before putting wire nuts on them. Put the voltage tester near the wires to determine if there is an electrical current flowing through them.
Turn off the power source and then check the wires again. Mark the wires with a permanent marker when the voltage tester indicates an electrical current flow.
Depending on if you want to use an outlet or a switch, there are several methods to wire them up.
Connect The White Wire From The Switch To One Of The White Wires From The Outlet
A common mistake when installing a new outlet is to forget to turn off the circuit breaker before removing the old outlet cover plate.
This could cause a fire if the wires were energized. Always check the circuit breaker first! A switch/receptacle device is used to connect two electrical devices together.
This is useful when installing lights in a room without access to a wall outlet.
You could use a switch to turn the light on and off, and the receptacle to provide power. There are many types of switches and receptacles available.
You can change this duplex outlet into a switch/receptacles combination. This saves you money because you’re not paying for two outlets.
But you can also use the switch to turn on an overhead light. In this case, fishing wires from the receptacle to the light fixture is fairly easy.
So this is how you’d wire the switch/receptacle combo device in this scenario.
In order to achieve the desired effect of a working receptacle, the tab must be removed from the outlet. To do this, simply pull out the tab on the backside of the outlet.
This will cause the light to turn off. Now, to connect the light to a new circuit, simply push down on the button located on the front of the outlet.
This causes the outlet to become a switch. You can now use the switch to control your lights. A task light that can be turned on or off using a switch instead of a cord.
A switch/receptacle combo device can be used to make any number of things happen. For example, it could be used to turn lights on or off, open doors, start motors, etc.
How Do I Know If My Switch Outlet Needs Replacement?
If any of the following situations occur, your switch outlet may need to be replaced:
The switch does not work properly.
The switch is damaged.
The switch is old.
Replace An Existing Outlet Yourself
To be sure the power is turned off, plug a night light into the outlet and turn on the switch. If the night light doesn’t go out, check the other breakers.
Remove the outlet cover with a screwdriver. You’ll probably need a helper to help hold a flashlight for you because the overhead light might also turn off.
A Phillips screwdriver can be used to remove an old outlet from the outlet boxes. The outlet hangs free when the screws are removed.
The black wire connects to brass or gold-colored screws. The white wire connects to a silver-colored screw. The green wire connects to a green-colored screw.
The new GFCI outlet should be attached in the same way as the previous one was removed.
The outlet has three screws on each side, and these screws need to be covered by a piece of tape. These screws are for use by a professional if there is an issue with the wiring.
Installing A New Switch Outlet
If you have decided that you want to replace your switch outlet, then you should first determine where the existing outlet is located.
You can find this information in the box that came with the switch outlet.
You should always double-check all electrical circuits before installing anything.
Use a voltage tester to ensure that the circuit is operating correctly. Always keep safety in mind when working around electricity.
We hope that this article has given you an insight into how to know if your switch outlet needs replacing and how to do it yourself from your very own home!
You’ll be laughing at how you were putting off this procedure for so long when you realize how easy it truly is to do it yourself!