How to Make Outlet Not Controlled by Switch?
This is a common question when you want to wire a light that will be on when another circuit is turned on or one that is going to be on all the time. You might also want to know how to complete this process if you are going to be installing a dimmer switch. The dimmer switch is one of the most common reasons that you might have this question.
If you are looking to change an outlet from a controlled switch to one that is not controlled by a switch, you will need to bypass the switch. This requires knowing what the wiring of the existing switch works like. You will need to connect the white wires to the other neutral wires in the switch to make sure that it is on all the time. This applies whether or not it is controlled by a new kind of switch or another switch in another room.
If you are ready to learn more about how to make an outlet not be controlled by a switch, you need to read on!
Make Outlet Not Controlled by Switch (Step-by-Step)
The first thing that needs to be said, is that this change will require that you have more than just basic DIY skills. You will have to be comfortable with safe wiring processes and you will need to be sure that you know how to rewire a circuit and a switch depending on the setup in your home or office or business.
You will need some basic wiring tools which include:
- A flat-head screwdriver
- A Phillips-head
- Needle-nose pliers
- Some combination pliers
You might also want a voltage tester for your use to make sure that you are safe to start working on the wiring. Remember that you will need to have a new switch like a dimmer switch, for your needs. If you want the circuit to be on all the time, then you might just want a switch cover that removes the chance that you will interact with the switch any longer.
1. Turn off the Power
You will need to turn off the power at the breaker box first of all. This will make sure that you are not going to get hurt when you are working on the switch. No matter what kind of change you are working on for your needs, you will not want power flowing to the switch while you are working on it. Make sure that your house does not have unique wiring set up connected to two breakers. This can happen in older homes in some cases.
Circuit breakers will have a diagram of the breakers that control different areas of the house if you are not sure how things are wired in your unique situation. You can always hook up a radio to the outlets in the room and wait to see if it turns off when you switch off the breaker.
2. Remove the Existing Outlet
You can unscrew the faceplate and you will need to remove the actual outlet. You should use your voltage tester to make sure that the box and the switch are not still live before you remove the outlet. Remove the screws that hold the outlet into the junction box. You can remove the box with your hands once it has been unscrewed.
You should look at how the wiring is done when you are removing the switch itself. You will want to look for what the arrangement of the two black and two hire wires are. The black wires are the hot ones and the white ones are the return wires. The copper wire is the ground. You will want to make sure that you know which wire was connected to the screw before you remove the whole switch. This will help you to rewire the location as needed.
3. Remove the Ground Wire and the Terminal
Using the Phillips-head screwdriver and unscrew and remove the terminal from the wires that are still attached. You should have 5 wires left. You should see two black, two white, and one ground wire. When the outlet that you are working with is at the end of the circuit, there will be one less pair of black and white wires.
4. Reconnect the White Wire
During this step, you will take the white wire out of the hot wires. You will connect this wire to the other white neutral wires in the box. Use a small nail or paperclip to slot into the back of the receptacle outlet to keep the wires free of the screws. Connect all the black hot wires to the side of the receptacle.
5. If Adding a Dimmer Switch
When adding a dimmer switch instead of leaving the location hot all the time, you will need to remove ¾ inch of the casing from the end of the house wires. You will then connect the ground wire to the green or copper wire. Then you will twist the ends together and cap them off.
You will then connect the dimmer wire to the house wire. The next step is to move on to connecting the black and white wires correctly. Make sure to recap the wires as you connect them.
6. Replace the Faceplate
Now that your wiring has been correctly altered, you will add the faceplate that includes the dimmer knob or slider. You will want to use screws to attach the faceplate to the wall. Make sure to turn the power back on and then test. You will want to be sure that your switch works correctly at both ends of the spectrum.
How to Make the Outlet Hot All the Time?
If you are not going to be bypassing the switch or adding a dimmer switch plate to the location, you will need to be sure that you are wiring the switch to be bypassed in the wiring correctly. You will need to be sure that you wire the right wires together and then replace the light switch plate with a dummy plate.
This is an easier process than adding a dimmer switch and you will want to be sure that you follow the first steps of the former process minus the steps to add a new switch. Replacing the former switch plate with a blank faceplate is important to complete this process.
Making an Outlet Not Controlled by a Traditional Switch
While you should not engage in this activity without prior experience with working on wiring, you will find that the process of linking this hot outlet to a dinner switch or bypassing it is easier than you might have thought. You can use the removed light switch for wiring guidance and you can readily make the switch work with a dimmer or to be skipped over entirely.
Replacing a switch is not as hard as it might seem and you will find that most wiring arrangements in homes are very simple. As long as you use the right safety procedures for this process, you can play with connecting the wiring and craft the right solution for your needs with ease. You will be able to rewire this kind of outlet more readily than you think and you will be able to change out the current switch for a dimmer or a permanently hot outlet with ease.