Electrical Wiring in the Home/Bedroom outlet wiring


After painting our bedroom, I wanted to update our electrical switch and outlets as they were 23 years old.  We do not have a ceiling light in the room, so the switch is set up to turn power on and off to the top receptacle of each outlet around the room.  Our lamps are plugged into the top of the outlets and therefore can be turned on & off by the switch.  The bottom plugs have power all the time.  I replaced the one switch and all 6 outlets.  I was careful to wire each one just the same as the one I was replacing each time.  Now, the top & bottom of each outlet have power all the time.  The switch will not control power to the top of the outlet like before.  I completely unhooked the switch from the power and the outlets still all work.  I don't know what I did to cause the change.

Robert Wilber
Licensed Philadelphia Electrician
Philadelphia License # 3516 - 16765
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Well, I guess you didn't wire them quite the same then ... but, no problem!

I suppose you don't have the old devices any more? That's okay.

If you look at the receptacle, where the screw terminals are located, you can see that there are two brass screws threaded into little plates. These plates are joined together by a small bridge of metal with rather delicate connections to the plates. If you had the old receptacles, you would notice that this bridge has been removed on the ungrounded or "hot" side, isolating each of the two terminals from the other.

Break that bridge out by rocking it back and forth with a needle-nosed pliers and it will restore the isolation that allows partial switch control. It will only work if you do it to all the receptacles that have both hot and switched feeds connected.
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Robert Wilber


Licensed Philadelphia electrician serving Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania. I install and repair residential, commercial and industrial wiring and lighting. Troubleshooting and repair of problems that stump other people is my favorite. I am willing to help people figure out why things don`t work. I understand motor controls, transformers and machine wiring. I do not teach basics to novices or do free design work.


Experience in the area I have 44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair, 480 volts and below. This is not to be confused with one week repeated two thousand times.

44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair

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