How To Make Outlet Not Controlled By Switch
Are you tired of constantly having to reset your electronic devices and appliances because you accidentally turned off the switch controlling your outlet? Or, perhaps you want to update the lighting in your home and need an outlet that is always on, no matter the position of the switch. Whatever the reason, ensuring that your outlet is not controlled by a switch is a fairly simple process that can make a big difference in your daily life. As a medium-sized city, Providence, Rhode Island, zip code 02909, is home to many residents who may be facing this issue. That’s why B&K Electric, a family-owned and operated electrical business based in Warwick, RI, is here to provide you with the necessary steps to make your outlet not controlled by a switch. Our team of experienced electricians has been proudly serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island for over seventeen years, making us the go-to electricians for any residential electrical needs.
Understanding How Your Outlet is Controlled By a Switch
Before diving into the steps to make your outlet not controlled by a switch, it’s important to understand how power flows within your home’s electrical system. In a typical three-prong outlet, the longer slot is the neutral connection, the shorter slot is the hot connection, and the round slot is the ground. The neutral and hot connections carry the electrical current, while the ground is a safety feature that directs excess electricity away from appliances and into the ground in case of an electrical malfunction. In most homes, outlets are controlled by a switch in order to save energy and prevent accidents. However, for some appliances and devices, it is necessary for the outlet to be continuously powered regardless of the position of the switch, such as with a WiFi router or a refrigerator.
Step-by-Step Guide to Making Your Outlet Not Controlled By a Switch
1. Prepare for the Electrical Work
Anytime you are working with electricity, it is important to take proper precautions to ensure your safety. Before starting this project, be sure to turn off the electricity to the specific circuit you will be working on by turning off the main circuit breaker. It is recommended to use a circuit tester to confirm that the power is off before proceeding. Additionally, it is always a good idea to wear safety glasses and gloves while working with electrical materials.
2. Remove the Current Outlet and Switch
Using a screwdriver, remove the cover plate and unscrew the outlet from the junction box. Disconnect the wires from the outlet and remove the outlet completely. Next, using the same process, remove the switch controlling the outlet by unscrewing it and disconnecting the wires.
3. Identify the Hot Wire and Remove the Tab
This step is important as it ensures power is directed to the outlet at all times. The hot wire will be the black or red wire attached to the smaller tab on the side of the outlet. Using wire cutters, remove the tab connecting the two black or red hot wires on the same side. This breaks the connection and allows each wire to power its own outlet.
4. Connect the Wires
Using wire strippers, carefully strip the ends of the wires that you will be connecting. Take the black hot wire from the uppermost connection and connect it to the brass screw on the outlet. Connect the black wire from the lower connection to the other brass screw. It is important to connect the wires in this specific order to ensure proper electrical flow.
5. Attach the Ground Wire
Using a green wire and wire nut, connect the ground wire from the outlet to the metal box that houses the electrical connections. This will ensure that any excess electricity is directed away from the outlet and into the ground.
6. Reassemble the Outlet and Test It
Once all the wires are securely connected, carefully place the outlet back into the junction box and tighten the screws. Securely attach the outlet cover. Before turning the circuit breaker back on, use a circuit tester to confirm that the outlet is receiving power. If everything is functioning correctly, turn on the circuit breaker and test the outlet with a device to ensure it is now continuously powered.
Congratulations, you have successfully made your outlet not controlled by a switch! While this may seem like a daunting task at first, with the proper safety precautions and a little bit of know-how, it is a simple process that can make a big difference in your daily routine. If you feel uncomfortable attempting this project yourself, don’t hesitate to reach out to a licensed electrician for assistance. B&K Electric is always here to provide you with our expert services and ensure that your home’s electrical system is functioning safely and efficiently. We hope this guide has been helpful in resolving your electrical issue and improving your daily life.