Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

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Kurt_Blake
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Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by Kurt_Blake » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:09 pm

I have a “half-hot” outlet in a bedroom that is wired to
a switch. I am adding a ceiling light and I’d like to tap into
this outlet. I would like the switch to control the hot side
of the outlet and the new ceiling light.

How should this be wired?

I left the ground wires off the diagram to reduce clutter.
House is built in the early 60's.
The outlet and switch are new.

Thanks for you help!
Half Hot Diagram.png
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A. Spruce
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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by A. Spruce » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:25 pm

A "half switched outlet" simply has the lugs between the top and bottom of the outlet severed. Half of the outlet remains hot, while the hot feed for the other half of the outlet goes through the switch.

If you want the light and outlet switched by the same switch, then simply drop a wire to the switch to tap in for your light fixture. The hot in will stay on the switch, the hot out will pigtail to the light and back down to the outlet.
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Aaron
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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by Aaron » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:41 pm

According to his diagram there's no neutral in the switch box, so he'd need to go from the receptacle up to the light.

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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by Aaron » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:43 pm

Nope. My bad. I didn't read "white inside the box". Everything Spruce said is right. You could also run from the receptacle too, whichever is easiest for you.

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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by A. Spruce » Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:35 pm

Aaron wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:43 pm
Everything Spruce said is right.
You know, I never tire of hearing that. ;) ;) ;) :mrgreen:

Good call on being able to tap the outlet as well, just be sure that you're tapping into the switched side when you do. Same still applies, hot to the switch, hot from switch to the outlet and light.
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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by Aaron » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:38 pm

A. Spruce wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:35 pm
You know, I never tire of hearing that. ;) ;) ;) :mrgreen:
I never tire of your candor... or modesty. Lol!

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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by A. Spruce » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:05 am

Oh, heck, modesty is my strong suit! As for candor, well, I'm a can do'r kinda guy! :mrgreen:
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Kurt_Blake
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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by Kurt_Blake » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:02 am

Thanks for helping me out guys. I really appreciate it!

I am tapping into the outlet. Can you let me know if this wiring diagram is correct?
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Aaron
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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by Aaron » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:29 am

Yes, you got it. You could even replace the receptacle if you no longer need or want it to be switched.

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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by Kurt_Blake » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:12 am

Ok great! I will wire this and let you know how it goes. Thx!

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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by Kurt_Blake » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:52 pm

I wired this up exactly like the diagram. The light and the outlet work but the switch doesn't. I tried two other switches and it still doesn't work. Any ideas? Thx

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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by A. Spruce » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:10 pm

All a switch does is break the hot leg from reaching its final destination. If the switch isn't working, then it isn't wired properly. Recheck your connections that you haven't directly wired the light around the switch.
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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by Aaron » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:34 pm

One of your hot wires in your wiring is switched and the other is constantly live. By saying your switch is not working but the light and receptacle are, I assume you mean that receptacle and light are constantly live and on, and you can't turn them off? If so, you need to wire to the OTHER hot wire in that receptacle box.

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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by Kurt_Blake » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:42 pm

I have it wired exactly like the diagram. I'm stumped. Unless you can see an error in the diagram I think I might take it apart and wire the light separate from the outlet.

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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by Kurt_Blake » Mon Mar 11, 2019 4:56 pm

Aaron, Yes they are constantly live. Are you saying that the black wire coming from the switch should be moved up to the switched outlet, with the red wire?

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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by Shannon » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:07 pm

How about a photo of the receptacle so we can see the wiring?
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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by Kurt_Blake » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:23 pm

Not easy to see but here's a few photos. The wire from the light is coming up from the bottom which will be covered. Thx
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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by Shannon » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:53 pm

Hard to decipher picture but I don’t see a constant hot wire from the supply going to the switch? That junction must be in the box in wall?
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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by Kurt_Blake » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:44 pm

Shannon, Check out the drawing in this thread. It’s wired exactly like that. Thx

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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by Kurt_Blake » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:49 pm

Does the black wire that comes from the switch have to connect to the top part of the outlet, not the bottom?

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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by A. Spruce » Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:37 pm

Kurt_Blake wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:49 pm
Does the black wire that comes from the switch have to connect to the top part of the outlet, not the bottom?
The power coming into the outlet needs to be pigtailed to the switch and one of the terminals of the outlet. The bar between the top and bottom lugs of the outlet needs to be removed so that they will be independent of each other. The hot in will connect to either the top or the bottom, it doesn't matter which, though usually the bottom of the outlet is what stays hot and the top is usually switched.

The hot that is pigtailed to the switch goes up to the switch and connects on one of the lugs there, it doesn't matter whether you use the top or bottom lug because the switch is simply a "break" in the wire to control the flow of power. From there, the power goes back down to the outlet where it is pigtailed to the second lug of the outlet and to the new light fixture.

All of the whites are bundled, and pigtailed to the outlet. If you leave the bar between the lugs is intact on the neutral side, you only need one pigtail, if the bar has been removed you either have to replace the outlet or do two pigtails. Simply cap the neutral that is up in the switch box, it isn't needed.

All of the grounds are bundled together and get pigtailed to switch (if grounded), outlet, and light fixture.
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Aaron
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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by Aaron » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:05 am

Start over.

Disconnect the receptacle entirely, along with all wirenuts and fan out your wires. Determine which hot wire coming into that box is being switched with a multi-meter or circuit tester. Use test leads on the exposed ends of the wires, one on hot and the other neutral or ground.

Assuming you didn't alter any of the wiring at the switch, one of those hots should be energized or not depending on the switch position. It should work that way because it always has.

Have someone at the switch help you switch it off and on again, while you look at your circuit tester to see the voltage on and off.

If it's simply no longer working, then you should get a professional electrician in there to sort out what changed since you started working with it because we really can't help you further.

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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by emtnut » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:03 am

Kurt_Blake wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:52 pm
I wired this up exactly like the diagram. The light and the outlet work but the switch doesn't. I tried two other switches and it still doesn't work. Any ideas? Thx
The diagram is correct. I'm thinking that the switch controls 1/2 the receptacle (the one without the light).
If you check top and bottom of recept with the light switch on and off, I think that's what you'll find.
Also, what are you using to test for power at the recept ?
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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by Kurt_Blake » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:36 pm

I took Aaron's advice and disconnected everything at the outlet. I tested the wires by touching the light's wires to the black, red, and white and then flipping the switch off and went through the same process.
Black(light) to Black, White(light) to White = hot
Black(light) to Red, White(light) to White = hot

I then pigtailed the black and red together.
Black(light) to Black/Red, White(light) to White = hot

I flipped the switch off and repeated the process. Nothing changes.

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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by A. Spruce » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:04 pm

It sounds to me like you do not have the switch properly wired into the system.

Black in (source hot) pigtails to bottom of outlet and black wire going up to switch.

Red wire returns from the switch and pigtails to the top of the outlet and the light. Make sure that the bar has been removed between the hot side lugs on the outlet.

All whites are bundled, with a pigtail going to the neutral side of the outlet. If the bar between the neutral lugs has been removed, then you will need to pigtail white to both lugs. White up at the switch will be capped and pushed into the back of the box.

All Grounds will be bundled together with pigtails to the grounding lugs on the outlet and switch.
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Aaron
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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by Aaron » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:41 pm

I'm assuming you did not tamper with any wiring at the switch (because you did not need to).

At this point, please contact an electrician out there to help you.

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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by Shannon » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:53 am

Ya that diagram is correct . Try it all again maybe you have something crossed up?
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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by emtnut » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:56 am

Dumb question, but are you sure the switch you are turning on and off is the switch for that outlet ??

I asked what you were measuring the voltage with. If it's one of those non contact sticks, they often give false readings. Plug a light into both receptacles and test that way.
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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by Kurt_Blake » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:51 pm

I ended up taking everything apart from the switch to the outlet and rewired it. I have the switch working now. I planned to have the outlet "always hot" but with the wires available it didn't work so the outlet is on/off with the switch. I can live with that. Thanks for your time. It's good to know that you guys are here to help. I learn a lot from your youtube videos. Keep up the good work!

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Re: Add A Ceiling Light to a Half Hot Outlet and Switch

Post by A. Spruce » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:06 pm

There is no reason that the outlet is not exactly how you want it, you've got all the wires you need, it's only a matter of configuring them to get what you want.

If you want both halves of the outlet hot all the time, then only attach the incoming hot to it, leave it out of the switch loop. Because it's been half hot/half switched, the bar between the hot lugs has been removed, so you either have to replace the outlet with a new one or install a jumper wire from the bottom to the top so that both halves are hot.

If you want to keep it half hot/half switched, then refer back to earlier posts on how to accomplish this.

In all honesty, though, it would be a good idea to have an electrician out to check your work.
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