How To Wire Split Outlets

Before You Begin
Before you attempt this installation, turn the power off to the circuit that you’ll be working on. Check to be sure that the circuit has been turned off using a tester.

Remove the Switch
If you have an existing switch located in the room, remove the cover plate and switch.
If you don’t have a switch in your room, you’ll have to add an electrical box to the wall.

Run a New Wire
Locate the hot wire feeding the switch and disconnect it from the switch. Run an electrical wire down the wall to new box. Install a 12-3 NM wire that has a ground wire. Leave about 6 – 8 inches of wire hanging out of the boxes.

Strip the Wire Sheath
Using a NM (Romex) stripper or a razor knife, strip back about six inches of insulation from the wire. Cut off the excess insulation and separate the wires.

Strip the Wires
Knowing exactly how much insulation to strip off of a conductor is crucial to properly fitting the wire on devices and making a good connection. Using wire strippers, strip off about 3/4″ of insulation off of the black, red and white wires. This will allow enough wire to make the proper connection without having excess hanging out and shorting out against the box.

Remove Hot Tab on the Outlet
Locate the side of the outlet where the brass screws are located. Between the two screws and the face of the outlet, you’ll notice a small brass piece of metal (called a tab)connecting the hot feeds. Simply break it off by inserting a screw driver under it and bend it back and forth. You can also use long nosed pliers to break it loose. Once remove, the common bond is broken.

Wire the Outlet
Connecting the appropriate colored wire to the right screw terminal on an outlet is a must. Learn where each wire is connected.
Replace the Outlet
When you’ve finished wiring the outlet, use the two screws provided on the switch and tighten them to the box via the two screw holes provided.

Wire the Switch
Starting with the feeder wire, locate the black wire and pigtail it to the black wire going to the outlet and also the bottom brass-colored screw on the switch. Connect the red wire to the top brass-colored screw on the switch. This connection is what will turn on and off one part of the outlet. Twist the white wires together and twist a wire nut over them. Twist the ground wires together and pigtail them to the box and to the green screw on the switch.

Replace the Switch and Cover Plate
When you’ve finished wiring the switch, screw the two screws mounted on the switch into the two holes mounted on the box. Tighten these screws snugly, but don’t over tighten. Now install the cover plate by installing the two screws into the switch screw holes. Be careful not to over tighten these! If you do, the cover may crack.