Replacing Switched Outlets

Current Setup:
Multiple wall outlets with one side tied to a 3-way switch. Lamps plugged into the outlets. No neutral wire present.

Desired Setup:
Smart switches controlling the lamps.

Proposed Solution:
Bypass the switch by tying the line/load together, essentially “turning on” the outlets. Replace the switches with smart switches and wire the “line” on theminto the previously connected line/load.
Put smart plugs in the outlets (paired to the switches) to control the lamps.

Is this the simplest way to do this, or is there a better way?

What country are you in? And is your goal just to have a switch which can turn the outlet on and off? Or do you need the outlet to be dead when the switch is off?

Do you want all outlets to be “smart” switched or just specific ones? If all it would be cheaper to buy a micro relay switch such as the Qubino. You would need to figure out where power is coming into that room and install the micro relay into that box and then you could control via ST.

That’s one reason I asked about the country. The micros can be a good solution for European countries where outlets are typically 10 A. But in the United States, code in almost all jurisdictions require than an outlet be able to handle up to 15 A. The micros almost all top out at 10 A, and some can only handle 8A.

For the Qubino:

  • Maximum (Resistive) Load for 120VAC : 1100 W / 10A

That’s good for a light switch in the US, but not for an in wall receptacle.

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There has to be a neutral at the outlet, they can’t work otherwise.

Are you just saying that there’s no neutral at the switchbox?

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Thank you for the prompt replies!

I am in the US, and the outlets have a neutral, just not the switches.

Here are my goals:

  1. Maintain the 3-way ability that I have now, where either switch will turn the lamps on/off.
  2. Reuse the existing switch boxes. I do not want to have a blank plate and another switch stuck to the wall next to the blank.
  3. I am only interested in controlling the lamps in the room. I do not care if that involves adding a smart plug to the outlet or using the outlet itself.
  4. I don’t really care too much about cost on this one (within reason, of course). I just want to arrive at a good solution that satisfies the 3 goals above.
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I noticed that Lutron has a new device out which appears promising. The wiring looks pretty simple and it does not require a neutral. It also does not require replacing of the 2nd dumb switch.

Well, it looked promising until I realized it’s not a smart switch. :rofl:

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It’s a nice switch, but it’s not a networked switch. (It has smart features, but they are built into the switch itself, you can’t control it with an app or voice or integrate it to smartthings.)

That’s what “standalone“ means in the Lutron world.

Take a look at the Qubino relay suggested above (or other brand similar devices). It is a z-wave device. You would install it in the box that has power coming to it and where the wire runs to the switch and other outlets. You would install the relay in the lines between the power and the outlet cutting out the existing switch. You can then wire the switch to the relay as an input. The pro is that it will give you the functionality you want.

If the box you need to use is really packed full of wires you may have trouble cramming the relay in behind the outlet. Some careful trimming of excess wire may resolve the issue.

Sometimes a 3 way switch is wired such that the power in goes to one switch and the load is wired in by the other switch. If that is the case you may have a challenge sorting how to wire it up as you my find yourself one conductor short.