Introduction: Auxiliary Switched Outlets

About: I'm a computer nerd with a degree in Computer Science that enjoys making things in my spare time. Many of the things I build are multipurpose. Most of the time I don't think about making an instructable on som…

This all started when I watched a video by Matthias Wandel where he has a video that shows a switched outlet that I couldn't forget about. After a little while of searching and some dumb luck, I came upon a replacement float switch for a sump pump. At that point I had everything I needed to make the same switch he showed at the beginning of the video. Then I started to think about the different ones I have made in the past trying to come up with one I liked. This is a short instructable of the different ones I made.

Note: I don't show the wiring of the outlets or switch because I am not an electrician, I just know from years of experience and being taught by my grandfather (who worked construction) how to maintain a house and repair the different problems that might arise.

Step 1: The First One I Ever Made

This is the first one I ever made. It is just about the same as the one that Matthias made in his video. I used a double romex connector to have both wires come out the same connector, but you can easily use two romex connectors in the box. If you use a double romex connector I find it easier to insert the wires first and then put it in the box.

Step 2: The Second One I Made

You would think that this would be the first one I ever made, but at the time I wasn't willing to sacrifice an extension cord. After having the first one for a while, I decided to sacrifice a 6 foot extension cord for one I thought would be better. It is basically the same as the first one except for a female plug end instead of an electrical box.

Step 3: A Variation on My Second One

Instead of using a normal light switch, you can use a safety switch to control a router table or an old table saw that might not have a safety switch.

Step 4: My Current One

This is the current one I have. When I did some searching online, the cheapest float switch I could find online was about $15 dollars. But I went to that orange big box tool store and checked out the clearance sections (like I do in every time I walk into a store). I found a float switch that was sitting on the shelf that wasn't in a box. After finding an employee I asked him if he would let it go a little cheaper (it was $20 bucks and I was hoping to get it for $15). He gave to me for $10 bucks! Now I could have tried to find a sump pump with a float switch that someone might have thrown out. Having never seen one sitting out in the trash, I took the deal.

The plug/receptacle from the float switch is easy to wire up. There is no ground coming from the plug, so if that makes you uncomfortable then make one of the previous ones.

Step 5: Final Thoughts

As you can see from the picture I didn't actually wire the switches or plugs up. That is a big reason I didn't show wiring the them up. I also want you to learn the proper way to do it and not learn my way of doing it (which may include some bad habits). I don't think I have any bad habits, but since I don't have formal electrical training I'd rather not teach you how to wire things up.