A home with electricity must have outlets for it to power appliances. There are many common types that are widely used in homes. You need a circuit for the electricity in your home to work. An outlet is a source of electrical power that allows you to plug your appliances, therefore they house the circuits. You should consult with a professional electrician from time to time, to inspect the state of your electrical outlets. If you need to install an outlets feature for your new home or replace the old ones, this article would give you insight into the various outlet options there are. Do you need expert services to help with your installations? We offer quality electrical installations at affordable rates. It’s important to use experienced professionals for your project and we can provide you with that. Contact us today. We are always ready to help!
What Are Electrical Outlet Types and How Do They Work?
There are numerous electrical outlet types that could be installed in a home. These include GFCIs, AFCIs, combination outlets etc. Power plants and lines bring electricity into the house, while it is distributed within by a circuit breaker. Each outlet is connected to the circuit breaker through a wiring system. Older homes might need to have all their outlets replaced. Most modern homes have a three-prong outlet, which features two vertical slots with a grounding hole at the bottom. The ground wire helps prevent electrical shock should any wiring comes loose.
There are three holes in an outlet. The first hole is called neutral, the second hot and the third, ground hole. Each hole has different functions. The wire that brings currents is connected to the hot hole, while the neutral hole returns the current to the breaker box. As soon as a lamp is turned on, the hot part allows the flow of electricity into the lamp and it comes on. Then, the current flows back into the outlet through the neutral hole and finally into the circuit breaker. If you unplug the lamp, the circuit is discontinued therefore, the lamp goes off. Every home should have a circuit breaker because it safeguards your home’s electrical system from surges.
What Are the Most Common Kinds Of Electrical Outlets?
There are various kinds of electrical outlets classified based on their uses, number of prongs, amperage, voltage and some special features. Before booking an electrician for your electrical works, you should have an impactful session with the company to understand how to choose, locate, and wire an electrical receptacle in a home. Your choice outlet must have grounded wire to ensure safety. These pronged outlets, also known as sockets or plugs are very easy to install however, it should be done by a professional so it complies with the Energy Code of the state. Electricity brings ease to your day-to-day activities and outlets are the means by which you access it in your home. It is an important part of the electrical systems within your house and having a knowledge of how it works helps you learn how to carry out simple tasks like resetting a circuit breaker or trying an outlet. The different types of home outlets include:
1. Combination Outlets
A combination outlet is a gem in any home’s electrical network. It combines a great ease of use with versatility to create a marvelous multi-tasker. It allows a switch or outlet to be added to a receptacle so, instead of wiring a switch in the wall, it can be integrated into an outlet. This is why it is also called switched outlets. Combination outlets are perfect for modern bedrooms and makes using electricity less stressful. If you are looking to improve the quality of your electrical outlets, try these out. They are a great for your home.
2. GFCI – Electrical Outlets & Receptacles
A GFCI outlet is suited for rooms within the house where water is used more frequently e.g. bathrooms, kitchens, laundry areas e.t.c. It can be used both indoors and outdoors. GFCI outlets have a round hole which is usually the ground hole. They monitor the flow of current and cut off the power in the event of an electrical surge. This is controlled by an “interrupter circuit” which swings into action on detecting the surge. They are a really safe option because they prevent the direct contact of electric current with water, in the parts of the house in more contact with it.
3. AFCI – Electrical Outlets & Receptacles
Arcing is a common electrical problem. It occurs at the points of loose contact in your home’s electrical system with a jump in connection and produces lots of heat. This might result in intermittent sparks or hearing a buzzing sound. The loose wire connections might be due to the overheating of appliances, rodents chewing on wires and or even mistakenly hammering a nail through a wire. The Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) outlets detect arcing while the integrated breaker deactivates the receptacle. You can use an ACFI outlet in rooms in where you do not have to fully awake or alert such as the bedroom. But, they are also well suited for kitchens and bathrooms too.
4. 2 Prong Electrical Outlet
The use of a 2-prong electrical outlet has reduced in homes over the years and lacks a ground wire. They cannot be guaranteed as safe without a ground wire, so you can upgrade your electrical system to include this. You would more commonly find these outlets in older houses than new ones, which usually have 3-prong outlets. These are old receptacle types that lack a ground wire, making it less safe than the excellent 3-prong outlets. Due to the modern building codes, it is becoming more obsolete and should be replaced as soon as possible.
5. 3 Prong Electrical Outlet
This is the new standard prong outlet for your home. It is like an original two-prong outlet with an extra prong added for grounding. It is the common design of most electrical outlets, with only a few exceptions. A 3-prong outlet is the most common in modern homes, after gradually replacing the 2-prong alternative. It is also a 15-amp, 125volt, with the third prong being used for grounding. It is a safer choice than the older version and very up-to-date with the building codes of the state you live in. We provide top-notch installation services for homes in New York. Make a booking and let us handle your electrical works with experience.
6. 4 Prong Electrical Outlet
4-prong electrical outlets have fast been replacing 3-prong outlets in recent years. This started after the National Electrical Commission made it a requirement for new homes to have 4-prong outlets in 1996. The 4-prongs are preferred because despite the effectiveness of the old 3-prong outlets, their ground and neutral wires are usually grouped together in the same prong. This is potentially dangerous and could cause electrical shocks. A 4-prong electrical outlet is a better option because it has two hot wires, a neutral wire and a ground wire. This prevents the possibility of ground current entering your appliances, as it provides a separate return path for unused power.
7. 6 prong electrical outlet
You can get a 6-prong electrical outlet for your home. It offers versatility and enough prongs to plug multiple appliances. Also known as multiple socket outlets, it appears like two 3-prong outlets placed atop each other. When considering outlet options for your home, it’s important to pick a safe outlet with grounding. 6-prong outlets possess these and more. Install this because you have a clearer understanding of how they function and all the possible benefits.
8. 110 Volt Outlets
A 110V outlet is mostly found in older homes and has two versions. This first one is the 2-pronged outlet with two long connection slots and ungrounded connection. The other version is a 3-pronged outlet which is grounded and has an extra slot to help prevent shocks from faulty wiring. They are suited for light home use with appliances that have minimum voltage and amperage requirements. These outlets are the cheapest on the market and are very easy to install or change. If you have these in your home, you should be considering an upgrade. Modern outlets are a preferred choice because they provide more safety and efficiency, unlike the 110V outlets.
9. 240 Volt Outlets
For homes with larger appliances like air conditioners, they need a higher level of power which is why these electrical outlets are the best. A proper circuit must be in place before a 240V outlet can be installed in a home. It requires a double-pole circuit breaker, which should be installed in the main panel. This outlet is of two types: three-prong and four-prong , with the fourth prong acting as a neutral pathway. But 3-prong outlets are no longer up-to-code, so it’s advisable to go for the 4-prong type. Appliances like wall ovens might need more power than these 240v outlets can provide.
10. Weather-Resistant Receptacle
If you would be having an outlet in an outdoor area, weather-resistant receptacles are just for you. These outlets are made with resilient materials such as nylon and corrosion resistant metal components, which offers them protection from harsh environmental conditions. They offer very durable protection from rain, ice, moisture e.t.c. Most 120 and 240 volt receptacles in wet or damp locations should be listed as weather-resistant type receptacles. Their durability is reinforced by using weather-proof material.
11. Tamper-Resistant Receptacles
These outlets have been made compulsory to use for new construction projects. They are really safe because of how they are made. Tamper-resistant receptacles have a built-in barrier to block the entry of foreign objects. Their internal shutter only open when you insert a 2 or 3-pronged plug. This is perfect for a home with children because there is no shock hazard, as the children cannot force any material in. They have been made mandatory in some areas. The barrier can only be breached by a plug, so accidental insertions are totally avoided.
12. USB Outlets
It is quite common to find a device that charges using a USB outlet in homes today. This is a specialized electrical outlet which gives you access to more USB sockets. These outlets have USB ports and are useful in charging devices that can be powered by USBs. The main advantage of these is that the charging cable does not fill out the outlet. They can be 2-pronged or 3-pronged, allowing you to charge your smartphone or tablet.
13. Smart Outlets
These are newcomers in the electrical outlets industry. They are innovative outlets for keeping track of your power usage. Smart outlets can also be set to switch on and off after a schedule and are well suited to appliances that run on this system. They protect your home from power leakage and make it more energy-efficient. They can be controlled using WiFi, Zigbee or Zwave protocols and you can track them on your mobile devices or through voice assistants. You can operate and track these remotely with your phone or through voice assistants. Smart outlets are necessary for energy-efficient homes with implemented automation.
14. Newer Types of Electrical Outlets (Recessed Outlets, Built-in LED Night-Light Outlets)
These are the really recent developments in outlet technology and are being used in more and more homes. They are all up-to-date, efficient and safe. Each type provides you with special features that make your home more comfortable to live in and can be installed without basic wiring work. Many homeowners choose from this list when building a new home or renovating an old one. Examples of these outlets are recessed outlets, built-in LED night-light outlets e.t.c.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How Easy Is It To Add Extra Plug Sockets?
A: It is quite easy to add an extra plug socket, if you have even a little experience with electrical repairs. You simply have to unscrew the faceplate and feed the wires into the mount. This is a task that you can do yourself. If you can’t, hire a professional.
Q: What number of electrical sockets do you need per room?
A: The number of sockets that are needed per room depends on the room and its function in the home. For instance, a living room needs 8 outlets, while the bedroom needs 6 outlets for the main and 4 outlets for the others.
Q: How can you tell if an outlet is bad?
A: There are signs to look out for when trying to asses the state of your home’s outlets. You should call an electrician if the breaker tripped after one appliance was plugged. Also, outlets could feel warm to touch and it could be a sign of damage if it gets too really hot. This might even cause an electrical fire.
Q: Why is powerpoint in the bathroom different?
A: The powerpoint in a bathroom is quite different from the ones in other parts of the home. This is due to the increased exposure of the sockets to water. So, you should use outlets like GFCIs to prevent shocks.
Q: Can a bad outlet make other outlets not work?
A: This depends on if the outlets are in one circuit together or separate. It is more likely that a bad outlet would affect others, if this is the case. If separate, the chances are lesser.
If your Home Has outdated Or Faulty Outlets, Don’t Let Them Be a Headache.
At HandyKith, our electricians only work with proven and reliable suppliers of cables, mounting elements and components.
- They use special tools that guarantee fast, efficient work without unnecessary noise and garbage.
- We carry out all stages of electrical installation of sockets: we are skilled at dismantling the old mechanism, preparing a place for and fixing up a new installation box, accurately and reliably connecting the wires, connecting the power supply and conducting the final performance check.
You can also expect on some affordable cost to install outdoor electrical outlet for dryer, behind TV, etc. If the customer wishes, we can order the installation of sockets with double insulation, installation of sockets in the bathroom with moisture protection, replacement of sockets in the children’s room with special locking mechanisms or installation of electrical systems with remote control. You can also order electrical outlet repair. If you are in need of expert electrical services, we are the brand to trust. We operate in New York and surrounding areas, and our services are detailed. Contact us today to schedule a meeting. We are always willing to serve you!