Types of Electrical Outlets

August 13, 2019


Most people don’t usually think about the different types of electrical outlets in their home. Regardless, we all rely on these outlets to power the appliances and electronics used daily. Since these sometimes need upgrading or replacing, it’s good to know what exists.

Here’s a quick guide:

Common Electrical Outlets

Standard 15-amp Duplex Outlets are found in the majority of homes in the United States. They attach to three-prong plugs and feature a long neutral slot next to a shorter hot slot with a grounding hole in the shape of a semi-circle.

20A Outlets are best suited for devices that require extra power. They can support 25% more electricity than standard outlets, which is why they are found in areas that hold appliances like kitchens, garages, and laundry rooms.

Combination Outlets are designed with multiple features in mind. Aside from the standard outlet, they commonly have light switches or on/off buttons.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter Outlets (GFCIs) area bale to sense faults, leaks, and short circuits occurrences. When such an incident does occur, the GFCI will automatically turn off to prevent fires or injury. These are required by many building codes in kitchens and bathrooms due to their proximity to water sources.

Arc Fault Receptacle Outlets (AFCIs) prevent electrical hazards that would occur from arc faults, which are caused by wiring damage.

Weather Resistant Outlets are made for outdoor environments where mother nature is at play. They come in both 15 and 20 amp sizes, and are used for patios, decks and pool areas.

Tamper Resistant Outlets are designed to protect children from injury. They are designed as an alternative to those plastic outlet caps found in most homes. These too come in both sizes.

Smart Outlets work similarly to traditional outlets, but you can control them from the comfort of your smartphone. They commonly require some sort of a smart-home hub to be properly connected.

USB Outlets are wall sockets with USB ports built into them. This allows the user to charge common handheld electronics directly from a USB cable, rather than requiring an adapter.

Customize Your Plan Today!

It’s a good strategy to be equipped for common electrical home repairs, and while you can’t be prepared for everything, you can be ready with a custom home warranty.