Common Electrical Outlet Types

While you may not examine them closely, you probably have multiple electrical outlet types in your home. Understanding the different types can help you address any electrical issues which can arise. Plus, this knowledge will ensure you use the right outlet for every device. Knowing what outlets exist also helps you choose from some innovative new options to make your life more convenient.

Common US electrical outlet types include:

  • GFCIs: Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are necessary in areas where moisture may be a factor, such as basements, kitchens, bathrooms and outdoors. These outlets protect against electrical fires caused when currents deviate from proper paths. GFCI outlets turn off power if a current leaks dangerously. For example, if you are working in the kitchen with an electrical appliance and a current travels from the appliance through you, the outlet will shut off the power to prevent you from getting electrocuted. Newer homes should have GFCI outlets. Even if you have an older home, you may wish to install them for safety.
  • AFCIs: The arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) outlet looks similar to a GFCI, but this outlet protects your home from electrical fires caused by arcs. Arcs happen when wires are damaged and a current moves from one wire to another. Modern homes have AFCI breakers in the breaker box. In an older home, you can install AFCI outlets to offer protection against electrical fires.
  • Recessed outlets: As the name implies, these outlets are set back from the wall — so the place where you plug in a device is behind the actual surface of the wall. Many homeowners prefer these outlets because they eliminate the need for a gap between furniture and therefore create more space in a room.
  • 15-amp duplex receptacles: These are the standard outlets in American homes. They feature two spots to plug in devices, each with a long and short slot. The long slot is neutral and the shorter is hot. Each outlet also has a grounding hole. When you plug in a laptop or other device, this type of outlet is probably the one you use.
  • USB outlets: With so many people using multiple digital and electronic devices, outlet space is scarce in some households. USB wall sockets are a relatively new style of outlets. With one or multiple USB ports as well as two regular outlets, you can recharge your devices directly with a USB cable without having to unplug lamps and appliances. These outlets can be a good choice for entryways and nightstand areas, where many people tend to charge their electronics.
  • Smart outlets: These newer outlets work with your smart home hub, allowing you to control outlets from your smartphone. If you forgot to turn off any appliance or lamp, you can always turn off the outlet remotely using z-wave communication.

Do You Need a New Outlet for Your Home?

If you need electrical outlet installation in Raleigh, look no further than Wiretech Company. Our team of professionals works with all common electrical outlet types, and Raleigh-area homeowners have appreciated our customer-first focus since 1990. Contact us today for installation.