Skip to Content
chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up chevron-right chevron-left arrow-back star phone quote checkbox-checked search wrench info shield play connection mobile coin-dollar spoon-knife ticket pushpin location gift fire feed bubbles home heart calendar price-tag credit-card clock envelop facebook instagram twitter youtube pinterest yelp google reddit linkedin envelope bbb pinterest homeadvisor angies

Electrical Outlet Types


As a resident of zip code 02905 in Washington Park, Providence, you likely take pride in your home and strive to maintain it with the utmost care. However, when it comes to the electrical system in your home, it can be quite overwhelming to understand the different outlet types and which ones are best suited for your needs. This is where B&K Electric comes in – as a leading family-owned and operated electrical business in Warwick, we are dedicated to serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island for over 17 years.

At B&K Electric, we specialize in electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation, making us your go-to electrician for all your needs in the Warwick area and the greater Providence area. In this article, we will delve into the different types of electrical outlets and how to identify which ones are most suitable for your home.

Understanding the Basics: How Do Outlets Work?

Before we dive into the various types of outlets, it is essential to understand how they function. An electrical outlet is a socket that provides a connection for an electrical plug to a power source. Each outlet consists of two or three holes, one for accommodating the grounding pin, and the others for the hot and neutral wires. The hot wire carries the electrical current, while the neutral wire carries the current back to the source. The grounding pin serves as a safety feature and protects against electric shock.

Types of Electrical Outlets

1. Standard Outlets

Also known as type A outlets, these are the most common type of outlets found in American homes. They have two flat parallel slots, with one being slightly larger than the other, and are rated for 15-amp or 20-amp circuits. These outlets are used for most household appliances and devices, such as lamps, TVs, and phone chargers.

2. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) Outlets

GFCI outlets, or type A&B outlets, have similar slots to standard outlets but come with an added safety feature. These outlets include a small red or black button called the test button, which is designed to trip the outlet if there is a discrepancy in electrical current flow. This is especially important in areas where water is present, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoor areas. GFCI outlets are required by the National Electrical Code (NEC) in these areas to prevent electrical shock.

3. Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) Outlets

AFCI outlets, or type A&C outlets, are designed to prevent electrical fires by detecting and stopping dangerous arc faults. These outlets also have a test button and are necessary in living areas of the home, such as bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms. AFCI outlets are required by the NEC in these areas to ensure the safety of your home.

4. Tamper-Resistant Outlets

Type A tamper-resistant outlets are similar to standard outlets, but they have an added safety feature to prevent children from inserting small objects into the outlet. These outlets include tamper-resistant shutters that only open when equal pressure is applied to both slots, making them safe for homes with young children.

5. USB Outlets

USB outlets, or type A&O outlets, are a modern addition to the traditional outlet types. These outlets come with built-in USB ports, eliminating the need for adapters and freeing up space for other devices. They are especially popular in areas like bedrooms and living rooms since they allow for convenient charging of phones, tablets, and other devices.

6. Twist-Lock Outlets

Twist-lock outlets, or type L outlets, are commonly used in commercial settings and are rarely found in residential homes. These outlets require a twist-lock plug to be inserted and are commonly used for high-power devices, such as stoves, air conditioners, and heavy-duty appliances.

Choosing the Right Outlet for Your Home

As a homeowner in Washington Park, Providence, it is essential to understand the different types of outlets and their functions to ensure the safety of your home and family. When considering which outlets to install, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

– The location of the outlet: As mentioned earlier, GFCI and AFCI outlets are required by the NEC in specific areas of your home, so it’s crucial to understand the code and install the correct outlets in these areas.

– The purpose of the outlet: Think about the devices and appliances you plan to plug into the outlet. If you have a lot of high-power devices, it may be wise to install outlets with a higher amperage rating, such as 20-amp outlets.

– The age of your home: If you live in an older home, it may be necessary to upgrade your outlets to meet the current safety codes. Older homes may have ungrounded outlets or outlets that are not tamper-resistant, so it is essential to consult an electrician to ensure the safety of your home.

Trust the Experts at B&K Electric

At B&K Electric, we take pride in providing top-quality service to homeowners in the residential industry. With a team of experienced and licensed electricians, we are equipped to handle all of your electrical needs, from repairs and maintenance to panel installation and upgrades. Our commitment to safety and customer service sets us apart, and we strive to be the go-to electrician for all your needs in the Warwick and greater Providence area.

Keep Your Home Safe with Proper Outlet Installation

Understanding the different types of electrical outlets is crucial for every homeowner. By familiarizing yourself with each type and its purpose, you can ensure that your home is up to code and safe for you and your family. When in doubt, consult a professional like B&K Electric to assess your home’s electrical needs and ensure that your outlets are properly installed and maintained.


electrical outlets,