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Which Side Of Outlet Is Hot


As a homeowner in East Providence, Rhode Island, it is important to understand the basics of your home’s electrical system. From electrical repairs to panel maintenance and installation, having a trusted and reliable electrician is crucial.

B&K Electric, a family-owned and operated business based in Warwick, RI, has been serving residents of Cranston, Warwick, and the greater Providence area for over seventeen years. As experts in the field, we understand the importance of educating our customers about their electrical systems.

One common question that homeowners often have is which side of an outlet is hot. This is a crucial piece of information to know in order to safely handle and use your outlets. In this article, we will discuss the answer to this question, as well as provide some general insights and tips for homeowners regarding their electrical systems.

Understanding Electrical Current

To begin, it is important to understand the basics of electrical current. Electrical current is the flow of electricity through a conductor, such as a wire. The flow of electricity is measured in amperes (amps), and it travels from a power source, such as a generator or power plant, to the electrical devices in our homes.

Polarity of an Outlet

Now, let’s talk about the polarity of an outlet. Each outlet has two vertical slots and a round hole at the bottom. The smaller slot on the left is known as the hot side, while the larger slot on the right is known as the neutral side. The round hole at the bottom is the ground connector.

Hot vs. Neutral

As the name suggests, the hot side of an outlet is the one that carries electrical current from the power source. This means that the hot side of an outlet is the one that can shock you if not handled properly. The neutral side, on the other hand, carries the current back to the power source.

Why the Hot Side is Hot

Now that we understand the difference between the hot and neutral side of an outlet, let’s discuss why the hot side is hot. The hot side is connected directly to a power source and has a voltage of 120 volts in most households. This is because most homes have a single-phase power supply, which means that each outlet only has one hot wire.

On the other hand, the neutral side is connected to the ground wire and has a voltage of 0 volts. This is because it is not directly connected to the power source, but rather provides a return path for the current.

Safety Tips

Knowing which side of an outlet is hot is crucial for your safety. Here are some important safety tips when dealing with outlets:

1. Always handle outlets with dry hands to avoid electrical shock.

2. Do not overload outlets with too many appliances or devices.

3. If an outlet is not working, do not try to fix it yourself. Instead, contact a licensed electrician for repairs.

4. Install tamper-resistant outlets, especially if you have young children, to prevent them from inserting objects into the outlet.

Final notions

As a homeowner, it is important to understand the basics of your electrical system, including which side of an outlet is hot. We hope this article has provided some valuable insights and tips for homeowners in East Providence, Rhode Island. Remember, when it comes to electrical repairs or installations, always trust a licensed electrician for your safety and peace of mind.


Electrical outlets,

Electrical safety,

Residential electrical services