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Types Of Outlets


Are you a homeowner in the zip code 02910 area of Cranston, Providence, Rhode Island, looking for an experienced and trusted electrician? Look no further than B&K Electric. Our family-owned and operated electrical business has been serving the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island for over seventeen years. Our commitment to community and customer service sets us apart from other electrical companies in the area. As the go-to electrician for both residential and commercial properties in Warwick and the greater Providence area, we take pride in providing top-notch services such as electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation. In this article, we will discuss the various types of outlets commonly found in homes and provide valuable insights for homeowners in Cranston, Rhode Island.

Understanding Outlets: The Basics

In simple terms, an outlet is an electrical device that provides a point of connection for a plug to draw power from a power source. When electricity is generated at a power plant, it travels through a network of wires to homes and businesses through a device called a transformer. The transformer reduces the voltage of the electricity to a level that can be safely used in households, usually around 120 volts. This lower voltage travels from the circuit breaker panel to the outlets through a series of wires, providing power to various devices and appliances in our homes.

Types of Outlets

1. Standard Outlets (120 Volt)

Standard outlets, also known as receptacles, are the most common type of outlet found in homes. They provide 120 volts of electricity and have two vertical slots and a round grounding hole. The two vertical slots are for the connection of electrical plugs, and the round hole is for the grounding pin found on most modern plugs. These outlets are typically used for small appliances, lamps, and electronics.

2. GFCI Outlets (120 Volt)

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets look similar to standard outlets but have the addition of two buttons, usually red and black, on the front. GFCIs protect against the risk of electrical shock by constantly monitoring the flow of electricity in a circuit and shutting off the power if it detects a ground fault. These outlets are commonly found in areas with a higher risk of electrical shock, such as bathrooms, kitchens, or outdoor outlets.

3. AFCI Outlets (120 Volt)

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) outlets are similar to GFCIs but provide additional protection against electrical fires caused by arc faults. Arc faults occur when an electrical current jumps from one wire to another, often due to damaged wires or worn insulation. AFCIs detect these dangerous arcs and shut off the power to prevent fires. These outlets are commonly found in bedrooms, living rooms, and other areas where electrical fires can occur.

4. USB Outlets (120 Volt)

Technology has revolutionized the way we live, and USB outlets are a prime example of that. These outlets have the standard two vertical slots for plugging in traditional electrical devices, along with two additional USB ports for charging phones, tablets, and other electronic devices. USB outlets are convenient for those who have multiple devices and are commonly found in kitchens, bedrooms, and home offices.

5. Tamper-Resistant Outlets (120 Volt)

As the name suggests, tamper-resistant outlets are designed to prevent children from inserting objects into the outlets, keeping them safe from electrical shocks. These outlets have a built-in mechanism that blocks the insertion of foreign objects, but still allow for the insertion of electrical plugs. Tamper-resistant outlets are now required by the National Electrical Code (NEC) in all new and renovated homes.

6. Twist-Lock Outlets (120-240 Volt)

Twist-lock outlets provide a more secure connection than standard outlets as the plug must be twisted and locked in place. These outlets are commonly used for high-powered appliances such as dryers, ovens, and air conditioners. They are available in different voltage options, including 120 and 240 volts, providing power to larger appliances and equipment.

7. NEMA Outlets (120-240 Volt)

NEMA outlets are a type of twist-lock outlet designed for specific types of equipment, such as electronic equipment or welding machines. These outlets have different configurations, including L5, L6, and L14, and are designed to provide the precise voltage and amperage required for the specific equipment.

8. RV/Generator Outlets (120-240 Volt)

RV/Generator outlets, also known as “shore power” or “camp power” outlets, are designed to provide power to recreational vehicles and generators. These outlets are available in different amperage options, including 20, 30, and 50 amps, and provide both 120 and 240 volts of power.

9. Specialty Outlets (120-240 Volt)

As our lives become increasingly reliant on technology, there has been a rise in the usage of specialty outlets. These outlets are designed for specific devices, such as electric vehicles, heat pumps, and photovoltaic systems. They are available in different configurations, providing the required voltage and amperage for the specific equipment.

Choosing the Right Outlet for Your Home

When it comes to selecting outlets for your home, there are a few factors to consider. First and foremost, your outlets should be installed by a licensed electrician, such as B&K Electric. Our experienced technicians will ensure that your outlets are installed correctly and safely, in accordance with the NEC. Secondly, think about the types of devices and appliances you will be using in each room and choose outlets that can provide the appropriate voltage and amperage. For example, if you have a home office, you may want to consider installing USB outlets for charging your devices, or if you have a home theatre, you may want to install twist-lock outlets to provide enough power for your audio and video equipment.

Outlets are an essential part of our daily lives, providing power for all of our devices and appliances. By understanding the different types of outlets available and considering which ones are best suited for your home, you can ensure a safe and efficient flow of electricity in your household. So, if you’re a homeowner in Cranston, Providence, Rhode Island, looking for an experienced and trusted electrician, contact B&K Electric for all your electrical needs.


Types of Outlets,

Home Electrical Systems,

Electrical Safety