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

Types Of Outlets


As a homeowner in the bustling zip code of 02903 in picturesque Downtown Providence, Rhode Island, maintaining the electrical systems of your home is of utmost importance. The safety and functionality of your home depend heavily on having high-quality outlets that are properly installed and maintained. That’s where B&K Electric comes in. We are a family-owned and operated electrical business, rooted in community and dedicated to providing top-notch customer service. With over seventeen years of experience, we specialize in electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation. Make us your go-to electrician for all your electrical needs in the Warwick area and the greater Providence area.

Understanding the different types of outlets and their uses is crucial for any homeowner. Not only does it ensure the safety of your home, but it also allows you to make informed decisions when it comes to any electrical work. In this article, we will dive deep into the world of outlets and guide you through the various types available, their uses, and how to choose the right one for your home.

Standard Outlets

The most common type of outlet found in homes is the standard outlet, also known as a duplex outlet. These outlets have two vertical slots and a grounding hole in the middle. They are designed to accept both two-pronged and three-pronged plugs and are typically rated for 15-amp or 20-amp circuits. Standard outlets are generally used to power small appliances, lamps, and devices such as televisions and computers.

GFCI Outlets

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets, also known as a safety outlets, are designed to protect against electric shock. These outlets have two buttons in between the two vertical slots – ‘test’ and ‘reset’. GFCI outlets are commonly found in areas with high moisture levels such as kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor spaces. In case of a short circuit or ground fault, the GFCI outlet will trip off, cutting off the electricity and preventing any potential danger.

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) Outlets

Similarly, Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) outlets are designed to protect against electrical fires. These outlets work by detecting any abnormal arcing in the electrical system and cutting off the power to the circuit. Like GFCI outlets, AFCI outlets also have a ‘test’ and ‘reset’ button between the two vertical slots. They are typically found in areas where there may be a high risk of electrical fires, such as bedrooms, living rooms, and laundry rooms.

USB Outlets

With the increasing use of technology, USB outlets have become a popular choice in modern homes. These outlets have built-in USB ports and can power devices like smartphones, tablets, and e-readers without the need for a plug adapter. USB outlets are a convenient addition to any living space and can be installed in any room of the house.

Tamper-Resistant Outlets

If you have young children at home, tamper-resistant outlets are a must. These outlets come with built-in shutters that prevent children from inserting foreign objects and protect them from electrical shock. According to the National Electric Code, all new homes are required to have tamper-resistant outlets installed in all child-accessible areas, ensuring the safety of your little ones.

Switched Outlets

Switched outlets have a control switch that allows you to turn the outlet on or off. These outlets are commonly found in rooms with wall or table lamps, where you can control the lighting without having to unplug the device. Switched outlets are also useful for controlling electrical appliances that require more power, such as space heaters and air conditioners.

Hanging Receptacles

Hanging receptacles, also known as drop cords or drop outlets, are often used in older homes where the original outlets are outdated. These outlets have exposed wires that hang from the ceiling and plug into light fixtures, providing additional outlets for lamps or other electrical devices. It is important to note that hanging receptacles should not be used for powering high-wattage devices, as they can be a fire hazard.

Choosing the Right Outlet for Your Home

Now that you know about the different types of outlets, it’s essential to choose the right one for your home. It is crucial to consult a licensed electrician, like B&K Electric, before making any changes to your electrical systems. They can guide you through the process and ensure that all outlets are installed correctly and safely. A good rule of thumb is to consider the location and purpose of the outlet when choosing the type. For example, GFCI outlets are best suited for areas with high moisture levels, while USB outlets are an excellent addition to living spaces and bedrooms.

Concluding perspectives

As a homeowner, understanding the different types of outlets and their uses is crucial for maintaining a safe and functional home. From standard outlets to tamper-resistant outlets, each type has its unique features and purposes. When it comes to electrical work, it is always best to consult with a professional, like B&K Electric, to ensure that all work is safely and correctly completed. With our commitment to providing top-notch customer service and over seventeen years of experience, we are proud to be the go-to electricians for the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island.


types of outlets,

electrical safety,

choosing the right outlet.