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Types Of Outlets


For any homeowner, having a safe and functioning electrical system is crucial. Not only does it provide power to your appliances and devices, but it also ensures the safety of your family and home. As a homeowner in zip code 02905, Washington Park Providence, Rhode Island, you may be well aware of the importance of hiring a reliable and experienced electrician for your residence.

When it comes to owning a home, understanding the different types of outlets available is key. Each type has its own unique purpose and benefits, and it’s essential to have the right outlets installed throughout your home. As a family-owned and operated electrical business rooted in community and customer service, B&K Electric has been proudly serving the residents of Providence, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island for over seventeen years. We specialize in electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation, making us your go-to electrician for your home or business in the Warwick area and the greater Providence area.

In this article, we will guide you through the various types of outlets that are commonly used in residential settings.

1. Standard Outlets (120-volt)

Let’s start with the most common type of outlet that is found in most homes – the standard 120-volt outlet. These outlets are typically found in the living room, bedrooms, and hallways, and are used for everyday household appliances such as lamps, televisions, and chargers. They have three prongs – two horizontal slots and one round hole for the ground wire. These outlets are usually wired with 12-gauge or 14-gauge wires and have a maximum capacity of 15 or 20 amps.

2. GFCI Outlets

Ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are a more advanced version of the standard outlets and are required by the National Electrical Code in specific areas of a home. These areas include kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, outdoor spaces, and any other area where water may be present. They are easily identified by the “TEST” and “RESET” buttons on the front. GFCI outlets have a built-in sensor that detects any imbalances or interruptions in the electrical current, immediately cutting off power to prevent electric shocks. They are essential for safety and should be installed by a licensed electrician, like B&K Electric, to ensure proper function.

3. Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) Outlets

Similar to GFCI outlets, Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) outlets are also a requirement by the National Electrical Code. These outlets are designed to detect any electrical arcing, which can cause electrical fires. They are commonly found in bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms, and have a distinctive “TEST” button on the front. AFCI outlets help reduce the risk of electrical fires by tripping a circuit breaker when arcing is detected. Like GFCI outlets, they require a licensed electrician for proper installation.

4. Tamper-Resistant Outlets

Tamper-resistant outlets are a safety feature that is becoming more and more prevalent in modern homes. They are designed with spring-loaded shutters that only open when equal pressure is applied to both sides. This makes it difficult for children to insert any small objects, reducing the risk of electrical shock. As a homeowner in the residential industry, it is essential to have these outlets installed, particularly if you have young children.

5. USB Outlets

Where many devices require charging, USB outlets have become increasingly popular. These outlets have standard slots for plugging in regular electronic devices, as well as built-in USB ports. This eliminates the need for bulky adapters and provides a convenient solution for charging devices like smartphones, tablets, and cameras.

6. Weather-Resistant Outlets

If you have an outdoor space that you enjoy spending time in, having weather-resistant outlets is crucial for safety. These outlets have a protective cover that prevents water from seeping inside, ensuring the outlet remains functional and safe to use even in wet conditions. As a homeowner in Rhode Island, where the weather can be unpredictable, having weather-resistant outlets installed by a licensed electrician like B&K Electric is highly recommended.

7. Combination Switch and Outlet

As the name suggests, these outlets combine a light switch and an outlet into one convenient unit. These outlets are commonly found in rooms with overhead lighting, such as bedrooms, living rooms, and hallways. They provide a convenient way to control the lighting while also having an outlet for plugging in devices like lamps or chargers.

Final thoughts

We rely heavily on electricity for our day-to-day activities. As a homeowner, understanding the different types of outlets and their specific purposes is crucial for maintaining a safe and functional electrical system. Hiring a licensed electrician, like B&K Electric, to assess and install the appropriate outlets in your home is vital for the safety and convenience of your family.

At B&K Electric, we take pride in our community and providing excellent customer service to all our clients. With over seventeen years of experience in electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation, we are the go-to electricians for the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island. Trust us to ensure your home has the proper outlets to keep your family and home safe.


Types of outlets,

electrical safety,

hiring a licensed electrician