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Types Of Outlets


As a homeowner in zip code 02909 Providence, Rhode Island, you may be familiar with the tasks of maintaining and upgrading your home’s electrical system. From changing light bulbs to replacing faulty outlets, ensuring that your home has a safe and reliable power source is crucial for everyday living.

But with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to decide which type of outlet is best for your home. That’s where B&K Electric comes in. As a family-owned and operated electrical business based in Warwick, RI, we are dedicated to providing top-notch services to the residents of Cranston, Warwick, and all of Rhode Island. With over seventeen years of experience, we specialize in electrical repair, panel maintenance, and installation, making us your go-to electrician for all your home’s electrical needs.

In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the different types of outlets available for your home, their functions, and which ones are best suited for your specific needs. So grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive in!

1. Standard Outlets

Standard outlets, also known as duplex outlets or receptacles, are the most common type of outlet found in homes. They consist of two vertical slots and a round hole for the grounding prong. They are designed to supply power to most household appliances and devices, including lamps, televisions, and computers.

These outlets come in various amp ratings, the most common being 15 amps, which can handle a maximum load of 1,800 watts. However, if you require more power, you can opt for 20-amp outlets, which are capable of handling up to 2,400 watts. Standard outlets are versatile and cost-effective, making them a popular choice for most homeowners.

2. GFCI Outlets

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets are essential for safety in wet areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoor spaces. They are designed to prevent electrocution by quickly shutting off power when a fault is detected. A GFCI outlet has two buttons, one for testing and one for resetting the outlet.

These outlets are easily recognizable by the test and reset buttons, as well as the WR (weather-resistant) marking. They are required by code to be installed near sources of water, making them crucial for the safety of your home and family.

3. AFCI Outlets

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) outlets are designed to detect and prevent dangerous electrical arcing, a leading cause of electrical fires. They are required in all new homes and can also be retrofitted to existing homes. AFCI outlets look similar to standard outlets, with the addition of a test button and an indicator light.

It is recommended to install AFCI outlets in all bedrooms, living rooms, and other areas where fires are more likely to occur due to electrical malfunctions. If you have an older home, it is crucial to have these outlets installed by a licensed electrician, like B&K Electric, to ensure your home’s safety.

4. USB Outlets

With the increasing number of devices that rely on USB charging, it’s no surprise that USB outlets are becoming more popular. These outlets have one or more USB ports built-in, making it easy to charge your phone, tablet, or other USB-powered devices without the need for bulky adapters.

USB outlets come in various configurations, such as standard duplex outlets with an additional USB port or a dedicated USB outlet with multiple ports. These outlets are a convenient and modern addition to any home, especially in high-traffic areas like living rooms and home offices.

5. Specialty Outlets

Apart from standard, GFCI, AFCI, and USB outlets, there are also specialty outlets designed for specific purposes. These outlets include:

– Tamper-resistant outlets: These outlets have built-in shutters to prevent children from sticking objects inside, making them a safer option for homes with young children.

– Twist-lock outlets: These outlets require a twist-lock plug and are often found in RV parks or industrial settings.

– Welder outlets: These 240-volt outlets are specially designed for welding equipment and can be identified by their unique prong configuration.

– Dryer and stove outlets: These 240-volt outlets have a unique prong configuration and are used to power high-energy appliances like dryers and stoves.

When it comes to specialty outlets, it’s best to consult with a licensed electrician to ensure proper installation and usage.


As a homeowner, it’s essential to have a basic understanding of the different types of outlets available for your home. Not only does this knowledge come in handy when making changes or upgrades to your electrical system, but it also ensures the safety and functionality of your home. From standard outlets to specialty outlets, each one serves a specific purpose, and it’s crucial to choose the right type for your needs.

At B&K Electric, we pride ourselves on providing top-quality electrical services to our community. As a family-owned and operated business, we understand the importance of community and customer service. So make us your go-to electrician for all your home’s electrical needs in the Warwick area and greater Providence area. Trust us to keep your home safe and connected.