You have probably not thought too much about the outlets in your home but you should know what you have. There are different types of outlets that are used for different electrical needs in your residence. Some of the outlets have very small changes that make them useful for things that an outlet that looks similar can’t do. Knowing what type of outlets you have will help you to know if you need to update them or have more installed.
Burley Electrical Services Outlines Several Types Of Outlets You Might Find & What They Are Good For.
120 Volt Two Prong Outlet: If you go take a look around your home and notice that you have some two prong outlets you may have some changes to make. This is an outlet that was used often in older homes and if you haven’t done any electrical inspections or updates you may need to consider it. This outlet is a 120 volt outlet that has to be used with underground currents. They are not an outlet that would ever be installed today and it is a great idea to have them converted to a three prong.
120 Volt Three Prong Outlett: This is the most commonly used outlet you will find in every single home. The outlets are placed all around the home and you can plug any standard electrical device in these outlets. You can plug a two prong or three prong plug into these outlets. You know that you have a three prong outlet when you see the top two long opening and the upside down U shape lower opening. The lower opening is there to prevent a potential shock if there is a wire that has come loose.
Switch Outlet Combo: This is a great outlet to have in many instances. The outlet has a single three prong either at the top or bottom of the outlet and a switch where a second outlet opening would be. These are a great option that many parents choose in a child’s room. It allows you to add a switch to a light or other electronic device without having to add another switch. There is no more wiring needed to install this type of outlet.
GFCI Outlet: If you have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter or a GFCI in your home you have one more level of safety when using electrical devices. You will notice a standard three prong outlet with an additional set of two buttons in the middle. This allows that particular outlet to be broken away from the electrical current if a problem were to arise. You will often find these outlets in kitchens, bathrooms and the exterior of the home. The reason is simple and that is because these area are prone to being around water. Water is a problem for electronics and they do not mix well at all.
120/240 Volt Outlet: While a standard electrical outlet contains two 120 volt wires and one neutral wire to deliver power to items in your home using one phase of your electrical service; the 240 volt receptacles work differently. 240 volts use both 120 volt wires, a neutral wire, and in newer homes, a ground wire, to power a single receptacle. Older homes and appliances may use three prong 240v outlets. They are only used in areas that a large appliance might be plugged in. They do have an extra slot at the top of the long prong which sets it apart from the three prong outlet.