Having a good knowledge of outlets type is necessary when it comes to upgrading one in your house.

You might have some queries like how many watts can an outlet handle or how to tell if outlet is 15 or 20 amps. And, these questions can be only answered once you find the right outlet.

Before you move on to the next segment, the outlets have different voltages and amps. And, that’s one major reason why you have to be careful while choosing a type as these factors might cause electrical fires. For that, you can read 110v vs 220v outlet to get some ideas. 

Let’s find out what are the different types of outlets…

What Are The Different Types Of Outlets

What Are The Different Types Of Outlets & Their Functions.

Virtually there’re tons of outlets that can be found and out of these 4 types are mostly used with a combination of 15 and 20 amperages in the US. And these are 2 prong outlet, 3 prong outlet, AFCI outlet, and GFCI outlet. 

It will be difficult to choose if we randomly add all varieties. And so, all the types of outlets that most people don’t use at their houses will be not included. We have picked 4 major outlets.

Coming to the point, you need to have a clear idea of each type as there are many outlets available in the store which are made for specific reasons. In this guide, we’ll be giving some of the handiest types of outlets that are safe and appliable to home along with their workings.

So, what are the 4 types of electrical outlets? Here they are:

  1. Two Prong Outlet.
  2. Three Prong Outlet.
  3. AFCI Outlet. 
  4. GFCI Outlet.

After looking at the names, you still might have confusions as I haven’t mentioned their function and where they suit the best. To know that, keep on reading.

What Are The Different Types Of Outlets

1. Two-Prong Outlets: Best for Older Homes.

The 2 prong outlets are made to use in older or backdated houses. They have 125 volts and 15 amperages of a circuit that is configurated with 2 wires. Most experts suggest using them if your house doesn’t have a ground connection. Otherwise, don’t use them for home safety.  

They contain 2 vertical slots which indicate ‘neutral’ and ‘hot’ slots to use devices or other electrical machines at home.

2. Three-Prong Outlets: Best for Modern Homes.

Similar to the previous one but containing ground connections, the 3 prong outlets are a good choice for contemporary homes. They mostly work on 15 amperages and 125 voltage circuits.

If talking about the looks, these outlets have 2 vertical slots on the upside which refers to ‘neutral’ and ‘hot’ along with a reversed U-shape hole (ground) at the edge. And, they ensure protection thanks to the ground connection to attach the wire perfectly.

3. AFCI Outlets: Best for Areas Where Water Isn’t Present.

According to NEC, these types are designed for bedrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms where water is not present. The AFCI aka Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets are safer options just as GFCIs, but they lack grant protection from electrical fires.

One of the good things about them is they turn off power whenever a cord starts to spark or overheat.

4. GFCI Outlets: Best for Water-present Areas.

These types are considered the safest to use that don’t cause electrical fires or overheating. And also, they are one of the finest for bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchen, and so on areas. In fact, the GFCI aka Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets are suitable for water-present areas.

But that’s not all. They are also good for living rooms using an electrical wire of your devices or other mechanisms.

They have 2 vertical slots and an upside-down U-shape hole for safety purposes. With two buttons which are ‘Test’ and ‘Reset’ options, the GFCI outlets can be used in different circuits. And, these are:

  • 20-amp with 125 volts outlets.
  • 20-amp with 250 volts outlets.

Frequently Asked Questions.

1. How do I identify an electrical outlet?

There are different kinds of electrical outlets that can be identified if checking their holes of them. Some have 3 holes including neutral, current-line (hot), and ground while others hold only 2 holes.  

2. What are 4 outlets called?

Because of the configuration that holds 2 duplex outlets in an electrical box, The 4 outlets are mostly known as quad outlets. They allow using 2 different plugs at the same time with no circuit issue.

Wrapping Up

Knowing what are the different types of outlets is an important aspect to know which one suits your home’s purpose. As far as safety is concerned, the outlets play a great role to ensure protective electrical connections of devices.

For that, you need to have solid information about all of these. Hopefully, you have got a clear idea of this topic to decide the right type. And, be sure to give priority to the purpose of each outlet to pick the best one.

We’ll be back with a new topic. See You Soon!

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