6 Types of Household Electrical Outlets and Their Functions

Written by Jeson Pitt

Are the electrical outlets gracing your walls doing their job perfectly? Do you know that there are many different outlets you can install in your house, each outlet for a different purpose? If you are planning on an electrical upgrade in your house or if you just want to know if your house is equipped with the right types of electrical outlets, you need to know the answers to these questions. Let’s take a closer look at the 6 different types of electrical outlets to install in your home.

6 Types of Household Electrical Outlets and Their Functions

1. GFCI outlets 

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter or GFCI outlets detect the abnormal flow of current and instantly shuts off the power supply. Normal electrical supply is when the current passes through the hot wires and returns through the neutral wire. If the current flows beyond that, the GFCI outlet immediately detects the danger and kills the power. The GFCI outlets are usually installed in bathrooms, wet kitchen areas, basements and outdoors where there are high chances of abnormal current passing through the wires.  GFCI outlets are a bit more expensive than the regular outlets, but they are absolutely essential in wet areas of the house.

2. AFCI outlets 

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter or AFCI outlets prevents the formation of arcs that occur when electricity jumps from one wire to another. These arcs are dangerous as they cause electrical fires. AFCI outlets are designed to detect these hazardous arc faults and prevent electrical fires.

3. 20A outlets

With 20A circuits and 20A outlets, you can easily run your power-hungry devices. These types of outlets can take up the power load better than most of the other outlets without tripping the circuit breaker. 20A outlets are installed in areas like kitchens and garages, where the usage of power-hogging devices is the highest.

4. USB outlets 

USB outlets are not a standard in most houses; if it were, life would have been convenient, wouldn’t it? However, if you wish to install integrated USB ports in your home, you can do so. It is a wall socket with built-in USB ports. You can recharge your devices directly from the USB cable. USB outlets are beneficial because they leave regular outlets free for other appliances. If you do not want to do any kind of electrical work, you can buy a USB wall charger, which has the same functions as the USB outlet.

5. Smart outlets 

If you want to move away from the standard and take your electrical updates to a completely new level, smart outlets will take you there. They are just like your other outlets but the thing that makes them smart is the feature that they can be controlled from your smartphone from just about anywhere and anytime.

6. Switched outlets 

With switched outlet, the power control is in your hands. You can switch it on or off whenever you like. This type of outlet is best for plugged appliances. You can also use the switched outlet to supply power to an extension cord, but the main power supply is always through the switched outlet.

Now that you know what types of outlets can be installed in your home, you can now make an informed decision while getting electrical upgrades to improve electrical efficiency at home.

Gawin provides electrical services if you need it for your homes.

Author Bio:

Jeson Pitt works with the marketing department of D&F Liquidators and regularly writes to share his knowledge while enlightening people about electrical products and solving their electrical dilemmas. He’s got the industry insights that you can count on along with years of experience in the field. Jeson lives in Hayward, CA and loves to explore different cuisines that the food trucks in the Bay area have to offer.