Electrical receptacles, also known as outlets or wall plugs, are essential for providing electrical current to power electrical devices we use in our homes or businesses on a daily basis. However, there is not just one receptacle that can power everything. In fact, there are several different types of electrical outlets that are used in various ways depending on their application. Some of the most common types your probably most familiar with include two-prong, three-prong, and GFCI.
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So, what's the difference between these electrical outlets? Older homes, typically have two-prong outlets that don't have a third or grounded "hole". Meaning they do not have a grounding wire within the electrical system. The grounding wire provides an extra level of safety, that's why all newer buildings and homes are required by building code to have grounded three-prong outlets with grounding wires. Each outlet is connected separately to the grounding wire that is connected to the bottom of the breaker box, which helps to neutralize any dangerous electrical current into the ground.
Essentially, the grounding line helps protect your appliances from surges or overvoltage problems. It stabilizes the voltage to protect equipment, properties, and people from electric shock. For example, lets say the hot wire in the plug is damaged. If you were to plug something into a two-pronged outlet, more than likely you would be shocked. Also, the appliance you were trying to plug-in would receive a large electrical current, and would probably be ruined. Now if the same scenario occurred with a three-pronged outlet, the ground wire would absorb the shock, directing the current into the ground so it could be neutralized. Now, the plug would not be working, but on the bright side, you and your appliances would remain safe.
The GFCI outlet, also known as a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlet, is another plug you'll see around your home. Typically, this type of outlet is found in areas where it could potentially become in contact with water such as bathrooms and kitchens. Basically, a GFCI outlet monitors the current passing through it. If it senses any change in the current coming back from the equipment that's plugged into it, the GFCI automatically disconnects the circuit to ensure the electrical current is no longer flowing. For example, say your using a hair dryer that is plugged into a normal two-prong or three-prong outlet, and it falls into the bathtub or sink that is full of water, the electricity would bypass the neutral wire and go into the water, and then into you, which could be fatal! Whereas, a GFCI outlet would automatically shut off the movement of electric current to ensure it would not come back through the neutral wire, thus saving your life!.
We realize that each room's unique décor is important to homeowners. That's why we try to make picking electrical receptacles an easy process. We offer a wide selection of designs, styles and color for you to choose from. Whether you're looking for something innovative like a smart electrical outlet, or just that traditional decora outlet, we have a solution for you.