Types Of Outlets
If you were asked about the electrical outlets in your Hastings home, you would likely feel confident in answering a few questions. After all, how tough could it be? These are fundamental items that you use multiple times a day. But could you estimate how many outlets are in your home, or the number of different types of outlets? Shockingly, in the average home from Anoka to Stillwater, there are around 75 outlets that can include half a dozen or more configurations. Some are old, some new, and some have special functions, but they are all necessary to keep your household and all of your modern conveniences working flawlessly.
The Most Common Electrical Outlets in Minnesota Homes
Most of us picture what we would call a standard outlet when asked about what we have in our homes. However, the design and safety of that standard outlet will vary depending on the age of your home and how recently you have had the electrical system upgraded. The majority of the outlets found in a typical house in our community will include:
- 2-Prong Outlets – These are the old-style typical outlet found in older houses. They indicate 15-amp, 125-volt service provided on an ungrounded two-strand electrical wire. With no ground wire, these outlets are being replaced with new 3-prong options.
- 3-Prong Outlet – These are the new standard in most homes. This is the next evolution from the 2-Prong outlet with no ground. A ground wire was added to create a 15-amp, 125-volt grounded outlet for added safety and the prevention of electrical shocks.
- Switch And Outlet Combos – These are standard 3-prong outlets that have the convenience of a switch to control the power. The ideal uses for these combo outlets are night-lights or outlets that are hard to reach, for example, under a desk and are not intended to be on at all times.
- The Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter – The GFCI is a well-known and easily identifiable outlet with two small buttons reading test and reset. The GFCIs are required by electrical code to be located in areas that could experience moisture, such as the kitchen, bathroom, basement, laundry room, or outdoors. They monitor the flow of electricity and cut off the power if they detect current leaks, spikes, or hazards. The purpose is to prevent electrical shocks and add safety in moist environments.
- High Current 20 Amp 125 Volt Outlet – The beefier outlets can be identified by a horizontal slot connected to the top of the left vertical slot.
- 20 Amp 250 Volt Outlet – This outlet has a T-shaped slot on the left, a horizontal right slot, and a U-shaped ground hole. These outlets are specifically designed for air compressors and hobby-type equipment.
Many new outlets are coming into the market, including features like USB capability, recessed mounting, tamper-resistant outlets, and a built-in LED night-light. Call 612-236-9052 to speak to the licensed professionals at Lumberjack Electric to answer all of your outlet questions and provide you with