Electrical Outlet Upgrades For the Home
A typical American home has around 80 electrical outlets. While the most common type of receptacle is a two-plug, 3-prong rated at 15 amp, 125 volts, there are dozens of outlet types available. Most electrical outlet upgrades are made for safety and convenience, here are some of the most common.
GFCI (Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter) Outlets
One of the most important electrical safety devices, a Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter is designed to detect a ground fault that could lead to electrocution. For example, if a hairdryer were to accidentally fall into a bathtub full of water the GFCI would immediately detect the change in current and cut the power, preventing electrocution. GFCI outlets are required by the electrical code to be installed in high-risk locations such as bathrooms.
AFCI (Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter) Outlets
Often used in combination with a GFCI, arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) receptacles use a circuit breaker to detect electric arcing. When an electrical arc condition is detected, it cuts power to prevent overheating, which could cause an electrical fire. AFCI outlets are required by the electrical code and should be installed by a qualified electrician.
Switch/Outlet Combos Receptacles
In most cases, adding an additional switch or outlet to an existing electrical box is simple and no additional wiring is needed.
20 Amp, 250 Volt Outlets
These heavy duty receptacles are used where large appliances like electric ranges are located, or in garages or workshop where power equipment like table saws and other heavy duty equipment are used.
Having a USB port built in to outlets can be a nice convenience in home offices and other locations where smart phones, digital assistants, tablets and other devices are used. USB outlets eliminate the need for bulky adapters while freeing up extra outlets.
Recessed outlets are perfect for walls where furniture or appliances will be located in tight spaces. They are commonly installed behind refrigerators, washer and dryers, and wall mounted cabinet microwaves.
Tamper-Resistant Receptacles (TRR)
If you have young kids in your household tamper-resistant receptacles are an essential safety device. While cheap plastic outlet covers are popular, research has shown that kids as young as two years old can easily remove them. Tamper resistant outlets are just like an ordinary outlet, but include a built-in safety mechanism that prevents anything other than an electrical plug from being inserted and activating the current.
LED Night Light Outlets
LED night lights are a convenient accessory for the kids's room, hallways and bathrooms. They can be used with a motion detector, or be set to light up when it's dark. They are inexpensive, use very little electricity and will last around 20 years.
Running extension cords around your yard and driveway isn't just a chore, it can be a safety hazard. Installing a few extra outdoor covered outlets solves the problem. If you decorate your home with holiday lights, you'll appreciate having outlets within easy reach.
These are just a few of the outlets available to add convenience and safety to your home. Call MR Plumbing Heating Air & Electrical today for help with all your electrical upgrade needs.