types of outlets

Are you in the market for new types of outlets? If so, you should make yourself aware of all the options available to you. Not only are there different levels of quality, but there are also special features you can select for your outlets that suit your home and your family’s needs.

What Grade of Outlet Should I Buy?

‘Grade’ is essentially another word for ‘quality’ when it comes to outlets.  There are three grades you can choose from.

  • Homeowner Grade

Homeowner grade outlets are the cheapest option on the market. And although these outlets can handle most electrical demands, they only last five to ten years. Therefore, homeowner grade outlets are best placed in areas where there will not be a large electrical demand.

  • Commercial Grade

Commercial grade outlets differ from homeowner grade outlets in quality. They are an investment, costing as much as 50% more than homeowner grade outlets, but they last up to 100 years. These types of outlets are best placed where an appliance or computer will constantly be plugged in.

  • Hospital Grade

Hospital grade outlets are aptly named as they are only truly needed in hospitals. Hospital grade outlets are designed to power life-saving medical equipment indefinitely.

Types of Outlets

Beyond the different grades of outlets, there are plenty of special features you can choose from when selecting an outlet.

  • 15-Amp Duplex Receptacle

A 15-amp duplex receptacle is the most common outlet found in American homes. These outlets have a long slot and a shorter slot, and a half-round hole for grounding.

  • Combination Outlet

A combination outlet has two features in one outlet. The most common combination outlets have light switches and one receptacle.

  • GFCI Outlets

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets are typically placed in areas where moisture is present, like kitchens and bathrooms. GFCI outlets can trip independently if a short is detected. As a result, this capability can protect your family from electric shock.

  • AFCI Outlets

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) outlets are advantageous because they can interrupt power when arcing happens. Arcing happens when an electric current travels on air – a serious fire hazard. AFCI outlets can prevent your outlet from becoming the ignition site of a fire.

  • Tamper-Resistant Receptacle

Tamper-resistant receptacles are now required by electric code for use in renovation and new construction. Tamper-resistant receptacles protect children from electric shock by blocking the insertion of small objects.

  • Weather-Resistant Receptacle

Weather-resistant receptacles are also required by the electric code to be placed in wet locations like patios, pool areas, and other outdoor locations. These outlets have plastic covers making them resistant to corrosion.

  • Rotating Outlet

Rotating outlets can be positioned to accommodate bulky plugs for appliances like cell phone chargers, hairdryers, and nightlights.

  • USB Outlets

USB outlets typically have two receptacles and two USB outlets. They are extremely convenient for charging cell phones, headphones, and more.

  • Smart Outlets

Smart outlets are a new innovation that enable you to integrate different devices into your smart home network.


Need more tips on what outlet you should buy? Call today!

If you need advice on your electricity, or tips on how to install or repair an outlet, call the professionals at Roman Electric!