Electrical Outlets and Plugs – Where the Power Meets the Load

Posted on: June 22, 2016

Important Information About Your Home’s Electrical System

Even though most of your home’s electrical system is hidden behind walls, your plugs and outlets give you access points to connect your appliances and electronics.

Electrical plugs and outlets have evolved over time as technology has advanced. In the early 20th Century, most homes were outfitted with polarized outlets that featured two vertical slots of different sizes. These outlets were designed so that the slot for the neutral wire is wider than the slot for the “hot” wire. This setup was designed to keep all devices properly polarized and safe to use.

Most newer homes have grounded outlets with a round hole for the grounding conductor in addition to the two vertical slots. The round slot is connected to a grounding wire. Electrical codes require grounded outlets in all homes built today.

If your home is not equipped with grounded outlets, it may be time to call the electrical experts at Midway Services.

Homes with young children should be equipped with Tamper Resistant Receptacles (TRRs.) TRRs look like regular grounded receptacles, but feature a spring-loaded shutter system that prevents children from sticking objects like hairpins, keys and paperclips into the receptacle. The TRR requires equal pressure applied simultaneously to both shutters.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) have saved thousands of lives and they have reduced the number of home electrocutions in half since their introduction in the 1970s. A GFCI outlet should be used in any indoor or outdoor area where water might come into contact with electrical products. The National Electrical Code requires that GFCIs be used in all kitchens, bathrooms, garages and outdoors.
The electrical safety experts at Midway Services can help you upgrade to TRRs or GFCIs, making your home safer for your family.