There are many different types of electrical outlets that you can have installed in your home or place of business. We thought to share a good overview of each type so you are knowledgeable when it comes time for upgrades or repairs.
An electrical outlet is the interface device which enables electrical equipment to connect to an electrical power supply line. An outlet can be fixed on the wall, on the ceilings or even on the floor depending on the purpose it is expected to serve. If you are concerned with where an electrical outlet should be optimally-placed, based on the use it will experience, be sure to hire a certified and licensed electrician in Albany.
There are different types of electrical outlets.
These include GFCI outlets: these are embedded on electric receptacles to solely minimize the risks of accidents in case of an electrical fault. The acronym for a GFCI stands for ground fault circuit interrupter. They are mostly installed in areas which are wet or which are close to water surfaces like in pools, under sinks in the kitchen or the laundry room. They are designed to cut off power immediately in case they detect a short circuit or a ground fault anywhere within the wiring system extending from the outlet. It is designed in a way that the neutral wire will get rid of the excess power. In case it does not; the outlet will shut off.
These are very effective outlet system since they cut off power even before you can realize there is anything amiss. If it detects any leakage in power near a wet place, it will shut off. These are a bit more expensive, but the cost is worthy. It is recommended you install it around kitchens or the bathroom, garage, unfinished basements and more.
Check with your local building administration for the places where you are required to install GFCI outlets to be in conformation to the rules.
AFCI outlets - these are almost identical to the GFCI outlets.
The initials stand for arc fault circuit interrupter. An arc occurs when current jumps from one wire to another. The causes may vary and can occur due to overheating or a wire being accidentally cut. Whatever the case, this is a situation which can easily cause a fire and should be handled cautiously.
The AFCI outlet controls the risk and neutralizes it before harm or injury can occur. Most of the modern houses have AFCI circuit breakers. If your home is not fitted with these, be sure to contact a professional electrical contractor and have all electrical installations done to code. You cannot afford to leave all the things your cherish in your home and life to luck, hoping nothing happens. Get ready and be safe in the event something above happens.
20A Outlets - Current is measured by amps. It is the resulting figure if electrical voltage is divided by the resistance. Most household equipment uses less than 10-amps, and thus they are comfortably served with the 15 amps. This means the current flowing through the circuit is 15A. Now the main advantage of a 20A outlet is that they can increase the capacity of current flow from 15 to 20A. Resistance levels adjust these figures. 20A use thicker wires, and 15A use thinner wires. As a matter of fact; the thicker the wire, the lower the resistance. Consequently, the more the current which will flow through the wire. Thus the higher the amps, the better quality the outlet as it will handle appliances that require a significant amount of current like hot water heaters, ovens and microwaves.
Switched outlets - these devices have one outlet and one switch to switch on or off the current coming from the outlet. This is most commonly used for in-house lighting systems and kitchen outlets for ironing or using your fruit blenders. Be sure to always check with a licensed professional to avoid conflict of rules applicable in the Capital Region.
These outlets can be further modified by plugging in an extension from the outlet and then using the outlet to serve you on your minor electrical requirements around the house like using a laptop, charging your phones, and other minor electric activities.
USB Outlets - these enable you to charge your phone or tablet without the need to have big USB chargers. They are easy to install and easy to fix, but it is always advisable to get assistance from a qualified electrician from Albany. They come in various designs, but the most common are the ones with two receptacles and two USB ports. Also, there are those with only USB ports without receptacles.
Smart outlets - Just as the name denotes, these are outlets which are controlled by your smartphone. Just like the way you control your security camera using a smartphone application, the same case applies to the outlets. You can turn the outlet on or off no matter where you are.
You should choose your outlets well as it is vital that your outlets match the intended usage they will experience. Here is a great video to complement the information we have provided...