Post details: Choosing Receptacles

01/09/05

Permalink 01:50:03 am, Categories: Articles, 341 words   English (US)

Choosing Receptacles


In most homes, there are a wide variety of receptacle types. Each type serves a very specific purpose. In this section, you'll learn about choosing the right receptacle for any service upgrades or new circuits you may be planning.

Basic Receptacle Types

Basic Receptacles

A standard duplex receptacle has two outlets for receiving plugs. Each outlet has a long (neutral) slot, a shorter (hot) slot, and a half-round grounding hole. This ensures that the plug will be polarized and grounded (see Grounding and Polarization, Related Projects). Receptacles are rated for maximum amps.

A 20-amp grounded receptacle has a T-shaped neutral slot; use it only on 20-amp circuits.

For most purposes, a 15-amp grounded receptacle is sufficient. When replacing a receptacle in an ungrounded outlet box, use a 15-amp ungrounded receptacle, intended only for use in older homes without ground wires in the circuits. Use a three-pronged plug adapter on an ungrounded receptacle only if the wall-plate screw is grounded (see Testing and Replacing Receptacles, Related Projects, to test this).

The switch in a combination switch/receptacle can be hooked up to control the receptacle it's paired with.

Special Purpose Receptacles

Special Receptacles

A standard duplex receptacle has two outlets for receiving plugs. Each outlet has a long (neutral) slot, a shorter (hot) slot, and a half-round grounding hole. This ensures that the plug will be polarized and grounded (see Grounding and Polarization, Related Projects). Receptacles are rated for maximum amps.

A 20-amp grounded receptacle has a T-shaped neutral slot; use it only on 20-amp circuits.

For most purposes, a 15-amp grounded receptacle is sufficient. When replacing a receptacle in an ungrounded outlet box, use a 15-amp ungrounded receptacle, intended only for use in older homes without ground wires in the circuits. Use a three-pronged plug adapter on an ungrounded receptacle only if the wall-plate screw is grounded (see Testing and Replacing Receptacles, Related Projects, to test this).

The switch in a combination switch/receptacle can be hooked up to control the receptacle it's paired with.

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