If you look around your Allentown home, chances are you will find different kinds of electrical receptacles. These different varieties are all used for different purposes, and it is important to understand their intended usage to avoid making mistakes. Even the voltage can vary between these receptacle varieties, so you should take the time to familiarize yourself with each type. Here is a list of the kinds of electrical receptacles you may find in your home, along with how they should be used.
The standard receptacle is by far the most common in almost any Allentown home. They are commonly found in bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms, and can be used to plug in most common equipment and small appliances. These outlets provide electricity for your lamps, television sets, computers, and almost everything else. In newer homes you will usually find grounded three prong outlets, but two prong outlets are also extremely common, especially in older homes. These receptacles will supply 120 volts of electricity.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) Receptacles
Ground fault circuit interrupter receptacles, often referred to as a ground fault receptacle or simply a “GFCI,” are generally used for safety purposes in areas where water is likely. These receptacles are used in bathrooms, kitchens and for outdoor outlet installations. They are identifiable in the home by the buttons on the receptacle, which are used for testing or resetting the outlet. These receptacles have built-in circuit breakers, which could save your life if you should come in contact with the receptacle or equipment that is plugged into the receptacle while standing in water. If you have these receptacles in your Allentown home, it is important to test them on a regular basis to make sure they are still in good working order.
Electric Range Receptacle
The electric needs of a range, stove or oven are much greater than that of a standard appliance. As such, they require their own kind of electric receptacle. These receptacles should have their own circuit breaker for safety. It is also important to remember that these receptacles should only be used for an electric range, stove or oven. An electric range receptacle looks completely different from a standard receptacle, and is designed to accommodate the range’s much larger plug.
Electric Dryer Receptacle
If you have an electric dryer in your Allentown home, you will also have a specialized electrical receptacle to power it. Just as is the case with a range receptacle, these outlets are much larger than a standard receptacle, and are designed with a completely different plug prong configuration. If you have an older home, you might find that you have a three pin dryer receptacle. However, in newer homes they will have four pins, since it is required by new building codes. These pins will provide a 120V line as well as a 240V line, which will supply the dryer with the power that it needs.
Electric Receptacle Tips
In addition to looking different, it is important to remember that different receptacles have different wiring needs. If you need to install a new outlet, especially if it is one of the more specialized kinds, it is best to consult with your professional Allentown electrician to avoid installation and wiring mistakes.
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