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Questions tagged [receptacle]

A contact device installed at the outlet for the connection of an attachment plug.

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51
votes
5answers
178k views

How can I fix electrical outlets that don't “hold” plugs that are plugged in to them?

In short, most of the outlets in my house have one working receptacle and one that any cord plugged in will immediately slip out of. Some of my outlets don't have any working receptacles (I hope I'm ...
34
votes
7answers
150k views

Why does this receptacle have the ground tied to the neutral?

I was replacing some outlets in my house with tamper-resistant ones, and came across one where the white and ground were wired together, as seen in this picture. Why? Is that okay or appropriate ...
23
votes
3answers
5k views

Why do single electrical receptacles exist?

Given that the following are true. They are the same size. They take the same amount of work to install. Doubles are twice as useful. Double adapters are a thing. Why do single electrical ...
19
votes
18answers
128k views

When wiring outlets should I use pigtails or both sets of outlet screws?

I'm replacing the outlets in our house and pulled out one that had two black and two white cables. My first thought was that it was two circuits, one of them being switched, but then realized the tab ...
19
votes
4answers
125k views

I have a 3-pronged receptacle but no ground wire connected to it. Is this ok?

I removed the plates from outlets to paint walls and noticed that some of my electric boxes have ground wires connected to outlets while others do not have a green wire at all. Is this ok? I know ...
19
votes
2answers
3k views

Can you identify this receptacle?

I was walking through a house during the middle of construction and came across what appears to be a recpticle attached to a pvc pipe that seems to pass a low voltage wire. Also connected to the ...
19
votes
4answers
36k views

Do USB sockets draw power when not in use?

I would like to replace a couple of electrical outlets in my house with ones that have USB sockets. My concern is that they will continually draw power, even when I don't have a phone plugged in to ...
19
votes
6answers
38k views

What is the best way to cut receptacle holes when hanging drywall?

I will be installing drywall in a 10x10 room this weekend, walls only. I'm planning to use the longer sheets so there is only a single horizontal seam on each wall and install the top sheet first, ...
19
votes
5answers
265k views

What is a GFI outlet used for, and where should I install them?

What purpose does a GFI serve? Where should they be used?
18
votes
4answers
228k views

Which Kitchen outlets do NOT need GFCI?

I have the 2 circuits in the kitchen with GFCI outlets, but I'm not quite sure which other ones do NOT need GFCI. Other circuits in the kitchen include Microwave, Fridge, and Dishwasher. It makes ...
18
votes
8answers
311k views

What's the standard height for an outlet?

I am installing outlets in my patio room. What is the standard height recommended above the ground for these to be installed?
17
votes
5answers
20k views

If I install a GFCI on the first outlet in a circuit will the other receptacles on that breaker circuit have GFI protection?

I have three electrical outlets in my garage which appear to be connected to one circuit breaker. I am assuming the outlet closest to to the panel is first in the three receptacle circuit. How ...
16
votes
5answers
73k views

What types of electrical outlets are found in a typical home in the USA?

I do not live in the USA. If I were to buy a home in the USA, what are the key facts I should know about USA household electrical supply at outlets in homes? E.g. when buying a clothes dryer or other ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Getting UPS Power from One Room to Another

I’d like to run power from a Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) in ROOM A to where a work computer is used in ROOM B. I was thinking of installing an outlet box in ROOM A near where the UPS is plugged ...
16
votes
4answers
81k views

When to use holes instead of side terminals to wire an outlet

This question comes from Shirlock's comment on this GFCI wiring question. When and why should you use the holes on the back of an outlet rather than the side terminals? I always assumed the holes on ...
16
votes
4answers
234k views

How do I properly wire GFCI outlets in parallel?

I have two countertop outlets in my kitchen that I am in the process of replacing with new, GFCI-protected outlets. These two outlets are on a circuit together, and they are the only loads on that ...
16
votes
3answers
12k views

Is there ever a reason for reversing hot and neutral on a receptacle?

I moved into a new home and several receptacles have the hot and neutral reversed. I confirmed this with a basic receptacle tester. I opened one up and found the white wire on the brass terminal, ...
15
votes
3answers
7k views

Can I use 220 V outlets on a 15 ampere breaker and wire it up as 110 V?

I purchased a 220 V outlet and didn't realize it. My circuit is 15 amperes. I wanted to hook up a series of normal 15 ampere 110 V outlets. When I look at the outlet it looks exactly like a regular 15 ...
15
votes
4answers
6k views

Loss of power when I remove item from the outlet

I have this unusual electrical issue in our master bedroom. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this. We have this $3 LED night light in our bedroom and when we take it out, the power/...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

Why are these receptacles so difficult to plug into?

I just moved into a new apartment with these weird receptacles that make it very difficult to plug anything in. Is there a trick to these? Or is it normal for it to be extremely difficult to plug into ...
14
votes
2answers
6k views

Are USB sockets on wall outlets live all the time, even when the switch is off?

I got a USB wall socket fitted. When it was installed, I tested the USB port with a tester with the switches off, but the USB outlet was live. Is this normal?
14
votes
6answers
19k views

How can I detect reverse polarity on an ungrounded receptacle?

Recently moved into a 1950s-built house and am swapping out some of the older receptacles. On one particular ungrounded circuit there are four receptacles. The first two are as expected - the two ...
14
votes
1answer
64k views

Can I add a standard receptacle on a GFCI circuit

So, I want to add a receptacle in the bathroom (I tend to run out of batteries on my phone while crapping at the end of the day). There's a GFCI outlet on the other side of the crapper wall that ...
14
votes
1answer
16k views

Can a GFCI receptacle protect other receptacles?

My contractor has wired one GFCI receptacle in the main bathroom on the same circuit as a normal receptacle in our en-suite bathroom (it is less than a foot from the sink). he says that since they are ...
13
votes
5answers
10k views

Do I NEED to use correct colors when wiring always?

What I am wondering is if there is any code that is violated if the wrong colors are used in wiring outlets? For example, it is standard to use white as neutral and black as power but if I only had ...
13
votes
6answers
3k views

GFCI outlets - can they be repaired? Are they really needed at the end of a circuit?

My house just went through a flood and there was 7 feet of muddy water on the first floor, so all the AC outlets were underwater. After the water receded, all the unprotected outlets continued to ...
13
votes
4answers
64k views

How do I troubleshoot power receptacles?

I just bought a recently renovated house and the house inspector said that all the plugs in the basement worked. Well... I plugged in several devices into the plugs and they don't power on. If I use ...
13
votes
1answer
59k views

What is the correct way to wire a 4 prong oven receptacle?

I think I wired this the right way but I can't find an online reference that I trust enough to flip the breaker back on. This is how I wired it. Is this correct?
12
votes
3answers
24k views

What are the differences between these two receptacles?

Residential duplex outlets come in a variety of styles. The two most common seem to be: and Does it matter? Is the difference purely aesthetics, or is there any technical difference?
12
votes
4answers
71k views

How do I install an outdoor receptacle box on vinyl siding?

Any tips for adding an outdoor receptacle box onto a house with vinyl siding? Shouldn't the box be attached to a stud? How do I seal around it? J Channel? How can I accomplish this without tearing off ...
11
votes
5answers
27k views

How can I trip a breaker from the outlet

One time at my job we had some electrical work that needed done. The electrician had a small homemade switch box with a 120v mains plug running out of it and a switch on the front. The device ...
11
votes
7answers
19k views

Why do electricians prefer not to use the push-in connections on receptacles?

Why do electricians prefer not to use the back-stab or quick connect holes on switches and receptacles? If these were unreliable do you think they would be allowed by the NFPA and NEC?
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Can ground attached to neutral fool a receptacle tester?

I'm using a basic outlet tester like the one from picture below. Let's say someone wired the ground to the neutral in some outlet, to provide a fake ground. What would the tester report? Would it be "...
11
votes
1answer
41k views

How many wires is too many for an outlet?

I keep finding outlets in my house that are wired in ways I've never seen. Today's find is an outlet in a bedroom with 4 hots and 4 neutrals. All connected to one outlet using the push-in connectors. ...
10
votes
4answers
21k views

What is the proper wiring for a NEMA 14-30 240v receptacle?

We moved into a resale home, the previous owners had a Gas Dryer, we have an Electric. The laundry room has a NEMA 14-30 receptacle installed. I hooked up our brand new dryer and it didn't get power. ...
10
votes
3answers
17k views

What to do with an apartment with only 2-pronged outlets

I just rented an apartment (Colorado, for what it's worth RE code) that has 2-pronged outlets throughout the place except for two GFCI's, one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen. I bought the $....
10
votes
2answers
7k views

Is there a minimum, NEC-compliant distance that an electrical outlet can be off the floor in my home?

If I am able to lower an electrical box by a few inches, I will have enough wire to avoid having to use a junction box to splice a nick I made in the insulation of the neutral wire. It's only a three-...
9
votes
5answers
4k views

What type of cable should I run to future-proof an outlet for an air conditioner?

Our new house is still under construction by a standard builder. After the home is finished, I will be installing a small mini split ductless AC system for a home office that will get much warmer than ...
9
votes
1answer
5k views

What are the dimensions of US outlet holes?

I am specifically referring to the standard NEMA 5-15 three hole outlet that is used in North America. What are the dimensions of the holes in the outlets? Surprisingly, I am having difficulty in ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

What type of outlet is in the picture?

I recently purchased a early 1970's home that has this interesting outlet installed in the master bedroom. It is the only outlet in the entire house like this and I'm not real sure what it is for and ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Does a neutral-to-ground voltage of 0.0 indicate a bootleg ground?

As described here (for example), in a correctly-wired receptacle, there will be a small potential difference between the neutral and ground wires that increases slightly with increasing load. I'm ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there an average number of outlets that are wired off of one circuit breaker?

I recently demolished my basement to start a reconstruction/improvement project. My first horror was the electrical layout. I've got hidden junctions, mismatched wire sizes, improper junctions and ...
9
votes
1answer
33k views

How can I test network and coax jacks?

We bought new house and I need to test network (RJ45) and coax jacks to see which ones are working. How can I do that without actually connecting computers/cable boxes?
8
votes
9answers
6k views

Does a receptacle have to supply the max current that it is rated for?

Suppose you come across a L5-30R (120V, 30A receptacle) somewhere. By spec, can you assume that there will be 30 amps at it? Follow up: if you come across a L6-30R (250v, 30A), does it have to ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Can I replace my ungrounded / two prong outlets, or should I have a professional do this type of a thing?

They're all two prong except a select few in the kitchen. Is this a project I could take on with NO electrical experience other than minor soldering, or is this something I should not attempt? ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Why are 120 V general receptacle circuits limited to 20 A?

The NFPA-70 (National Electrical Code) prohibits the use of breakers larger than 20 A for general receptacles. But I have my doubts. A 20 A breaker on a 120 V circuit with appropriately sized wires ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Is a GFCI receptacle device a circuit breaker? [duplicate]

I have been told that a GFCI receptacle is a "circuit breaker" in the sense that it will trip under overload. Everything I know, have been told, and have read from experts to manufacturers says this ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What type of outlet has a button and small hole in the middle?

I just had a home inspection done for a home we are planning to purchase. The home inspector saw an electrical outlet and didn't know what the part in the middle was for/what was special about it. ...
8
votes
8answers
25k views

How is it that two breaker switches control the same things?

Forewarning: I don't know that much about electrical terms, so please excuse any mistakes I've possibly made. I recently moved the TV in my living room and ran a new line for the electricity to the ...