Electrical receptacles, sometimes called outlets or wall plugs, are the interface between your home’s electrical system and the lamps, appliances, home technology gear, and other devices that need electricity to operate.

Conventional 120-volt Duplex Receptacles

Though electrical receptacles are made in a variety of types and styles, by far the most common ones in American homes are conventional duplex receptacles. These are standard outlets–the ones with two slots and a grounding hole that are part of a household standard (120-volt) system, designed to receive a conventional electrical cord and plug.

Another type of receptacle used in many homes is the GFCI receptacle, a variation of conventional outlets that are used in bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoor areas where the possibility of shock is a serious hazard. Equipment that requires 240-volt power, such as electric ranges and dryers, also have a special type of 240-volt receptacle that’s designed for their specialty plugs.

In this section of HomeTips, you’ll find information that discusses the various types of receptacles available and how to install and repair them.

Also See:

• Electrical Receptacle Buying Guide
• How Electrical Receptacles Work
• How to Repair Electrical Receptacles
• Electrical Receptacle Installation

Featured Resource: Get a Pre-Screened Local Electrical Wiring Pro

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About Don Vandervort
Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years as a remodeler and builder, Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. Don founded HomeTips in 1996. Read more about Don Vandervort