The lowly electrical outlet. When was the last time you gave those plugins a second thought? Maybe it was when you tripped over an appliance cord in your kitchen? Or struggled because a cord isn’t long enough to conveniently reach an outlet? If that happens, chances are someone didn’t do their job right when they wired your home. All we want from outlets is to plug a device in and get electrical power. But Dixie Electric, Plumbing & Air wants to remind you the type of outlets in your home and their location are very important.
You’ve likely heard about these but aren’t really sure what they mean. The codes govern electrical wiring. They are comprehensive and are not written arbitrarily. A great example is what we just mentioned: Outlet spacing. Kitchen outlets should be four feet or less away from each other. This is not based on a whim, rather it is the average length of cords found on most small kitchen appliances. The code is written to keep homeowners from stretching cords too far and creating hazards. The same principle applies living rooms, family rooms, and bedrooms, but in those locations the outlets should be no farther than 12 feet apart.
Types & uses
Different rooms, different circuits, and different uses determine the correct outlets to be installed. Here are some examples:
- Circuit amperage:
Most household circuits are either 15 or 20 amps depending on the anticipated load. The outlets need to match the circuit. It is okay to install 20 amp rated outlets on a 15 amp circuit, but not the other way around.
- GFCI outlets:
These are required in bathrooms, kitchens, and wherever water is present. Current to these outlets is immediately cut when the device detects a ground problem or short circuit.
- Tamper resistant:
You may want to consider this type of outlet if there are young children in the home. Tamper resistant outlets have a spring loaded shutter making it impossible for a child to insert an object into one side of the outlet. The shutter releases only when a traditional plug, 2 prongs plus a ground prong, is plugged in.
- Charging outlets
These have become quite common in the last few years. It is a normal 120 volt electrical outlet, but it also has one or more USB charging ports. This means you can plug your portable electronic device into the USB port, and still use the outlet for a blender, vacuum cleaner, or desktop computer. The most traditional type is an outlet with two USB ports and two traditional plugins. Other configurations are available.
Depend on Dixie
Whether it’s outlets, electrical panels, or rewiring, Dixie Electric, Plumbing & Air has the licensed electricians to do the job. You have our assurance that all work done will be according to local code, on time, and on budget.