(855) 321-7473

M-F 9am-5pm Eastern

Learn about Electrical Outlet

Electrical Outlet

An electrical outlet allows electrical equipment to draw power from the electrical grid so they can operate. Electrical outlets are commonly referred to as outlets, wall outlets, electrical sockets, plugs, and wall plugs. Residential electrical outlets in North America supply 120 volts and 220-240 volts in Europe.

Electrical outlets vary and shape and size. It's critical to purchase outlets manufactured for your region. Local retailers, such as hardware stores, will always sell wall outlets required domestically. In North America, electrical outlets are three-pronged, with two vertical slots, the left being neutral and right hot, followed by a grounding prong below in most cases.

When purchasing outlets for your home, consider the intended use and ensure you buy outlets that meet your needs. Many new electrical outlets on the market provide USB ports for fast charging of your most commonly used smart devices. For safety, seek out products that hold a UL rating, meaning the product has been tested based on nationally recognized safety standards.

Over time, older outlets wear out, are less effective, and can be dangerous in rare cases. New outlets help prevent typical wear and tear issues generated from long-term use and ensure your home's devices receive reliable power.

In 1904, American inventor Harvey Hubbell patented the electrical plug and socket.