||Electrical Receptacles (Outlets)
|Need a few more power outlets but are tired
of using unsightly extension cords? Perhaps you are adding a new room or finishing
off the basement and just want to include
power. In either case, you'll want to choose
the right electrical receptacle (commonly
called an "outlet").
Voltage and Amperage
Outlets are designed for specific voltages
and maximum amperage. Most household current
is 120 volts, but there are special outlets
designed for 240 volt appliances such as
electric stoves and other high energy devices.
The slot arrangement differs by the voltage
-- make sure you buy the right one.
Also, the receptacles are designed to carry
a specific maximum current. Your outlet should
match or be less than that of the wire to
which it is attached. Most 120 volt outlets
are 15 or 20 amps.
Before you begin your project,
that you know your local building
Most jurisdictions require any
work that goes into a wall to
and approved prior to covering
it up. The
code may also mandate the number
of outlets and the use of Ground
Interrupter (GFCI) receptacles
in wet areas.
A GFCI is a more expensive version
ordinary receptacle, but safer,
it is designed to shut off the
power in a
fraction of a second in the event
of an accidental
grounding. This feature can avoid
fatal shock accidents that can occur in
wet areas (bathroom, kitchens, outdoors,
Be sure to also consider the
the cover plates for the outlets.