Why do some plugs have a wide prong?

Why do some plugs have a wide prong?

It is a minor safety enhancement. Since the 1950’s power outlets in the US are made with one slot wider than the other. This means the plug can only fit in the socket one way, with the wide blade in the wide slot. The wide slot is supposed to be connected to neutral (which is tied to ground) and has zero volts.

Why do power outlets look different?

The reason why the world is now stuck with no less than 15 different styles of plugs and wall outlets, is because many countries preferred to develop a plug of their own, instead of adopting the US standard. Many Latin-American, African and Asian countries are still in the same situation that Brazil used to be in.

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Why are some outlets sideways?

Electricians may position the outlet in an upside-down position so that you can quickly identify the switch-controlled receptacle. Since it stands out visually to most people right away – it provides convenience to the occupants to easily remember which outlet is switch controlled.

Why are there holes on the blades of an electric plug?

These round bits fit snugly into the holes in the plug, which helps to provide for a more secure connection. It’s why a well-designed plug won’t simply fall out of a socket, and it also helps to maintain a better connection between the contact wipers and whatever device/appliance is connected to said plug.

Why do some plugs have 3 prongs?

When you plug in a three-pronged plug, that third prong is providing an alternate pathway for electricity in the event of a fault. If you cut the third prong off of a plug, you defeat the safety feature. Also, adapters were designed to use the cover screw to complete a ground circuit on some older plug designs.

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What does the t mean on a receptacle outlet?

The T-shaped slot indicates that the 120-volt receptacle is rated for 20-amps. Regular wall receptacles with a pair of vertical slots are rated for only 15-amps, but the T-shape enables it to accept either a 15- or 20-amp plug.

Why are electrical outlets installed ground side up?

As a bonus piece of trivia, the reason you sometimes see this and other types of outlets installed ground side up is to decrease the chances of an accidental fault or electrocution from a conductive object falling between the hot & neutral blades

Why are there so many different types of plugs and sockets?

So basically, there are more than a dozen types of plugs and sockets used in different parts of the world today because standardisation efforts were disrupted by the World War II. Also, second efforts at standardisation came too late; at a point where many countries had adopted their native plug systems beyond a point of no return.

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What is the difference between 15A and 20A electrical outlets?

These outlets are rated for 20A, and can receive special plugs (with a sideways neutral prong) for appliances which draw more than 15A. This prevents people from tripping their circuit breakers by plugging them into 15A outlets by mistake. While 15A outlets are generally fed by 14AWG wire, 20A outlets are generally fed from 12AWG wire.