Available in many different designs and styles according to application needs, electrical receptacles are utilized in a range of equipment from:
- Window Air Conditioners
- Clothes Dryers
- Medical Equipment
- Domestic Appliances
- Assembly Machinery
- All Types of Electrical Equipment
Quick links to Electrical Receptacles Information
Design of Electrical Receptacles
The majority of electrical receptacles run on alternating current or AC power, and they consist of three components.
- Live or Phase Components
- Neutral Components
- Earth or Ground Components
Each component allows the flow of electrical energy through the receptacle.
Made with insulating materials, sockets are formed with two slots and an optional extra slot known as a grounding hole which is used in some electrical plugs for polarization. Insulating materials can consist of:
- Galvanized Steel
Designed to receive a conventional electrical cord and plug, common electrical receptacles run on the United States standard 120-volt system. However, heavy-duty 240-volt receptacles can be designed for equipment that requires a higher voltage, such as electric ranges or industrial machinery.
Safety Precautions with Electrical Receptacles
As with any component that is used in the transferring of electrical energy, there are important safety precautions to be considered.
- Electrical receptacles can cause shock and electrical hazards due to deterioration, damage, or misuse resulting in personal injury, death, and/or property damage from electrical fires.
- Frequent usage is a common cause of deterioration in receptacles, especially in high-traffic areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.
- High-quality materials and the consistent maintenance and upkeep of receptacles is important, especially in industrial and manufacturing settings.
The National Electrical Manufacturer’s Association (NEMA) sets stringent quality standards for power cords, sockets, and components in the US, and other countries around the world which use different voltages and electrical plug and receptacle structures set their own testing standards for general safety purposes. There are, however, technologies in place to reduce the potential hazards of electrical receptacles. Polarization, for example, helps control the connection between the electrical plug and the socket. Other measures include tamper resistance components and corrosion-resistant materials, especially in receptacles designed to be exposed to harsher environments.
Improving Electrical Safety with Self-Testing Electrical Receptacles
Electrical receptacles are also referred to as outlets or wall sockets and are the interface between electrical equipment and a power source. A power supply cord is attached to an electrical receptacle through the means of an electrical plug. Receptacles have an array of slots designed to accept the pins, or prongs, of electrical plugs in a way that connects the power cord to the power supply and are referred to as "females" while electrical plugs are called "males". The flow of electrical energy through the connection is dependent on a tight fit between the plug and the receptacle.
Electrical receptacles are typically dangerous because they can be a source of shock, power shortages, and even fires. For years, many companies have used self-testing electrical receptacles that help protect factories from electrical dangers. These receptacles prevent the unsafe condition of power without protection.
Self-Testing Electrical Units
Self-testing electrical units conduct an automatic test on the device every second. If the device ever fails, a light flashes to signal that the GFCI needs to be replaced. Another feature of these units is a safety lock feature. If damage to critical components is detected during the test, power to the unit is turned off, improving the safety of the area and preventing future damage to the area. These devices can be used in any dangerous environment in industrial settings- including wet environments, electrically-charged environments, and outdoor environments. Some factories also manufacture self-testing units for residential use, which makes them ideal for use around bathrooms, garages, basements, and kitchens.
The self-testing unit uses a ground terminal back wire clamp, an auto ground clip, and two back wire holes per termination to improve wiring flexibility and save box space. The unit is manufactured from high-impact resistant thermoplastic for durability, strength, and improved performance.
Factories that use these units report improved safety in a variety of environments. For just a little additional expense, the safety of any factory or a commercial environment can be greatly improved.