Improving Electrical Safety with Self-Testing Electrical
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 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 safe
lock feature. If damage to critical components are 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 to save box space. The unit is manufactured from high
impact resistant thermoplastic for durability, strength, and improved
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 commercial environment can be greatly improved.
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 and all types of electrical equipment. The majority of electrical receptacles run on alternating current, or AC power
, and they consist of live or phase components, neutral components and earth or ground components, each allowing the flow of electrical energy through the receptacle. Made with insulating materials such as nickel, silver, plastic and galvanized steel, 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. 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.
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. Therefore, 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.
Electrical Receptacles - United Universal Industries, Inc.
Electrical Receptacles - Quail Electronics, Inc.