Different Types of Electrical Outlets

Whether you are trying to renovate your existing power system or exploring a new home, knowing electrical outlet types used most frequently can help a lot. There are even new outlets that are compatible with your phone! The BrickKicker covers common electrical outlets and comparisons like GFI vs. GFCI and AFCI vs. GFCI below. 


AFCI vs. GFCI Electrical Outlet Types 

Many are surprised by how many different kinds of outlets there are in a home, wondering about the difference between GFI vs. GFCI outlets and more. Let’s check out these common electrical outlets in detail: 

Electrical Outlet
  • – GFCI: GFCI stands for “Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter”. These are slightly more expensive than regular outlets but are required in kitchens and bathrooms. The interrupter is designed to trip when any current caused by a fault goes past the neutral wire.
  • – AFCI: Stands for “Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter”. An “arc” is a term for when electricity jumps from one wire to another, which can result in dangerous fires. Since 1999, these outlets have been required at the circuit breaker box.
  • – GFI vs. GFCI: Some are confused when they see GFI outlets instead of GFCI. These acronyms signify the same thing, even if GFI is less commonly used to describe electrical outlet types. 

Other Common Electrical Outlets 

There are plenty of other common electrical outlets you may encounter at the hardware store or in your home: 

  • – 20A: 20A outlets are built for appliances that take a lot of power. You can recognize them by the notch on the left side of the outlet opening. Often, you’ll find these electrical outlet types in the garage and kitchen.
  • – Switched Outlets: A switched outlet usually has just one plug and a switch to control the outlet individually. This is great if you don’t need a device or appliance turned on all the time but want to store it in a convenient location. 

More Kinds of Outlets 

Besides these common electrical outlets, you may have heard about new technological advances that make access and control of power all the more simple. Let’s look at more advanced electrical outlet types: 

  • – Smart Outlets: Like many of the new appliances that connect to your phone, Smart Outlets can be triggered with a swipe of the finger. Grab a few of these if you’re building the ultimate smart home. 
  • – USB Outlets: Many of our devices use USB cables to power themselves, but it can be tricky when you’re crowding your outlets with bulky phone chargers. USB outlets solve this problem and are easy to install in your home! 

Get Inspection Services with BrickKicker! 

The BrickKicker provides commercial and residential inspections for your home, but it also has resources like our blog to provide tips and information to everyone. Contact us with any questions you have about AFCI vs. GFCI, or anything else home-related today!