Factors to Consider When Installing Electrical Outlets and Switches

Installing new electrical outlets and switches can be dangerous without the proper knowledge. It’s important to understand the different types of outlets and switches to know when you should call a professional, rather than tackling the job yourself.

Types of Switches

There are a few types of switches you should consider. The most traditional and common are lever switches. These are typically designed to flip up to turn the switch on, and down to turn it off. They can also be installed side to side, but this can be confusing.

Rocker switches are more modern. They are flat and will rock one way to turn the switch on, and the other to turn it off.

Dimmer switches offer you the ability to adjust the lighting in your home. These are typically a round knob, which you can turn to increase or decrease the brightness of light.

Types of Electrical Outlets

There are also a few types of electrical outlets you should know about. The first are standard outlets, which are also called duplex outlets. These are the outlets everyone is familiar with. They have two slots for the plug and a round hole for a grounding pin below them. This allows you to plug in any standard plug. A typical plug will have two standard outlets, allowing you to plug in two items.

Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) are another option. This type of outlet will shut off the power if a ground fault occurs. They are essential in areas where the plug may be exposed to water. They are typically found in bathrooms, but you may want one near your sink as well. It’s also important to use this type of outlet near a pool, if you need to plug in a pump.

USB outlets are the final type of electrical outlet. These outlets are similar to standard plugs. However, in addition to two standard plug sockets, they have one or more USB ports. Instead of using a wall adapter to plug in your phone or other device, you can plug it straight into the USB outlet.

Choosing the Right Switches and Outlets

Before installing plugs or switches, you’ll need to decide which type best suits your situation. You should always consider the purpose and functionality first. For example, if you frequently use an outlet to charge your phone, a USB outlet may be the perfect choice.

If you are installing a plug near a water source, a GFCI outlet makes sense. If you want to dim the lights in your dining room, you’ll want a dimmer switch. You can also consider the aesthetic appeal. If you have a modern home, you may want a rocker switch, for example.

Lastly, budget can be a factor. Plugs of any type are relatively inexpensive. However, if you plan on purchasing multiple plugs or outlets, the cost will add up. Generally, standard plugs and lever switches are the least expensive. However, don’t sacrifice functionality and safety for a small savings. It’s well worth it to choose the switches and outlets that will work the best in the area.

Should You Install Your Own Outlets and Switches?

If you don’t have the knowledge and experience to work with electricity safely, it’s best to leave it to one of our experts. Our professionals can also help you decide which outlets and switches are the best choice for your unique situation. You can rest easy knowing that the job will be done correctly.

Electrician in Lehigh Valley

If you need electrician services in Lehigh Valley, contact us at GB Electric. We offer a range of services, including light switch installation, electrical repairs, home rewiring, and surge protection.

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