It is surprising how simply installing a new outlet can make your electrical system higher functioning, more convenient, and safer. Here are nine types of electrical outlet upgrades/replacements to benefit your home.
1. Plugs with USB Outlets
Try this easy, affordable solution to eliminate the clutter of all those mobile phones and laptop chargers. Install wall outlets equipped with built-in ports ready to plug your USB cables into. (Before you go ahead with this electrical upgrade, though, check that this type of outlet will fit your outlet box).
Most of these newer outlets conveniently combine two USB ports with two standard AC plugs.
Benefit: Declutters, space-saving
2. GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters)
GFCI outlets are important electrical safety devices. They monitor the flow of electricity through a circuit; if a change is sensed, they’ll trip and shut down the circuit nearly instantaneously. This prevents severe electric shock to anyone in the path of the electric current.
Installation of GFCIs is required by the Canadian Electrical Code for any outlet within 1.5 metres of a sink (in kitchens, bathrooms or powder rooms, laundry rooms, etc.)
Benefit: Prevention of electrocution
3. TRRs (Tamper Resistant Receptacles)
Although they look and function similarly to traditional outlets, TRRs are engineered to reduce the danger of childhood shock. When small children try to insert a foreign object (such as a fork) into a TRR, the outlet’s built-in shutters will block it. The shutters open only when an electrical plug (2-prong or grounded) is inserted.
Benefit: Protection against childhood electric shock
4. Smart Outlets
When you install a smart home system, smart outlets are a useful addition. These special outlets allow any appliances plugged into them to act as a smart device that can be controlled remotely. In addition, they increase the range of your smart hub because they act as network repeaters. For this reason, it is helpful to install several smart outlets positioned throughout your home or business.
Benefit: Appliances become smart system-compatible, extends smart system range
5. Wall Switch/Outlet Combinations
Running out of room to install the additional outlets you need? Just replace the conventional wall switch that controls your residential or commercial lighting with a switch/outlet combination to easily solve your problem.
Benefit: Simple way to add an outlet (or many outlets)
6. Nightlight Outlets
Once upon a time, adding a nightlight to a youngster’s bedroom (or any other location such as a bathroom, hallway, etc.), would hog precious outlet space. Nowadays, though, all you have to do is upgrade your wall plates to outlets with safe, energy-efficient LED night lights … now you’ve got light and still have two functional plugs.
Benefit: Space and energy saving
Safeguard your pre-2000 home with AFCI outlets, designed to prevent electrical arc flash — an electrical current which “jumps” through the air from one conductor to another (or to a grounded object in the near vicinity). The extreme heat of arc flashes can burn anyone nearby or start a house fire.
Benefit: Fire and burn prevention
8. Higher Capacity Outlets (20amp)
Typically, most home electrical outlets are 15A (rated for 15 amps). However, 20A is standard in kitchens due to the high power draw of many appliances used in the room. Upgrading to 20 amps requires some complex electrical work, because not only the outlets must be replaced, but the wiring must be replaced as well. 20A outlets require heavier 10 or 12-gauge wiring.
Benefit: Supplies appliances with high power draw
9. Recessed Outlets
Recessed outlets are more deeply set than standard models allowing the plug to be flush with the wall. They can be used indoors or out. This upgrade offers a number of advantages — saving wall or counter space, improving appearance, eliminating trip hazards, and minimizing exposure to moisture. Because recessed outlets are less expensive than the norm, they also save you money.
Benefit: Saving space and money, reducing trip hazard and moisture exposure, aesthetics
Sun Electrical Installs the Upgrades You Need
Rely on Sun Electrical to install any electrical upgrades you need in the Calgary area. Our experienced, licensed electricians are the experts you can trust for electrical installation and repair.