Choosing the right outlet for commercial purposes is not just a matter of appearance, it’s a matter of safety.
Outlets that aren’t suitable for the existing circuits can cause many problems – power outages and electrical fires being just some of them.
Consulting with an electrical agent and getting electrician services is always in your best interest, however, it’s also good to be familiar with what it is that makes a certain outlet adequate for your building.
So, let’s take a look at some things that you should pay attention to when choosing an outlet, and some tips that can help you make the right choice.
Make Sure to Get a GFCI Outlet
There are two primary categories of outlets: AFCI and GFCI. You’re probably more familiar with AFCI outlets, as they’re used in homes and apartments. Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter outlets prevent against accidental electrical fires, but unless your commercial building has dwelling units, you’ll have to use GFCI outlets.
GFCI, or Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter, prevents people from accidental electrical shocks. This outlet is designed in such a way that it breaks the circuit immediately if it notices that the electrical current is diverging from its intended path.
GFCI outlets are easily distinguishable, as they have a test and reset button, whereas AFCI outlets have no such features. Your electrical agent will always ensure your commercial building has the right kind of outlet.
The Right Outlets for the Right Appliances
Different types of appliances sometimes need different outlets. Standard 15-amp outlets are used for everyday appliances and devices – TVs, computers, etc. If your building will be home to some medium-sized appliances and power tools, you’ll need to get larger, 20-amp electrical outlets.
15-amp and 20-amp outlets look virtually the same; the only difference is in the neutral slot. While the standard outlet’s neutral slot is vertical, the 20-amp outlet’s is horizontal.
Any larger appliances will ask for sturdier, heavy-duty electrical outlets. A simple check of the electrical cord of these appliances will let you know what kind of outlet you’ll need. Specialty outlets can come in a 3 or 4-prong variety, and you should choose a suitable outlet depending on the cord of the appliance.
The Amperage and the Existing Circuit
The right amperage of the outlet is its most essential feature. In short, amperage is the amount of current that a certain device uses. You, or your electrical agent, must ensure that your existing circuit can handle the amperage of the outlet you’ve chosen.
The existing circuit must have equal or higher amperage than the outlet. This means that while a 15-amp outlet can be installed both in 15 and 20-amp circuits, for example, a 20-amp outlet can only be installed in a 20-amp circuit.
For your safety, hiring electrician services to help you choose the right outlets and install them is in your best interest. A qualified electrical agent such as MSC Electrical can get this job done quickly and done well. Reach out to us today for any electrical assistance needs!