What Are Self-Grounding Electrical Outlets?

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Self-grounding electrical outlets are one of the most commonly used items in a home.
Self-grounding electrical outlets are one of the most commonly used items in a home. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Self-grounding electrical outlets are designed to protect you from electrical shock. Modern building codes require all outlets to be either self-grounded or ground-fault circuit interrupters. Electricity is always in search of the simplest path to reach earth. The use of improper electrical outlets can lead to shock or even electrocution.

Identification

A self-grounding electrical outlet has a pair of parallel vertical slits less than 1 inch apart. Below the slits is a round opening for the ground necessary to complete the electrical circuit.

Function

Electrical outlets provide power to your home electronic components by using a wire to deliver the power from your main electrical box to the corresponding outlet. Self-grounding outlets are the most common type found in homes.

Safety

Outlet grounding is an important part of safety in your home when dealing with electricity. Grounded outlets will keep a faulty outlet from using you to pass electricity to the ground.

Supply

Grounded outlets are available for purchase at hardware stores or home improvement centers. Licensed electricians are qualified to install your outlets properly.

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