Many different types and styles of 220 volt receptacles are available in the market place. The receptacles come in square or round shapes but are primarily round. The main shape difference between types of 220 volt receptacles is in the face or design of the receptacle. You can distinguish the voltage just by the shape of the receptacle's face.
15 Amp Receptacle
The two-pole, three-wire female 220 volt receptacle is common for residential window air conditioners and commercial machinery, as well as office equipment. The receptacle is round with three prongs. Two of the prongs have two horizontal flat inlets and a semicircle grounding inlet. It is used for devices that do not pull more than 15 amps.
20 Amp Receptacle
A two-pole, three-wire 220 volt receptacle is used for devices that do not pull more than 20 amps of power; it has three inlets. The face shape of this 220 volt receptacle differs from the 15 amp receptacle. One pole inlet is flat and stands horizontally; the other pole inlet is flat and vertical but also has a notch midway up the flat pole. The third inlet is semicircle in shape and is used for the ground wire.
30 Amp, Three-Prong Receptacle
There are two different shaped 30 amp, three-prong, 220 volt receptacles. One receptacle face has two horizontal, flat inlet poles with a semicircle ground inlet. The other has two flat inlets set at a 45-degree angle with a semicircle inlet for the ground. The horizontal inlet receptacle is commonly found on residential household air conditioners, as well as electric kilns used for burning china and pottery. The 45-degree inlet receptacle is used for older residential electric dryers.
30 Amp, Four-Prong Receptacle
Another 30 amp receptacle has four prongs on the face of the 220 volt receptacle. Newer electric dryers use this shaped receptacle. The receptacle has a semicircle inlet for the ground, two horizontal, flat inlets for two prongs and one L-shaped inlet for the other prong.
50 Amp, Three-Prong Receptacle
A 50 amp, three-prong, 220 volt receptacle shape is also available. One shape has two vertical inlets and one semicircle inlet for the ground. One of the vertical inlets is not as long as the other. A 220 volt receptacle using this shape and for this amperes is commonly used for electric welders. Another shape exists for a three-prong, 50 amp receptacle. A receptacle with three vertical inlets and used for older ranges is available.
50 Amp, Four-Prong Receptacle
The last 220 volt receptacle common in the market place is the 50 amp, four-prong receptacle. Used for newer ranges found in a residential home, this 220 volt receptacle is shaped similar to the three-prong receptacle but has a semicircle inlet for the ground. The three vertical prongs make a V shape with the ground inlet setting about the V shape.
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