Do you know your home has 240 and 120-volt outlets? If not, you must know the difference between the two before starting any electric work at your home. In this article of 120 Volt Outlet, you will know everything You Need To Know. You should know it before even moving your appliances. The volts are the degree of current or pressure which the equipment needs to function correctly. Although you will mostly find 120-volt outlets everywhere in your house, some heavy equipment needs 240-volt Output and plug power to perform.

120-Volt vs. 240-Volt Outlets

240 volts is a higher degree of current for the appliances that need a higher level of pressure. Some of the common devices that require a 240-volt outlet and plug are the washing machine, stove, and dryer. They can’t run effectively on a 120-volt outlet. You should also put the wire and conductor with the right kind of strength to pull off 240-volts.

On the other hand, your everyday devices such as vacuum cleaners and phone chargers can easily run on a 120-volt outlet. Therefore, these are the most common types of outlets in your home. You don’t need any specialized kind of wires to operate a 120-volt outlet.

Features of 120-Volt Outlet

It is a standard electrical outlet. You can’t do without it at your home. These are the oldest types of outlets being used since the 1950s. They are required for all the regular appliances at your home. They have 3 holes. 2 of them are parallel rectangle holes. 1 of them is connected to the live wire and the other to the neutral wire. The third hole is round, and it is connected to the ground wire.

Modern 120-volt outlets are primarily designed as duplex receptacles so that there are 2 places to plug in devices. Modern 120-volt outlets can also power the polarized plugs. These plugs have a higher rectangular prong for the neutral wire.
Requirement of 120-Volt Outlets

120-volt outlets are required for most of your appliances. They provide a basic level of current for devices to work. You see them all the time at your home and workplace. They are so common that if you don’t know that there are 2 types of outlets, you won’t know they are called 120-volt outlets.

Appliances Powered by 120-Volt Outlet

As described earlier, all your everyday household appliances can be powered through 120-volt outlets. Some of them are as follows:-

  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator
  • Dishwasher
  • Phone charger
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Ironing Machine
  • lamps

Layout & Structure of 120-Volt Outlets

Throughout North America, 15 and 20 amp 120-volt outlets are used. They are also known as receptacles. You need to plug the device in the 2 vertical holes and 1 round hole. The 2 vertical holes are parallel and connected to the live and neutral wire. The U-shaped round hole is for grounding. This layout of 120-volt outlets is standardized by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).


120-volt outlets are mostly used in Canada and America. 220-volt outlets are more prominent in other parts of the world. It will help a lot if you are aware of the kind of outlets in your house. You also need to be cautious that the appliances ideal for 120-volt outlets can’t be plugged in 240-volt outlets and vice versa. It can provoke a shock hazard or electrical malfunction.