# How Many Volts In Residential Outlet

By | March 6, 2015

# How Many Volts In a Residential Outlet

Electricity has become an integral part of our lives. It powers everything from lights, computers, and appliances to life-saving medical equipment. But not everyone knows the basics about how electricity works. Questions like how many volts can a residential outlet provide? Well, this article will provide you with an answer.

Voltage is a measure of the amount of energy running through an electrical circuit. Residential outlets generally provide 120 volts of electricity, but they can also be wired to provide 240 volts. Regardless of the voltage, all outlets in a home should be grounded to protect against electric shock.

## The Basics of Voltage

Before discussing how many volts a residential outlet provides, let’s take a step back and review the basics of voltage. Voltage is the amount of electrical potential, or “pressure,” that moves electrons through a conductor, like the wires in a wall. This potential is measured in volts (V). The higher the number of volts, the faster the electrons move, so the more power is available.

## 120 Volts in a Home Outlet

The majority of household outlets are wired to provide 120 volts of electricity. This is a standard set by the National Electric Code (NEC). The voltage for each outlet is split into two lines of 120 volts each. These lines carry negative and positive charges, and when they join together, they create the voltage used to power lights, appliances, and other devices.

## 240 Volts in a Home Outlet

Apart from the standard 120 volts outlets, some outlets in your home may also provide 240 volts of electricity. These are usually found in kitchens, basements, and laundry rooms. They provide double the power of a standard outlet and are used to power high-powered appliances, like washing machines, dryers, and ovens.

## Grounded Outlets for Safety

All outlets in the home should be properly grounded to ensure safety. Grounding an outlet creates a “third-wire” that attaches the outlet to a ground wire, which connects to the earth. This helps protect against electric shock, as it ensures that any excess electricity is diverted away from the user and outside of the home.

## Summary

Now that you know the basics of voltage and how it’s used in residential outlets, you should have a better understanding of how many volts in a residential outlet. Most outlets are wired to provide 120 volts of electricity, while some may provide 240 volts. Regardless of the voltage, it’s important to make sure all outlets in the home are properly grounded.

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