What is a duplex outlet?

What is a duplex outlet?


A duplex outlet, also known as a double outlet or a dual outlet, is a common electrical device found in residential and commercial buildings. It is designed to provide two separate electrical receptacles in a single unit, allowing multiple devices to be plugged in simultaneously. In this article, we will explore the features, benefits, and applications of duplex outlets.

Features of Duplex Outlets

Design: A duplex outlet typically consists of two receptacles mounted side by side in a single electrical box. Each receptacle has two vertical slots for the insertion of electrical plugs. The design allows for easy access to power for multiple devices.

Electrical Rating: Duplex outlets are available in various electrical ratings, commonly ranging from 15 to 20 amps. The rating indicates the maximum amount of electrical current the outlet can handle safely. It is important to choose an outlet with the appropriate rating for the intended usage.

Grounding: Most duplex outlets are designed with grounding capabilities. They feature a third round hole beneath the two vertical slots, allowing for the connection of grounded electrical plugs. Grounding provides an additional level of safety by redirecting electrical faults to the ground.

Benefits of Duplex Outlets

Convenience: The primary benefit of duplex outlets is the convenience they offer. With two receptacles in a single unit, users can power multiple devices simultaneously without the need for additional power strips or adapters. This is particularly useful in areas where multiple electrical devices are commonly used, such as living rooms, offices, and kitchens.

Space-saving: By providing two receptacles in a compact design, duplex outlets help save space on walls and electrical boxes. This is especially advantageous in areas with limited wall space or when installing outlets in crowded areas.

Versatility: Duplex outlets are compatible with a wide range of electrical devices, including lamps, computers, televisions, and kitchen appliances. Their universal design allows for the connection of both two-pronged and three-pronged plugs, accommodating various types of electrical equipment.

Applications of Duplex Outlets

Residential: Duplex outlets are commonly used in homes for general electrical needs. They are installed in living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and other areas where multiple devices are frequently used. In residential settings, duplex outlets are often positioned at convenient heights to facilitate easy access.

Commercial: Duplex outlets are extensively used in commercial buildings such as offices, retail stores, and restaurants. They provide a practical solution for powering computers, printers, cash registers, and other electrical equipment required for daily operations.

Industrial: In industrial settings, duplex outlets find applications in workshops, manufacturing facilities, and warehouses. They are used to power machinery, tools, and other heavy-duty equipment. Industrial-grade duplex outlets are designed to withstand harsh environments and higher electrical loads.


Duplex outlets are a fundamental component of electrical systems in both residential and commercial settings. They offer the convenience of multiple receptacles in a single unit, saving space and providing versatility. Whether in homes, offices, or industrial environments, duplex outlets play a crucial role in meeting the electrical power needs of various devices.


– electricaltechnology.org
– homedepot.com
– lowes.com