What is a duplex receptacle?

What is a duplex receptacle?


A duplex receptacle, also known as a duplex outlet or a double outlet, is a common electrical device found in homes, offices, and other buildings. It is used to provide electrical power to multiple devices simultaneously. This article will dive deeper into the topic of duplex receptacles, exploring their design, functionality, and common applications.

Design and Functionality

A duplex receptacle is typically a rectangular-shaped device that is mounted on a wall or in an electrical box. It consists of two outlets, each with two slots and a grounding hole. The slots are designed to accommodate the prongs of electrical plugs, while the grounding hole is used for grounding purposes.

The design of a duplex receptacle allows for the connection of two electrical devices at the same time. This is achieved by having two separate sets of terminals within the receptacle. Each set of terminals is connected to one of the outlets, allowing for independent electrical connections.

When a plug is inserted into one of the outlets, the electrical connection is established, and power can flow from the electrical source to the connected device. The other outlet remains unaffected and can be used to connect another device simultaneously.

Installation and Wiring

Duplex receptacles are typically installed by electricians or knowledgeable individuals. The installation process involves connecting the receptacle to the electrical wiring of the building. The wiring consists of hot, neutral, and ground wires.

The hot wire carries the electrical current from the source to the receptacle, while the neutral wire provides a return path for the current. The ground wire is used for safety purposes, providing protection against electrical faults.

During installation, the hot wire is connected to one of the brass-colored terminals on the receptacle, while the neutral wire is connected to one of the silver-colored terminals. The ground wire is connected to the green-colored terminal or grounding screw.

It is important to ensure that the wiring is done correctly to avoid electrical hazards. If you are not experienced with electrical work, it is recommended to seek professional assistance for installation.


Duplex receptacles find widespread use in residential, commercial, and industrial settings. They are commonly found in living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, offices, and other areas where electrical devices are used.

In homes, duplex receptacles are used to power various devices such as lamps, televisions, computers, and kitchen appliances. They provide a convenient way to connect multiple devices without the need for additional outlets.

In commercial and industrial settings, duplex receptacles are used to power a wide range of equipment and machinery. They are often installed in offices, conference rooms, laboratories, workshops, and manufacturing facilities.


Duplex receptacles are essential electrical devices that allow for the simultaneous connection of multiple devices. Their design and functionality make them a convenient and practical solution for powering various electrical devices. Whether in homes, offices, or industrial settings, duplex receptacles play a crucial role in providing electrical power.


– electricaltechnology.org
– thespruce.com
– hunker.com