Components of an Electrical Outlet 

Components of an Electrical Outlet 

Have you ever wondered what parts and pieces make up the inside of your electrical outlets? Having a foundational knowledge about electrical outlets can be helpful during electrical emergencies. At Mr. Electric of Atlanta, we provide a wide range of services for local home and business owners, including electrical outlet installation, repair and replacement. If you're interested in learning more about how an electrical outlet works, then this is the article for you.

Safety First

Keep in mind that handling electricity of any kind can be dangerous. If you are switching out a damaged outlet, please take the proper steps. Wear safety equipment and always turn off the power at the breaker box to avoid injury and damage. If you're inexperienced with handling electrical issues or you're unsure how to proceed, it's always best to get help from a licensed professional who can do the job safely and accurately.

Mounting Strap

The mounting strap is found at the bottom and normally consists of a piece of metal with two holes. When screws are placed in the holes, it will keep the receptacle in place so it remains level with the outside of the box.


The receptacle is another name for the electrical outlet itself.

Nonmetallic Cable

Romex, or a nonmetallic cable, is made of three wires inside of a plastic sleeve or jacket. The three wires include the hot black wire, the neutral white wire and the grounding bare copper wires which connect to the circuit breaker panel.

Contact Opening

The contact openings are the areas on the receptacle where the electrical plug is inserted. They can come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, depending on the intention of the outlet, the voltage amount or the international location of the outlet installation.

Terminal Screws

The terminal screws can be found on the side of the receptacle. Their job is to secure the wires. The white wires are attached to the silver screw, and a black wire is attached to the brass screw. If the wires are placed on the inappropriate screw, or if the screws are too loose, then it can result in shorts or electrical shocks.

Grounding Screw

The grounding screw should be located on the side of the receptacle at the bottom. This is the screw where the bare copper grounding wire is attached.

Need an Outlet Repair, Replacement or Installation? Call Mr. Electric of Atlanta

Have you noticed damage on your electrical outlets? Are your current outlets ungrounded or in need of replacement? Leaving old, damaged outlets in place can be dangerous for homes and businesses. Ignoring the issue might lead to fires, personal injuries, damaged electronics or destruction of property. If you need an inspection, wiring upgrade, dedicated circuit installation or any other residential or commercial electrical service, call Mr. Electric of Atlanta, Georgia. Our team of certified, licensed and insured electricians are proud to provide quality services for clients in Atlanta, Suwanee, Alpharetta, Marietta, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Buckhead, College Park, Stone Mountain, GA and other surrounding metro Atlanta area communities. Contact our office today for more information or to schedule a convenient appointment with an experienced electrician near you.

Schedule Your Electrical Service Now!

Call or submit your request here and we'll call to confirm your appointment time. We're available until 11pm weekdays, 10pm weekends. Your Mr. Electric technician will provide an electrical repair or installation cost up front, and options if applicable.