How to wire an AC electrical outlet

In the US (and most countries on the American continent) the AC electrical wiring in households is made using 3 wires: the ground, the neutral and the hot line. The common color practice is to use green for the ground wire, white for the neutral wire, and black for the hot line wire.

Slide1

Alternatively, a bare copper wire can be used instead of a green insulated wire for the ground and a grey wire can also be used instead of the white wire for the neutral. If you have noticed, a single electrical outlet has 3 holes: 2 vertical rectangular holes and 1 semi-circular hole. Out of the 2 rectangular holes, one is slightly larger than the other. When wiring an electrical outlet make sure the ground wire connects to the semi-circular hole, the neutral wire connects to the larger rectangular hole and the hot line connects to the smaller rectangular hole. Correspondingly, on the male side of the electrical connection, the circular prong corresponds to the ground (green wire), the larger size rectangular prong corresponds to the neutral (white wire) and the smaller size rectangular prong corresponds to the hot line (black wire).

Slide2

A good way to remember where to connect the hot line is to keep in mind that the hot line is dangerous and thus, it should be connected to the smaller rectangular hole where it is more difficult to introduce foreign objects.

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