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Receptacle vs Outlet: Are They Actually Same

For connecting electricity with devices, outlets and receptacles are very important. Without them, you can’t use any kind of electrical device at your home, office, and many places.

But people seem to think outlets and receptacles are the same. Receptacle is a part of the outlet, but they are not the same as the outlet.

What are the differences between receptacle and outlet?

You can easily differentiate them by many features. Like, if you want to plug in any kind of device you need to use a receptacle. Which is also a part of the outlet. But a receptacle has only one switch but an outlet can have many. Their price is also different. Outlets are costlier.

That’s just a quick overview of the article. To know more about them, go through the article.

It’s time to make a start.

Receptacle vs Outlet: 5 Basic Differences to Know

Is a receptacle and an outlet the same thing? No, outlets and receptacles are not one thing. 

Then what is the difference between outlet and receptacle? All receptacles are outlets but not all outlets are receptacles.

If you want to buy any of them, you need to know what they are for. And also, why they are different. So, you should know the differences between them very well. 

Here I have listed all the basic differences according to their features. You can take a look at them:

FeaturesReceptacle Outlet
UsageUsed for plugging to provide current to run electrical appliancesUsed to connect any kind of electrical devices with electric current
Price$3 to $50$75 to $500
Hard Wired Connections  (devices can’t be connected through plugged in)
         Not available

Fan Regulator SwitchNot AvailableAvailable
Multiple SwitchesNot availableAvailable

Wanna know the differences in details? Then I can help you.

Receptacle vs Outlet: Detailed Comparison

Before buying anything, you should do everything in detail. That’s why you should know their basic differences in detail.

It’s time to know about electrical receptacle vs outlet in detail.

Feature 1: Usage

For electrical items, you need to know their uses. There are many electrical items, which have common use. You can also use them for different purposes too. You should also know the uses of receptacles and outlets.


Receptacle is a part of the outlets too. That’s why many people mention them as receptacle outlets. 

You can notice there are some holes in the receptacle. It is mainly to plug in the electrical devices. The plug enters there. Through the receptacle, you can plug in those devices to the outlet which provides current to them.


The electrical outlet is actually a supplier of current to the utilization equipment. The outlet is actually like a box. In this box, you can find many switches, regulators, sockets, and receptacles too.

So, through them, you can connect any kind of device with current so that they can work.


An outlet can do the job of receptacle too. But through a receptacle, you can only enter the plugs in the slots, so that current can pass.

Feature 2: Price

Price is a very important feature. Because everyone’s budget is not big. So they should know about the prices before planning to do anything.


The price of the receptacle is not too much. You can find them within the range of $3 to $50. You buy them with an outlet like a set, it’ll cost you more.

It will cost you around $80 to install them. The tamper-resistant receptacle will cost you more.


The price range of an outlet is within $75 to $500. An outlet can be small and can be large too. Wanna know how to buy an electrical outlet? You can easily find them in the electrical stores and online too.

The installation cost of them will be around $150.


Outlets are costlier than the receptacle. The installation cost of them is more too.

Feature 3: Hard Wired Connections

Hard wired connections are the connections of fans, lights, and luminaries. The wiring system of them is different too.


Through a receptacle, you can only connect the devices which can be plugged in. You can’t connect fans, lights, and luminaries with them.


Through an outlet you easily connect fans, lights, and other luminaries. Also, you can turn them on and off with the switches on the outlets.


In an outlet hard-wired connections are available. In case of a receptacle, they are not available.

Feature 4: Fan Regulator Switch

Fan regulator switch through which you can increase or decrease the speed of the fan.


There is not any kind of regulator switch in the receptacle.


You can a fan regulator switch in an outlet through which you can change the speed of the fan


You can find a fan regulator switch in an outlet, but not in a receptacle.

Feature 5: Multiple Switches

People use the switch in an electrical system to turn on or turn off anything. So that current can pass through.


In most cases, there are only one or two switches in a receptacle. If you turn on the switch, the current will pass through the wire you have plugged in.


You can find one to multiple switches in an outlet. They have many switches connected with different devices like light switches. You can easily turn it on/off through them. There are many types of outlet switches available too.


You can find multiple switches in an outlet, but you can’t find them in a receptacle.

Final Verdict

Actually, you need to know first what your needs are. Do you want to plug in your devices like an electric heater, oven, rice cooker, etc? Then you should buy a receptacle. There are many receptacle outlet types. Buy it according to the holes you will need.

You can buy a full outlet with a receptacle too. It will cost you too.

Do you want to have a switch for your fans, lights, or a regulator switch for your fan? Then you should buy an outlet. It completely depends on your needs. And pricing of anything is also necessary.

That’s all. Now you know all the differences between them and choose according to them.


Question: Should you use a ground pin for the orientation of the outlet?

Answer: You need to use a ground pin-up for the orientation of the outlet. Because the plastic of the pin is strong and it is long enough too.

Question: What are the full forms of GFCI and GFI?

Answer: GFCI stands for ground fault circuit interrupters. GFI stands for ground fault interrupters. Basically, both of them are the same and they don’t provide the facilities of grounding.

Question: Can outlets catch fire?

Answer: Yes, they can. Have you plugged an overloaded wire, loose wire, wet wire, corroded wires? Then, the outlets can catch fire. You need to connect those wires in a proper way too.

Question: What do the green, red colors of the outlets mean?

Answer: The green color of outlets is the symbol of hospital graded outlets. The red color of outlets is the symbol of emergency backup outlets. This is also available in hospitals.

Wrapping up

Now you know all the differences between receptacle vs outlet. So, you can easily choose which one you need.

You can even install them by yourself. But I would recommend you take help from an expert electrician.

It’s time to say goodbye. Hope you have enjoyed the article. 

Till then, best of luck!