Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope
US power outlet

Alternatively called a power socket, wall outlet, or wall socket, an outlet is the location where a power cord or power strip plugs into the wall. The picture shows a United States home power outlet.


If an outlet is not properly grounded it could result computer problems that include: a computer that does not boot, random errors, and physical damage to the computer. If you believe your outlet may not be grounded or wired properly, plug testers can be purchased at a local hardware store to test the wiring of an outlet.

How do I know if a wall outlet is functioning properly?

The easiest way to know if a wall outlet is working correctly is to purchase a wire receptacle tester. This device can be plugged into the outlet and tell you if the wiring is correct and properly grounded. These testers can be purchased at any local hardware store or online through Amazon.com. These testers can identify if the socket is getting power, the wiring is correct, and that there is a proper ground.

What type of power comes from an outlet?

In America, almost all wall outlets use AC (alternating current) power that is converted by the computer power supply to DC (direct current) power for a computer. Other parts of the world usually have DC power outlets and look different then the outlet pictured on this page.

What are the wires in a U.S. 110-volt wall outlet?

  • Copper, Green, or green with yellow stripes - Connects to earth ground.
  • White - Connects to neutral conductor.
  • Black, red, or any other color - Connects to the hot phase or conductor.

AC, Cable, Power cable, Power strip, Power terms, Socket, Wall plate