Episode 5 – What’s Inside of A Plug And A Switch?

In this episode I rip open a standard receptacle and a decor single-pole switch to reveal how each of these electrical devices works.

The insides of electrical outlets and switches are made up of very simple mechanical parts.  A receptacle is just a few pieces of metal that allows a cord to be plugged into them while pinching them in place.  There are 3 slots on the top of the device and 3 slots on the bottom of the device.  Each of the three slots consists of a hot, neutral, and ground.  Or as the NEC calls them the “ungrounded, grounded, and grounding conductors.”

The inside of a standard single-pole switch is fairly lackluster as well I’m afraid.  There is a small metal “flapper” that pushes two contacts together inside the device, and pulls them apart when you toggle the switch back and forth.  In both of these devices the ground terminal is only conntected to the yolk or “shell” of the device.  There’s nothing else inside of the switch that will be bonded to the grounding conductor.

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**Disclaimer – These videos are for training purposes alone, all work done on electrical systems should be done by a licensed and insured electrical contractor.  If you are not an electrician, do not attempt any of the work you are seeing in these videos.**

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