Newbie DIY Electrical question - Duplex vs Simlpex

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Old 03-16-07, 10:40 AM
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Newbie DIY Electrical question - Duplex vs Simlpex

Before I scare anyone with the title, I have a background in BE&E thanks to the Navy. I just haven't put it to much practical use when it comes to home electrical, until recently.

Very simple question, I hope - can someone explain what the difference is between a duplex and a simplex outlet? I've tried some web searches but I can't seem to find an actual explanation...

Thanks in advance!
C
 
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Old 03-16-07, 10:48 AM
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A duplex receptacle has two receptacles in one package. This traditionally what people have installed in their homes, and what comes to mind when people think of what they plug their appliances into.

A simplex receptacle is a single receptacle in the package. This what is generally used for dedicated circuits to a single appliance, such as for a room air conditioner. With only a single place to plug something in, a person cannot (without using an extension cord or plug strip) plug something in on the same circuit.
 
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Old 03-16-07, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by racraft View Post
A duplex receptacle has two receptacles in one package. This traditionally what people have installed in their homes, and what comes to mind when people think of what they plug their appliances into.

A simplex receptacle is a single receptacle in the package. This what is generally used for dedicated circuits to a single appliance, such as for a room air conditioner. With only a single place to plug something in, a person cannot (without using an extension cord or plug strip) plug something in on the same circuit.
Thats it??? Geez I kept seeing references to Duplex and was thinking it meant something like being able to feed each receptacle from different sources or put one receptacle on a switch and the other on constant...

Silly me.

Thanks!
 
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Old 03-16-07, 11:07 AM
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Well, you can certainly do that with a duplex receptacle, but you don't have to.
 
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Old 03-16-07, 11:48 AM
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If you look closely at the side of a duplex receptacle, you'll see a pair of brass tabs "bonding" the two screws together. If you break those tabs off, the duplex receptacle becomes two independent receptacles which may be wired or switched to independent circuits.

Duplex:
http://www.electricsupplyonline.com/prod/cooper-receptacles/5252b_w010195.php

Simplex:
http://www.electricsupplyonline.com/prod/cooper-receptacles/5261b_w010200.php
 
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