If electrical plugs are identical, why do they fit in the outlet only when flipped a certain way?

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If electrical plugs are identical, why do they fit in the outlet only when flipped a certain way?

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Question: Which type of plugs are you talking about?

Outlets typically have one large side and one small side, although different countries have different approaches to this. They do this because one side is “live” and the other side is “neutral”. The live side will shock you silly or shock you dead, and the neutral side will not.

Unless something is wrong with your wiring.

Simply because they are designed that way. No more magic behind it.

[Plug Type Reference ](https://hips.hearstapps.com/amv-prod-gp.s3.amazonaws.com/gearpatrol/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/INTERNATIONAL-PLUG-MAP-GEAR-PATROL-LEAD-FULL.jpg?crop=0.9072164948453608xw:1xh;center,top&resize=640:*)

Type C, F, & L are symmetrical, so they are flippable, whereas all other types simply have a design that doesn’t allow them to be flipped. Even tho Type A may look flippable, as you can see in the reference one of the prongs is slightly larger, so it only goes in one way.

But you are correct that in normal house appliances it doesn’t matter what way they are connected. It’s simply because of the design of the plug.

Because they are built that way. Us 2 pin plugs can be non-polarized or polarized. Polarized plugs have the neutral pin wider than the hot pin which matches the polarized outlets in the wall. Non polarized plugs have two pins the same size which fit either way into the socket.

Plugs with a wider blade and a narrower one are called “polarized” plugs, and they’re designed to make sure you can only put it into a socket one way.

Electricity in the US (most of this applies worldwide, but specifics vary by country) is wired to your outlets with a “hot” wire and a “neutral” wire. For safety reasons the neutral and hot wires must be correctly connected to many pieces of equipment, so a polarized plug is used.