USB outlets

Every now an then you run across something that makes you think; “Holy shit! I didn’t know they made these things!”. You buy the thing and it turns out exactly like you thought.

I had a problem. We rebuilt our kitchen, and the contractor thought “Hey, it’d be useful to have an outlet at the end of the counter, I’ll throw one in!”. And so he did. Only two problems – first is he dug up a ground fault outlet he removed from someone else’s house and used it on mine, and the damn thing would trip if you plugged in anything heavy – like a quick cooker. Second is, it got commandeered by phone chargers. In this era of smart devices, I find myself having to charge my watch, my phones (I have two), my iPad and my kindle. Usually 2-3 at the same time.

I was about to break out the sawz-all and install a quad regular outlet when I happened on one of these:


I don’t know where this hit me. I think I figured someone ought to have made them, so I googled them.

Wouldn’t you know – both Home Depot and Lowe’s had them. At around $20, kind of pricey for an outlet, but worth it in the big picture. The one I bought came from Lowe’s. No other reason than I was there to pick up ceiling fans and chunked it in the cart while I was there. No clue which one is better, if any.

Installation was a snap, because I have crazy man skills. You could call an electrician, but they really are simple. For those uninitiated to the American electrical code; Black is “Hot”. Goes on the brass/yellow screw (or  in this case, where the quick insert connector says “Black”). The white is “Common”, goes on the silver screw (or the quick connect that says “white”). Ground goes to green.

You can turn off the breaker, but I’m a man, so I didn’t.


Pretty life altering.

Gone are the phone chargers, and with them, contention for charger space. Seems to work well with any device we have.

Also, since it’s not a ragged out ground fault, I can plug a crock pot in and be assured it’ll stay on long enough to cook something.

So I’m a big fan. I’m about to go get one for my office.

One of the things you gawp at and wonder why no one thought of it before.