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To accommodate a safety lockout and your outlet detent tabs.

Nice link.... I'll learn something there, but not today I was hoping for a reason I didn't know yet.

Note: a loose detent means less pressure on the connection. Pressure has a huge effect for lowering resistance of a connection. A pressured sharp point can easily out do a sq. inch of low pressure. An interesting chart curve

@Lionelski posted:

SOME The electricity from your wall outlet enters through on of those holes, and out of the other, to complete the circuit.

 

"That ain't right" but you aren't exactly wrong either🤔

Electrons do ride the whole surface, even the hole's.  

"Magic Smoke" comes out of those too 

Geez, none of youze guyze know what your're talking about. Those are lightning holes. When lightning strikes your house it travels through the wiring to the blade hole on the left and then exits to ground through the one on the right.

You should never turn the plug around. If you do, the lightning will back up the way it came and start a thunderstorm. Water and electricity don't mix.

Crank

 

So snarky people have something to snark about when someone asks what they are for.  Honestly,  if a question irritates you because either a)the person should know it or b)is easily found on google, then don't answer it. This forum isn't exactly a mission critical place where people are discussing things of major importance and any deviation from that wastes precious seconds, it is a board dedicated to what is supposed to be a fun hobby ('model railroading is fun').

More importantly, when people ask "silly questions" it lets the rest of us think of things we likely wouldn't think of, like the what the weird symbols on tape measures are or why we still use the dimensions based on some King's arm length or why Jack Daniels doesn't call itself bourbon (legally, it could)....

hmmm, detents, you say...  I had always assumed that the holes were there for being able to lock-out a cord from being plugged in via a small padlock, etc.  Could be both, I suppose.  There must be some NEMA code or guide that specifies it - otherwise you wouldn't think the holes would be so ubiquitous...  In the meantime, I'm goin' with the lightning theory -- obviously the reason there are upstrokes as well as downstrokes (true) (that's lightning stokes...).

Eddie, Eddie, Eddie....

You're a man after my own heart.  Why lose sleep over the smoke curling up from a couple boards filled with doodads and widgets in the tender of your prized 2-4-6-8 articulated in which your first year's pension was invested?  It's these holes in the plug prongs!

-----------

Reminds me of a 'Holey Day' at work about 45 years ago...  We had just completed a new engine dynamometer laboratory at the automotive division I worked for.....testing all sorts of emission-related auto engine components.  It was time for the grand tour of the new facility by the division's top brass.....you know, the Peter Principals?  

So Jack, my boss, had me go over all the possible questions that might be asked....the deep, deep technical stuff.  Engine controls, room controls, dynamometer controls, safety devices, etc., etc., blah, blah.  We spent at least a couple hours playing devil's advocate in preparation for the brass.  Certainly wanted to have all the answers!  Those guys get paid the big bucks to ask the tough questions, you know!?

Now in an effort to control room noise....considerable with a raging V8 engine running at a high rpm...the cell walls were lined with perforated acoustic tiles....painted steel panels with a bazillion holes in them to absorb noise.  But, so what?......right?

Well, the General Manager of the division was among the hoi polloi touring that fateful day.  Jack, sweaty pits and all, gave it his best shot describing all the techno-marvels of engineering and design incorporated in our showcase facility.  He asked for questions......bad idea, Jack.  The GM, who had been gazing at the walls while Jack was pointing out the more salient features, finally said....

"So how did they keep the paint from plugging up all those little holes in the walls when they painted the room?"

Ah, Jack....  GOTCHA!!

True 'Holey' story.

KD

(Still amazed at what I DO remember after all these years!)

--------------

Oh, and BTW.....

In Washington, D.C., where I grew up, there was a donut shop called Mayflower Donuts.  They had what has since been termed 'The Optimists' Creed' printed on every box of donuts....

"As you ramble on through life, brother,

Whatever be your goal!

Keep your eye upon the donut

And not upon the hole!"

(badum....tish!)

Last edited by dkdkrd

I saw this earlier and was actually interested.  I know there was another thread on phasing of transformers and yes I would be interested in understanding why one plug is bigger than the other, which I think relates to the phasing.

I don't get the snarkiness of some of the replies.  It's a pretty fair question and I just wonder how you might feel if your question were answered with a how could you be so dumb?  I like the forum for all the great help that I can get.  Perhaps it's just all that is going around in the world, but some element of kindness isn't such a bad idea.

jbmccormick: when you look at a modern wall outlet, the vertical slot on right is "incoming" 110 volts called "hot". The vertical slot on left (a bit longer) is the "outgoing" or neutral. Round hole middle lower is ground. On a 2 prong plug, the wider prong only fits the neutral slot. it is therefore "polarized". Older electric plugs are not polarized, its why older transformers need to be phased so their commons are the same. hope this helps.

  • As Johnathan mentioned, it was answered.  
  • I'd be ashamed to not ask    Good for you Eddie 👍     ...
  • .... To get to the other side.
  • The dot bullet format wont wont shut off

Oh now it does, huge delay....

Some detents are notches vs holes if you think about it.  I recall a retainer to tighten & clamp hold of those flat blades on a vintage industrial extension cord for saws and drills.

And a saftey lock out wasn't skipped.  (the lock would be on the lockout device or, a zip strip in the holes and note if your not a pro... osha would raise a brow, but it beats nothing when the risk is low enough)   

Childproofing cover devices use plastic slide pins that hold there.  (that's what was missing!) Kiddo likely cant use it even it they find a non-safety outlet.

 

jbmccormick: when you look at a modern wall outlet, the vertical slot on right is "incoming" 110 volts called "hot". The vertical slot on left (a bit longer) is the "outgoing" or neutral. Round hole middle lower is ground. On a 2 prong plug, the wider prong only fits the neutral slot. it is therefore "polarized". Older electric plugs are not polarized, its why older transformers need to be phased so their commons are the same. hope this helps.

A small phRasing issue: ALL.need to be phased if you use two or more together. The fat blade SHOULD help in elimination of the need but honestly, it has to be done to be safe.  You can even find modern bricks where this is wrong internally in some batches.  If anything it has to filed off or cord solder ends swapped at times.   It is all about neutral vs hot safety to earth ground. Watch that hot one more so

 

I would like to hijack the thread and offer another entertaining "Big boss/little brain" anecdote in the same vein as the holes in the wall/paint question.

I had a boss who handed out the paychecks every Thursday. The checks were from a large payroll contractor, probably ADP. They were in the form of a check and stub, and were sealed.  A window allowed the viewing of the employee's name. To open them, you stripped off one end, then the other, and finally the long strip at the top. The boss asked, in all innocence "How do they print on the inside of the check, when it's all sealed up like that?"

OK, back to holes, lads.

 

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