Why Do Plugs Have Holes? Interesting Facts You Didn't Know Before

Akinwalere Olaleye
Oct 06, 2023 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Oct 12, 2021
An electric plug with a cable in the socket.

When plugging in a device into an outlet, have you ever wondered why plugs have holes in the prongs?

Prong holes are one thing on devices the user cannot ignore when they are utilizing technology devices. They are crucial for charging purposes and for connecting electrical appliances.

Whenever we go to plug or unplug a switch, we see these holes which makes us wonder why they are there? What is its purpose?

Around 99% of electrical plugs have 5 in (2 mm) wide holes in the nether side of the prongs of the plug. Many think that it is a way to save the cost by taking out that portion of the metal from the plugs. Thereby, it helps in reducing the cost.

Apart from cost and safety, this structure in the appliance has a few other purposes, especially during the plugged-in phase. All electrical devices rely on it.

In a world where technology has become a part of our daily lives, these devices play a crucial role for the purpose of keeping our devices alive by charging them, as they require high energy. The battery of an electric device is charged with the help of plug holes in just a matter of a few hours.

Prong holes have been around for a while and they have also acted as entertainment for children. Kids end up tying a tie or a small knot around the prongs for fun and then drag the plug around.

The hole and attached wire are dragged and it looks like a tail. We have seen contact wipers having similar holes. Most devices are manufacture and factory sealed.

Construction projects rely on it since raw materials are processed through this and small padlocks use the same technology type of plug and blades. Apart from helping the cord, let us learn what is the basic purpose of these socket switch prong holes in the electrical appliance.

If you enjoyed this article, you can also check out other factual articles such as why do people work and why do your ears pop.

Reasons Why Plugs Have Holes

The size of plug holes, electrical prongs, or prong socket switches depends on the size of the outlets and the pins. Hole-in plugs are used to see whether the device without removing falls to the ground due to gravity.

The user is sure it won't. Plugs in prongs are safe with or without holes. However, by plugging in the device vertically you will understand why it does not fall.

Sockets have bumps on them when the switch with prong holes comes into contact with the bumps. It then fits into the plug and firmly grips into the socket.

This grip locks the socket and the plug negates the chances of it slipping to the ground. The bump in the receptacle wall locks itself to the plug's holes which holds the weight of the whole switch.

The length of the prong may vary but it has a standard size globally. This plug can be removed if you pull it out with your hand using a small amount of force.

It has been seen that blades have such holes at times which helps them give a better width and flow. Plugs of these blades have a particular receptacle type which helps the blades perform better.

The third pin on three-pin plugs is the ground connector. Smaller appliances and items that do not require as much power do not have a grounded plug.

Why do two-prong electric plugs have holes in them?

If you ever meticulously study the outlet type where the plug goes in the lock or flat switcher in the contact wipers, you will notice that they have small bumps on them. These round bumps firmly fit the plugin of the device.

The link between the bump and the prong holes is only understood when observing it minutely during the unplug-plug session. NEMA: National Electrical Manufacturers Association, in the past 22 years, has served in manufacturing many electrical device outlets with holes to grip the prongs inside the receptacle devices. The raw materials of this technology are by NEMA.

Plug in socket.

What are the holes in a plug socket called?

Holes in an electrical plug socket are called prongs holes. One of the holes in a plug in an electric gadget is called neutral and the other is called hot.

The wire attached to the plug is a type of cord. When the plug is pulled into the socket, the bumps of the socket fit in the hole and the prongs of the plug lock it in.

After this, the outlets release the current and the power transfers between the wire through the socket to the device type that the plug cord is attached to. The power depends on the power from the mainframe.

Prongs are made of metal which transmits electricity and therefore acts as a conduit.

This whole circuit tag helps to ensure that the user can easily get their work done without getting hurt. The mainboard switch is mostly flat as that allows the plug to slide in easily and the electric outlet circuit is completed after the plug-unplug process type.

Why do plugs have different size prongs?

If you pay more attention to the structure of the mainboard which is flat and the blade related to the electric plug, you will observe that the size of the prongs of plugs are different while the type could be the same.

One is smaller than the other. The manufacturer might apply guidelines that are based on electrical engineering.

The type of circuit is more or less the same as the prong while the neutral is longer than the hot, to ensure that the hot wire is tapped right since the electricity transmission happening is in-circuit which is the closed path of electrons flowing from the source.

The fuse is from hot to neutral which means when the device is plugged in, the electricity flows from the hot wire to the neutral wire in a circuit which keeps the plugged device safe to use considering the neutral taps in the hot wire before it reaches the plugged-in device or gadget.

After the power transmission, the device is charged to be taken out or used for its respective purpose.

The answer to such a secretive process lies within electrical engineering if we pay attention to it.

What if the insulation is damaged? If the insulation of the wire or the cord is damaged, using a type of plastic tie or tape is a good idea.

Sometimes, a device will have a faulty or damaged plug or cord. When plugging in this device, the user cannot plug or unplug a damaged cord into an outlet without taking proper precautions.

For this matter, it should be kept out of kids' reach or keep it safe by using a plastic tie. However, if the kids tie the band through the hole of the plug which is not attached to any type of electrical socket, it is safe and can be used as a play toy.

The tag that says remove me before use needs to be read and removed before using the plug. Without removing the tag of the socket plug, do not try to push it in the socket because it will damage the socket or its bump.

The spring season faces a few issues and summers are the worst for electrical accidents.

NEMA says you must follow a proper procedure which can be found online or call an expert engineer to resolve such types of electrical issues. This procedure could help in electric bill savings.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for why do plugs have holes then why not take a look at why do boats float, or why do people dance.

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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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