5 Different Types of Powerpoints

When building or renovating, one of the most important additions to consider is the number of powerpoints you may need. But it’s not only the number that matters but also the types of powerpoints necessary in modern homes.

This is how you power most of your home, so the number, type and placement of powerpoints is crucial. In older homes, there was usually only one powerpoint in each room because there were fewer appliances. The main use of power outlets was for lighting.

In modern times, of course, our homes are packed with appliances and gadgets that require electricity and the design and wiring of homes has advanced to match the technology. While we like to go cordless whenever possible, all of our devices such as phones, tablets, laptops and more still need to be plugged in and recharged.

Let’s take a look at the different types of powerpoints – also known as general power outlets (GPO) – on the market and the best placement for them in your home. Always remember that if you need extra power outlets in your home, consult a professional electrician for advice and installation.

What are the Best Spots for Powerpoints?

Most people will say there are never enough powerpoints in their homes. This may be true, but no one wants their walls overrun with an excess of outlets.

That’s where power boards, double adapters and extension cords come in handy. However, it still makes sense to place powerpoints in strategic positions where you’re most likely to need them.

  • Lounge room/family room – This is probably the main room for strategic placement of powerpoints. It’s the room where you’re likely to have a television, various other units for streaming, a disc player, gaming console, lamps, a computer and more. Being a busy room for family traffic, it’s also likely to be a spot where people recharge their devices, such as phones and tablets. Therefore, it’s an ideal room to include USB outlets.
  • Bedrooms – Bedrooms can vary a great deal, depending on the style of household and the age of children (if any). Some people like to have a television and computer in the bedroom, but in general there’s less need for powerpoints. Teenagers will always want their own devices and entertainment as they become more independent, so it’s wise to plan ahead. Once again, many will use a bedroom for recharging devices so it’s a perfect spot for USB outlets.
  • Study – If you have a study or workspace, this room will require electrical outlets for computers, a printer and desk lamp. And it’s another space suited to USB outlets.
  • Kitchen – This room requires plenty of power and the outlets have to be strategically placed. You’ll need outlets for the fridge, oven and dishwasher and it’s always handy to have powerpoints near your benches, which will be used for various small appliances (e.g. coffee machine, toaster, blender). But don’t place electrical outlets too close to the sink.
  • Bathroom(s) – Being a wet area, the bathroom is not an ideal space for powerpoints. Many bathrooms (including ensuites) don’t have any outlets. It’s wise to use battery-powered appliances if needed and keep outlets away from water.
  • Laundry – This is another wet area but not as potentially dangerous as a bathroom. It requires powerpoints for a washing machine and possibly a dryer. An extra powerpoint is always handy, particularly if ironing is done in the laundry.
  • Garage/Shed – This area will require outlets for power tools and possibly extra lighting. More outlets may be needed if the garage is a busy workspace, otherwise a double powerpoint may be enough. Make sure your outlets are suitably weatherproofed.

Given that most rooms have different requirements, the next factor to consider is the type of power outlet required.

What Types of Power Outlets Do I Need?

Most rooms need multiple powerpoints for various purposes, so it would be wise to plan ahead when it comes to the types of outlets you install.

While the lounge room and kitchen are likely to be the busiest rooms for family traffic, bedrooms and studies also have specific requirements. Possibly only bathrooms and the laundry need to keep powerpoints to a minimum.

Whether you’re in the process of building or you’re doing an electrical upgrade, consider the following five types of powerpoints.

1. Single Powerpoint

This is the traditional power outlet with one plug and one switch. These days, single outlets will generally be suitable for locations that are unlikely to need much use for electrical appliances, but they’re always useful.

2. Double Powerpoint

These are probably the most common power outlets in modern homes. They can accommodate two plugs and have two switches. These are used in lounge rooms, bedrooms and kitchens where multiple appliances are likely to be used. Of course, it’s possible to extend these to a quad outlet if there’s likely to be a high number of appliances, lights or devices used in the room.

3. Double Powerpoint with Extra Switch

This is a handy outlet to have at eye level which is designed to reduce the clutter on your walls. The additional switch can be used for a ceiling fan or lighting. However, this kind of outlet can be confusing, so make sure the entire family knows what the extra switch operates.

4. Double Powerpoint with USB

These powerpoints are likely to become far more common in family homes. This features two power outlets with two USB connections, allowing you to recharge your phone or tablet without having to use a standard wall plug. Particularly handy in households where there’s already a high demand for power outlets.

5. Weatherproof Powerpoint

A weatherproof GPO is ideal for bathrooms or any other wet area. These powerpoints are sturdy and also chemical resistant. A weatherproof outlet would also be suitable for the garage or shed, particularly if it’s regularly used as a workspace.

In Conclusion

Adding new powerpoints can be tricky, depending on your home’s wiring, and it’s advisable to always consult a professional electrician when making additions. Despite the extra cost, it can be preferable to cluttering up the floor with too many power boards or extension cords.

If you’re still in the process of building, plan ahead for multiple power outlets in suitable locations. While you may know where your fridge, dishwasher and washing machine are going to be, make sure you know where your television or any other large appliances will be situated.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.


Last Edited on: 12th December 2022