Holes in Your Plugs

Holes in the Plug and Outlet Cut Away
Holes in the Plug and Outlet Cut Away

What do the Holes Do

Nothing, For many years I asked myself the same question. I would occasionally ask a Experienced Electrician, I got many answers mostly, Nonsense.


I have searched the Web for the Answer. Some Sites say the Holes connect with a Part inside the Outlet to keep the Plug from falling out. That sort of makes sense but I did not find that to be True. Others claimed you can hear a Click when you Push the Plug into the Outlet. I don't have any Idea why anyone would say that.

A Look Inside the Outlet

I took apart an Outlet just to see. You can see in the Image there is no Bumps, Slots or Springs to Click inside the Outlet. I have broken into several Outlets they are all the same, never found any bumps.

Who did it First

Harvey Hubbell II has the 1st Patent on the Electrical Plug in November 1924. The Plug was Designed to fit into Wall Outlets that became common around 1931. I'm sure you remember that very Day. Because you rushed out to the Hardware Store, Stood in line for Hours to get your first electrical outlet.

With Hubbell's Patent which first had notches in the Prongs was very successful and also copied with small variations. You cannot sell a Product that copies an Original Patent for 20 years. You can however make Variations or improvements to a Design to get your Product to Market.

Hubbell did try to stop them, but the Court System decided the Country needed a Standard Plug System so he lost his challenge. Hubbell also had a plug with holes which was adapted as the Standard Plug. Variation of his Plug without the notches is still used today.

Today's Standard Plug

The Standard Plug today has the Holes we are all use to seeing, removing them is not likely to happen.

It was fun reading all the reasons for the Holes. Some said they were for the Manufacturing Process, others said it was to save Material and many other reasons.

For sure they are not there to hold the Plug in the Outlet and there is no Click when you push the Plug in.

I would say Holes are there because we are used to seeing them and removing them may or may not be accepted.

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“Harvey Hubbell II best-known inventions are the U.S. including the Pull Chain Electric Light Socket in 1896”

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