Leviton gives the gift of extra outlets - a third at every wallplate


Sweet Queen Victoria! Why didn't somebody think of this before?! Was there some engineering issue that had to be overcome to allow such an elegant, ingenious and obvious design? Did this require new materials that were destined for space? Did the secret lie in a spy's briefcase lost since the end of the Cold War? I would certainly be a proud Leviton engineer if I had sketched this on my cocktail napkin!

Leviton AC320-W Triplex Receptacle (via Materialicious)

(Mister Jalopy is a guest blogger!)

UPDATE: Did you know Rob already discussed the tri-outlet wonder on BB Gadgets? Why wouldn't he? It rules!


  1. It does look good. But the space doesn’t look it could accommodate three grounded plugs. Maybe two three prongs on top and bottom and one ‘normal’ plug.

  2. OUCH!

    That’s $15 for one 3-plug receptacle vs. just $1.90 for a similar decorative duplex receptacle at Lowes.

  3. I can’t be the only one who remembers a hilarious photoshop which smooshed together five or six different outlets onto one panel (including a British outlet, if I recall correctly). Can anyone find the link?

  4. There are audio grade outlets costing much much MUCH more…

    The reason for 2 plus per outlet is most single phase circuits in home use are 15-20Amps max, this includes the in wall wiring.

    It is way too easy to overload a circuit and melt the wiring if the breaker fails to trip. As a entertainment lighting tech and former IT pro. I see this all the time in home and corporate settings.

    You just can’t pull that much juice through that small of a pipe without melting lines.

  5. Cue debate about the superiority of British plug designs….

    (But seriously, they’re so much better. I also never quite understood why Ceeform was never adopted in the US…)

  6. Functionally its not a bad idea except for the part of maybe overloading the circuit. Aesthetically it looks interesting, but they didn’t put a cover around it because it would look too strange. It would need a specialized cover for it as it wouldn’t be a standard size… Having technical standards makes it easier for the market to adopt something new, with this you may have to go to specialty hardware stores to purchase a simple cover. However if this was for a specific outlet that you knew what you were going to plug in ahead of time then that would be a different story.
    (Just don’t cross wires)

  7. This is the same size as the Leviton’s “Decora” product line, which is rapidly becoming the modern standard in the US. What they came up with was to invert the lower outlet, move the pair off to the side, and take advantage of the pointed wedge shape of the bottom of a typical grounded plug, to squeeze in another sideways. With normal plugs, they’ll fit.

  8. @schmod:

    Yes, European outlet standards make me embarrassed at how idiotic and dangerous the outlets are in the US. Here is a listing of various outlet styles in the world. See if you can find an outlet that is better designed to kill you than the US type A and B outlets. The only saving grace of the idiotically dangerous US outlets is that the voltage is lower.

  9. @Bzishi

    Why does the American standard embarrass you? It’s not like anyone else follow a set standard. Europe has/had at least 4 different ones…

    Some of the current European designs don’t even have a ground, which I think is just wrong.

    (notably my house is 98 years old, has knob and tube wiring in parts, and has lots of old 2 prong polarized plugs which can’t ground because K&T wiring didn’t have a ground lead…)

    And the part about burning the wiring is doubtful. Of course some people are dumb enough to put their microwave, toaster overn, and 500W stand mixer on one…so nevermind.

  10. …Kids, this very concept got brought up in my first EE class at Texas U, and in one of the few times the mumbling tenured dipshit who “taught” the class actually gave us information we could use, he discussed housing electrical systems, and explained why there were only two plugs per outlet: this was a leftover from the days when plugs weren’t three-prong grounded, and the distance between plugs at 60hz was deemed sufficient by Underwriters Laboratories as a “safe minimum distance” to prevent arcing between plugs under certain conditions. In short, it was a fire hazard prevention issue. When you consider that most 4-way 6-way plug-in outlets usually violate this distance by at least 1/2″ these days, I’m really surprised someone hasn’t come up with one of these complete plug replacements yet.

    …One caveat: I wouldn’t recommend replacing old 2-prong ungrounded outlets with these unless you’re also replacing the wiring. Odds are the existing wiring is of a lower guage than the stuff that grounded outlets were installed with, and the risk of baking the wires might be a bit higher. YMMV, natch.

  11. No sweat Mr.J. Rob merely used his ill-gained blogging superpowers to travel back in time and blog this ‘already’ just to make you look bad.

    We know who the good guys are. Nice to see you here.

  12. I thought the same thing as some of the other commentators: I mean, geez, at least flip the bottom outlet around and you can accomadate a wall wart without rendering the whole thing useless!

  13. @14: Leviton and the current UL, which I presume as tested and approved these, I suppose have extensive knowledge regarding electrical safety, so maybe something has changed in regard to electrical wiring since the UL determination regarding outlet spacing that you mention.

    Perhaps modern electrical systems are better than and more widely deployed than what was common when the determination was made?

    Anyway, these are interesting outlets, but I don’t think I’d want to use them where they could be seen. The asymmetry bugs me. I’m also way too cheap to spend 12 bucks on an outlet when I can get perfectly good ones for 99¢.

  14. Why does the US use the system it does? Because it was widely in place first. Better ideas came too late (also why NTSC was the standard in the North America despite being lower quality than most other broadcast standards) Once you have a huge infrastructure in place to support a given system you tend to want to keep using that system. Otherwise you have to install a new infrastructure every ten years or so.

  15. @MitchSchaft

    Correct. Since many adapter designers fail to see how to design outlet-friendly adapters, this adapter had potential until it failed epically to be adapter-friendly.

  16. Yup, now your wall-wart can obstruct TWO other outlets — making them unusable, and increasing your frustration by 50%. Progress can be painful.

Comments are closed.