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USB outlets may provide simple solution for high-tech problem - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

USB outlets may provide simple solution for high-tech problem

USB outlets may provide a solution for a growing problem in homes. (Photo Source: Angie's List) USB outlets may provide a solution for a growing problem in homes. (Photo Source: Angie's List)

If you are running out of outlet space in your home -- it may be time to give your outlets a reboot.

"USB outlets are a new trend and they have been available for about a year now," Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List says. "Electricians expect that they will continue to become more popular."

By adding one or two USB ports alongside standard plugs in your electrical outlet -- you'll be able to plug your devices straight into the wall, leaving no more bulky USB adapters hogging your valuable outlet space.

"As people's countertops get more busy, their islands in their house get more busy, it's a convenient spot," electrical contractor Greg Wells says. "Beside your bed because you got two outlets there. One of them is usually a switch plug, which is half hot, so you need a place to plug in your USB or your phone to charge it while your alarm clock and all that's still working."

It may seem like an easy do-it-yourself project -- but when you get into electrical work -- Angie's List says it's better to hire a professional.

"An electrician typically charges an hourly rate," Hicks says. "You can expect that you are going to pay about $100 an hour and they can typically install about 4 USB ports in an hour. Don't call them out for just one. If you are going to install, install four. You will also pay for the parts which will be about $15-$30 per outlet."

So if you decide to make the switch -- Angie's List suggest picking spots by the nightstands in each bedroom and the kitchen countertops to give you options and the most bang for your buck.

Experts at Angie's List say you don't have to worry about damaging your gadgets as long as you're using manufacturer-approved cords or cables. The USB port delivers the same amount of power you can expect from any computer.

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