Rather than have a bunch of USB power adapters, you can replace your existing electrical wall outlet with one that has 2 (or even 3) fast charge USB ports. The outlet still has the 2 standard 110V plugs, and the USB ports are located vertically in the middle of the outlet. It’s worth it to get the High Speed / High Amp USB ports so that you can quickly charge your tablets, phones and other devices. The TopGreener brand we review have a 2-USB port outlet (TU21548A) providing a total of 4.8A / 24W (for 2.4A for each port), and the 3-USB port outlet (TU21558A3) has a total of 5.8A / 29W (with maximum of 2.4A per port).
Many of the USB Electrical Outlets don’t provide these maximum charging currents, so be sure to check the specifications if you decide to go with another option not from this review. Top Greener was the only manufacturer we found with 4.8A max / 2.4A per port.
The TopGreener TU21548A Outlet (about $34 for 2-pack) has 2 Type-A USB Ports (4.8A / 24W), and 2 standard 125VAC / 15A Tamper-Resistant plugs. At about $17 each, this is an economical solution to replacing the standard outlets in the rooms where you most need USB chargers.
You can find less expensive outlets, but none that we found had the 4.8A fast charging at a dedicated 2.4A per port.
We like this outlet for it’s ease of installation and the interchangeable faceplates. It comes with white already on, and you get light almond and black as options. To change the color on the receptacle, you use a flat-blade screw-driver to pop off the plate; Pick the color you want and snap it in place. Done!
What really sets this TopGreener apart is the dedicated 2.4A per USB port. No more worries about slow charging, or which device gets enough when both USB plugs are in use. The internal smart circuits also handle all the overload protection, so you don’t have to worry about overheating or damaging your devices.
The TopGreener TU21558A3 Outlet (about $27) has 3 Type-A USB Ports (5.8A / 29W), and 2 standard 125VAC / 15A Tamper-Resistant plugs. This is a great space saver if you need 3 USB ports.
You will pay a premium for that 3rd one, since the TU21548A with just 2 USB ports is about $10 cheaper. But where space is at a premium, we’ve found this to be the ideal solution.
You can think of this outlet as the “Family Friendly Charging Station”, since with 3-USB ports and 2 outlets, you can typically handle all the devices when everyone gets home from work, school or around town.
The 5.8A is split up across all the active USB ports, with a maximum of 2.4A for any single port. With 2 ports in use, each can get 2.4A (for a total of 4.8A). When all 3 ports are charging devices, the integrated electronics will smartly determine which devices can charge at the higher rates and which are limited to lower rates so that the maximum / fastest charging takes place across all devices.
If all the devices are high capacity capable, as one (or more) gets fully charged more charge is shifted to the other device(s). Once a device is charged, the USB ports will keep the charging in maintenance mode which reduces the amount of electricity used.
What we like about this 3-Port USB Outlet is the high capacity charging, and that 3rd port. Installation is straight-forward, and it comes with the 3 most common colors (white, light almond, black) included.
Here’s a short video overview from TopGreener on the TU21558A3:
With the “TopGreener” USB outlets, you get 3 Interchangeable Face Covers (white, black, light almond) along with the wall plates. This makes it easy to match the outlet to your existing color scheme.
We also like their “IntelliChip” safety features, and load balancing.
The IntelliChip technology allows the USB ports to precisely read the power needed to maximize charging efficiency to what the device allows without overcharging.
For safety, this also keeps the outlet from overheating due to excessive current draw.
For the 2-USB model, each port is monitored and regulated to provide up to 2.4A for each port, simultaneously.
With the 3-USB model, the outlet supports a total maximum of 5.8A. The circuitry handles the load balancing across all three ports when they are in use to provide the best charging profile to each connected device. For example, you could have 2 tablets, each getting 2.4A. The third USB could have a Kindle e-reader getting the remaining (5.8A – 2×2.4A = ) 1.0A. As the tablets charge up, move current is provided for the Kindle.
Note for Qualcomm device users: These USB ports do not support the standards for: Quick Charge, Rapid Charge, or Fast Charge.
The standard electrical outlets are rated for 125VAC / 15A each, with Tamper Resistant Receptacle slots. You’ll not the “TR” imprint on the face of the device. If you aren’t familiar with TR outlets, there are thin plastic gates / sliders inside the receptacle. You have to apply a light force when plugging in to open the gates.
This keeps children from accidentally getting shocked if they try to put something into the outlet, and in general prevents unwanted objects from being inserted into the outlet
The duplex tamper-resistant power outlet meets 2011 NEC Article 406.14 for enhanced electrical safety.
The outlets are UL (Underwriters Laboratory) listed.
Wiring is on the back and side, with slots for pass through receptacles.
The outlet dimensions are: Depth: 1.75″ , Width: 1.5″, Height: 2.6″ . These are slightly deeper than a standard non-USB receptacle but should not be an issue for any homes built in the last 20 years with 3″ deep boxes. Older homes may have used shallow boxes for construction, which could mean a little more effort to fit in the tight space. See the video below for how to change out the existing outlet for the TopGreener.
The folks at TopGreener have a short video on how to change out the existing outlet for the TU21548A USB Outlet:
For most DIY homeowners, it’s about a 10 minute job to swap out the existing wall outlet for one of these with USB charging ports.
If you do decide to do the work yourself, always keep safety in mind since electricity can cause serious injury or even death. To help with the process, we recommend you have a “live wire” voltage tester to verify the power is off at the outlet, and an “outlet tester” to confirm the new outlet is wired properly (we recommend checking the existing outlet first to know if there are any problems before you start).
The Sperry Instruments GFI6302 GFCI Outlet / Receptacle Tester (about $7) was our top pick from Best GFI/GFCI Electrical Outlet Tester.
The Greenlee TR-12A Non Contact Voltage Detector (about $28) is the first non-contact voltage detector designed specifically to test tamper-resistant receptacles. A second, non-sensing blade allows the TR-12A to open the protective shutters on these receptacles and test them for AC voltage presence.