The National Electrical Code (NEC) mandates that large appliances and some smaller ones operate on their own dedicated circuits, despite the fact that modern home appliance circuits are often designed to accommodate high electrical loads. We listed below which appliances need a dedicated circuit.
The following is a list of common appliances that require dedicated circuits.
- Washing machine
- Air conditioner
- Electric oven
- Electric water heater
- Sump Pump
The dedicated circuit will assist in ensuring that the high-power appliance has adequate amperage to operate effectively and safely without tripping the circuit breaker. Plugging of appliances in the outlet at home is not that simple at all. Continue reading to understand why those appliances require a dedicated circuit.
What Are Dedicated Circuits?
A dedicated circuit only supports one outlet and has its own circuit breaker. That means the circuit can only supply voltage to one electrically powered device at a time. Like the other circuits that power your home, these circuits often have a 15 or 20 amp rating. Yet, depending on what they are used to power, some dedicated circuits may reach 30 or even 50 amps.
You should be able to notice at least a few circuit breakers designated for a single device, such as a washing machine or refrigerator if you look at your electrical panel. Such circuit breakers are part of dedicated circuits, which means they are only intended to power one specific appliance or equipment.
Importance of Dedicated Circuits
To make sure that your appliances are operating safely, dedicated circuits are important. Appliances without a dedicated circuit may draw more current than the circuit is able to support. This could cause electrical fires by blowing fuses, tripping breakers, and overheating wire insulation.
A dedicated circuit with the appropriate wire size and amperage for your appliances’ requirements should also be installed, so make sure of that as well. The improper pairing of size and amperage may also lead to overheating, which may result in electrical fires.
Why do these appliances need their own outlet or dedicated circuit?
The manufacturer of the refrigerator will require a dedicated circuit prior to installation. This restricts the manufacturer’s responsibility and lowers the risk of fire or electrocution. The requirements will differ based on the state in which you live. A refrigerator is one of the common appliances that need a dedicated circuit.
In most cases, it is best to put the refrigerator on a separate, dedicated circuit. Refrigerators have a peak utilization capacity of 15 amps, despite the fact that they normally use 3 to 6 amps. Consider the worst-case situation as much as possible. For refrigerator installation, a separate 120-volt circuit rated at 15-20 amps should be used. This will prevent an electrical overload because the additional power would overload your wiring.
You might be wondering why these appliances need a dedicated circuit. A number of things could influence your decision to value this. A dedicated circuit is focused solely on one appliance or one use. It denotes that the circuit is only used by the microwave in the event of a microwave. This is critical since microwaves require a lot of electricity to perform and sharing a circuit with other appliances may cause problems.
One of the biggest issues is that microwaves can overload circuits and cause electrical fires. It is possible to cause issues if you use a microwave with a higher power than the circuit can tolerate. Furthermore, microwave power surges have the potential to harm other equipment connected to the same circuit.
3. Washing machine
Due to the amount of electricity they consume, the majority of these appliances need a dedicated circuit. Typically, a 10-gauge wire is used to supply a 20-amp washing machine circuit. The start-up current of these appliances can be three times more than their operating current, so it’s crucial to have a dedicated circuit for your washing machine.
It can draw all the electricity it requires without using any power from other appliances because it has a direct line to the breaker box. This is particularly crucial if you’re using a powerful motor to move those heavy loads. If your washing machine is connected to the same circuit as other appliances, it may result in issues like blown fuses or tripped breakers. A dedicated circuit for your washing machine is required to ensure that it does not overload other appliances and cause major issues.
4. Air Conditioner
To prevent overloading the circuit and posing a safety danger, plugging these appliances in the outlet at home incorrectly might put your family at risk.
Your air conditioner needs its own circuit. In order to safeguard your home’s electrical system, circuit breakers are designed to shut down when an overload develops. A dedicated 220-volt circuit is necessary for appliances with a rating more than 15,000 BTU, according to a reliable rule of thumb. It should be noted that certain air conditioners come with a non-standard socket, suggesting they might need a separate circuit.
When an air conditioner is introduced to a circuit with other appliances already operating, the circuit breaker may trip, shutting off everything connected to it. This can be dangerous, particularly if you have a home office or workshop in your garage. A dedicated circuit for your air conditioner will ensure that it has enough power to work safely and efficiently while keeping your home cool.
Some internet sources can assert that it is acceptable to connect a dishwasher to a stronger (20-amp) breaker circuit along with another large equipment, such as a refrigerator. These sources could endanger you in addition to being inaccurate.
The dishwasher should have its own circuit, as required by the electrical code. No other devices, such as lights, fixtures, or outlets, can be powered by the dedicated dishwasher circuit. Moreover, a circuit breaker of at least 15 amps must be installed on the circuit that services the dishwasher. Less severe effects, such as tripping the breaker, may result from overloading the circuit with numerous appliances. Nevertheless, an electrical overload can occasionally cause major electrical harm and even fire.
6. Electric oven
Your oven needs a dedicated circuit since it uses so much power and generates so much heat. A circuit of 240V is necessary for an electric oven. The voltage of a typical outlet is 120V. A 120V socket cannot accept a 240V plug.
Any attempt to do so can lead to a damaged or dangerous plug. If you’ve tried to connect your electric oven to a 120V outlet, stop. Replace the power cord first, then proceed. Alternately, you may have a licensed electrician check it out to make sure it’s still safe to use.
7. Electric water heater
Electric water heaters need a 240-volt dedicated circuit that solely powers the water heater and no other electronics. The circuit wiring normally consists of a 10-2 non-metallic (NM) or MC cable and a 30-amp double-pole breaker. The white circuit wire is connected to the red or white wire lead on the water heater, while the black circuit wire is connected to the black wire lead on the water heater.
The water heater needs its own circuit because sharing a circuit with other devices will cause the combined load to trip the breaker. To use the electric water heater safely and effectively, you need a 240V circuit.