Which Appliances Need a Dedicated Circuit Installed?

2015 May 15
Posted in: Electrical
Electrical Wires

A “dedicated circuit” is a circuit that serves only one home appliance.

You’ll need a dedicated circuit for each of these major appliances:

  • Refrigerator
  • Freezer
  • Electric range
  • Microwave
  • Water heater
  • Washer
  • Dryer
  • Dishwasher/garbage disposal
  • Furnace
  • Heat pump
  • Air conditioner (central and window)
  • Sump pump
  • Hot tub/Sauna/Jacuzzi 

The rule of thumb is this: If the appliance is fixed and has its own motor or if its critical to your comfort or safety, it probably needs its own dedicated circuit. 

Not sure if you need a circuit? Contact George Brazil for help

Why major appliances need a dedicated circuit

Dedicated circuits help protect your appliances, your home and your family.

Here’s how:

Having multiple major appliances on a single circuit will usually overload the circuit and “trip” the circuit breaker, halting the flow of electricity.

After tripping too many times, the breaker wears down and won’t trip. If the breaker does not trip, the electrical overload will overheat the wiring insulation—possibly leading to an electrical fire.


Related: Why Does My Circuit Breaker Keep Tripping?


In Arizona, the chance that a breaker won’t trip is even higher since outdoor circuit breakers on the hot side of your home have a shorter lifespan. 

Anyway, that’s why major appliances need a dedicated circuit: to eliminate circuit breaker tripping.

Refusing to install a dedicated circuit now may save you a little in the short run, but it could cost you a lot in the long run.

Circuit size needed for various appliances

To supply enough power, a circuit needs to be the right “size”, which is measured in amps (the unit of electric current).

Choosing the right circuit size is critically important if the circuit is too small, the corresponding circuit breaker will trip constantly. And at some point the breaker will wear out, meaning you could be in danger of an electrical fire 

Here are the circuit sizes needed for most major appliances. 

15 to 20-amp circuit 

  • Microwave
  • Electric oven
  • Garbage disposal
  • Dishwasher
  • Washing machine
  • Trash compactor 
  • Space heater
  • Refrigerator
  • Room air conditioner
  • Gas furnace

30 or more-amp circuit

  • Electric water heaters 
  • Electric ranges 
  • Electric dryer
  • Central air conditioner
  • Electric furnace
  • Backup heating for heat pump

The exact circuit size you need will vary from appliance to appliance.

Live in the Phoenix area and need a dedicated circuit installed?

George Brazil’s electricians can help. We serve Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Glendale and the entire Phoenix metro area with quality electrical service. Contact us for advice on dedicated circuits or to get a new circuit installed ASAP.