“What Appliances Need Their Own Dedicated Circuit?”

Here’s the rule of thumb: A major appliance needs its own dedicated circuit if it has a motor. 

That being said, you’ll need a dedicated circuit for each of these major appliances:

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

OK, so now you know what needs a dedicated circuit. Now you need to answer this question: What amp rating does the dedicated circuit need to be?

Let us explain what that means and why it’s important.

Understanding circuit amp ratings

When you turn on an electric appliance it continuously “draws out” an amount of electric current through the wires. That amount is measured in amperes or “amps” for short.

Therefore, you need to install a circuit with an amp rating that can handle that appliance’s electric current.

If the circuit is too small, its wires will heat up due to an excess of current, causing the circuit breaker to “trip” to protect the wires from melting. 

If the circuit is too large...well, nothing particularly bad happens. Other than you’re paying more money than you need to for a dedicated circuit. 

Think of it like this: a circuit is like a home; it can be too small, but it can never be too big. 

Of course, what you’re looking for is a circuit size that is “just right” for the appliance.  

Choosing the correct circuit size for various appliances

The easiest way to find the correct circuit size is to ask an electrician. But you can get a general sense of the circuit size you need with these guidelines:  

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

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

Need help and live in Minnesota? Let us know

Our electricians can find the right circuit size you need and install it for you. Request a circuit installation today

Mister Sparky’s electricians serve Hastings, Minnesota and the surrounding areas, including  Apple Valley, Burnsville, Cottage Grove, Eagan, Woodbury, Lakeville, Rosemount and Stillwater.


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