What is a Dedicated Circuit and do You Need One?

Aug 07, 2021 | Electrical Rewire, Panel Upgrade, Residential Electric

Frequent Breaker Trips Could Mean You Need a Dedicated Circuit

As our appliances become smarter and modernize, they require better distribution. If you notice the breaker tripping every time you try to toast your bagel in the morning, you might be in need of a few dedicated circuits.

dedicated circuit

What is a dedicated circuit?

The National Electrical Code requires that certain appliances have dedicated circuits. These include refrigerators, stoves, and washers and dryers or any other appliance that consumes more than 1200 watts of energy. Generally speaking, a typical single family home has a minimum of 18 circuits to spread electricity evenly throughout the house. A breaker trips when a circuit becomes overloaded. Our smarter appliances require more energy, so when we plug in multiple modern appliances into one circuit, it trips. With a dedicated circuit, your big appliance isn’t sharing power with anything else. No more breaker trips! Dedicated circuit breakers protect your appliances and your home.

How do you know if you need a dedicated circuit?

First, you can check your breaker box. Are the circuits labeled by room or by device? If it’s only by room, you probably need to add dedicated circuits.

Next, pay attention to when your breakers trip. Maybe using the toaster and the coffee machine at the same time is fine, but the minute you use the microwave or plug in the blender, the breaker trips. This suggests that the kitchen appliances are all sharing a circuit, and your refrigerator needs its own dedicated circuit.

Here is a list of appliances that may need a dedicated circuit:

  • Refrigerator
  • Freezer
  • Oven
  • Electric water heater
  • Furnace/heat pump
  • Washer & Dryer
  • Microwave
  • Dishwasher
  • Garbage disposal
  • Sump pump
  • Air conditioner
  • Bathroom heater
  • Hot Tubs
  • Saunas

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It’s also smart to have separate circuits for each room and for lights to prevent flickering and dimming. For help determining the cause of your frequent breaker trips and the installation of dedicated circuits, give us a call! We’re ready to help.