Which Appliances Need a Dedicated Circuit for Safety?

Although modern home appliance circuits are typically set up to handle high electrical capacities, some codes require large appliances and certain smaller ones to operate on their dedicated circuits. Which appliances need a dedicated circuit?

Because large appliances and heat-producing devices typically require higher wattage to operate, they can pull more current than a general-use circuit can safely handle. On a standard circuit, this can lead to fire risks and a danger of power flickers. Knowing which appliances require a dedicated circuit will help ensure that your appliances run smoothly and safely.

We’ll provide you with a list of the appliances that require a dedicated circuit to operate safely.

What to Check On Your Appliance

First, look on the appliance’s information sticker or plate to find the wattage. As a rule, electronics, and appliances rated for 1,000 watts or higher likely need a dedicated circuit, especially if the item will be operating for long periods. For example, a 1,800-watt hair dryer to be used for a few minutes may not require a dedicated circuit, but a 1,800-watt electric fireplace you’ll use for hours at a time is likely to need one.

There are some interesting in-between examples, like an air fryer or a space heater, that are usually only turned on for short amounts of time but are occasionally on for hours at a time. In such situations, it’s better to be cautious and opt for a dedicated circuit.

Lists of Appliances That Require a Dedicated Circuit

There are a few different appliances that need dedicated circuits, and they’re not all in the same room. Here, we’ve broken down the list of appliances that require dedicated circuits into the rooms they’re most commonly located:

In the Kitchen

The kitchen features many of your most power-intensive devices. This stems from the need to generate heat, which takes a significant amount of energy. Dedicated circuits are highly recommended for all these devices:

  • Electric oven, stove, or range
  • Refrigerator
  • Stand-alone freezer or chest freezer
  • Dishwasher
  • Microwave
  • Garburator
  • Toaster oven
  • Countertop convection oven
  • Countertop deep fryer or air fryer

Wattage usage varies from model to model, so for some items listed, a dedicated circuit may be optional. It depends on the frequency and duration of use. Talk to an electrician about circuit needs, and always err on the side of caution.

Are you on the fence between installing a gas oven versus an electric one? Read the pros and cons.

In the Laundry Room

Large appliances in the laundry room require a lot of energy. You should have a dedicated circuit of at least 20 amps for the following appliances:

  • Electric Dryer
  • Washer

If you have a gas dryer, your washing machine and gas dryer may be plugged into the same outlet. If you have an electric dryer, it will need its own dedicated 20-amp, 220-volt circuit.

If you typically use other small appliances in your laundry room—like irons or steam devices—a separate circuit for them is a good idea, too.

In Living Rooms and Bedrooms

Depending on wattage requirements, the following devices may need dedicated circuits:

  • Electric fireplace
  • Infrared heater, heater fan, and space heater
  • Window air conditioning unit

Most lamps, fans, and other low-demand items can be operated on a general-use circuit. Typically, flat-screen televisions, desktop computers, and other electronics can be safely operated on a normal circuit, but you should always have them plugged into surge-protected outlets. This will protect them in the event of a surge, as many of these electronics are highly sensitive to power fluctuations.

In the Garage

If you are a do-it-yourself homeowner who uses lots of power tools, one or more dedicated circuits in your garage or workshop is a must-have, especially for the following:

  • Large air compressor
  • Power saw, drill, and other power tools

In Utility Rooms and Outdoors

While outdoor appliances aren’t too numerous, they tend to draw a lot of power. We recommend using a dedicated circuit for any of the following.

  • Furnace and water heater pump
  • Sump pump
  • Central air conditioning unit
  • Water heater
  • Hot tub or spa
  • Large holiday light display

Get Professional Help with Appliance and Dedicated Circuit Installation

If you want more information regarding requirements and safety recommendations, check with your local or national codes.

If you need help with home appliance upkeep, trust Mr. Appliance to keep your appliances operating safely and at peak performance, including those that need dedicated circuits. We offer flat-rate, up-front pricing, flexible scheduling options, and guaranteed workmanship to make your life easier! Schedule service with us today.