Does A Dishwasher Need A Dedicated Circuit?
Installing a new dishwasher in your home may require more than just your standard plugging into the power outlet. Because it uses a lot of power, it may require its own dedicated line and breaker in the distribution board of your home.
This article investigates whether you need to install a dedicated line and circuit breaker for a dishwasher and why. We will explain everything as we go to make sure your home is safe and secure and that you follow the rules.
So, keep on reading and find out if you need to have your dishwasher installed on a dedicated circuit in your home.
Table of Contents
Do You Need A Dedicated Line?
A dishwasher uses quite a lot of power for the different heat cycles, so it needs a minimum amount of power to work correctly. That is why dishwashers need circuit breakers with a minimum of 15 to 20 amps to support all the power it needs.
This also means that you need to have a specific gauge of electric wire running from the dishwasher to the circuit breaker. This means you need to have a wire with a minimum thickness of 14/2Nm to 12/2Nm between the appliances and the breaker.
You may also need to have only the dishwasher operating on this line, so it does not share the power with another device. Many people prefer to hardwire the dishwasher with the electric grid of their home instead of a standard plug-in connection.
A hardwired connection will save you money on the unnecessary cost of adding a plug and the need for a wall outlet. This will also leave all your wall outlets free for other uses, especially if you have only a few available in your home.
What Is the Correct Size Breaker For a Dishwasher
To be on the safe side, you need to have at least 15 amps available for your dishwasher for all the cycles. When considering the overall safety of your home and the dishwasher, it is safe to install a 20 amp breaker for it.
And as mentioned before, it will be the best option to add a 12/2 Nm electric appliance cord between the dishwasher and breaker. This will help protect your home from electric fire in the case of electric spikes and prevent the wire from overheating.
It will also make sure that you are inside the minimum power rating for the circuit used by your dishwasher. Furthermore, it will also make sure that you are inside the specifications required by law to keep you on the safe side.
Also, it is essential to keep in mind that all circuits and appliances must be grounded for the safety of your loved ones and the appliances. In the United States, a dedicated 120/125-volt, 15 amp circuit should be the minimum used for a dishwasher to be on the safe side.
This means you should have a single outlet with those specifications available if the dishwasher is not hardwired into the circuit.
Can It Be Used With Other Appliances On the Same Circuit?
It is not safe to use your dishwasher and any other appliances on the same circuit due to the extra power it will consume This may cause the circuit breaker to trip when there is too much load on it at the same time. You must always avoid extra loads or heavy loads if you can.
So, to save you the trouble of resetting the circuit breaker every time, keep the dishwasher in a dedicated circuit. This means that you should keep the dishwasher on its own circuit to prevent the circuit from being overloaded every time you use it.
It is also true that the location within the home where the most power is consumed is the kitchen, so everything should be connected correctly. That is why it is also the safest practice to have all appliances that use a lot of power on their own electrical circuit.
If you do use more than one device on a specific electrical outlet, use just one appliance at a time to be safe. And make sure that the motor load of every appliance is safely within the load capacity of that single outlet for your safety.
One can install special plugs inside your home that will be able to handle the load from your dishwasher and other appliances. Hot water heaters should always be on a dedicated line because of the high power capacity they consume to heat water.
Trash compactors and garbage disposal appliances do not use as much power as those that heat water and other things. It is better to have a dedicated circuit available for every major appliance in your kitchen, so you do not overload the electrical circuit.
Appliances such as built-in dishwashers should always have a dedicated circuit and can be hardwired into the circuit for the device’s safety.
Other Important Information
It would be best if you always made sure that all appliances that are using electricity should be grounded for overall safety in your home. Never use a breaker with a load capacity lower than what you may need for any appliances, including the dishwasher.
Always make sure there is enough space behind and around your dishwasher to allow unrestricted airflow to prevent it from heating. There should be a minimum of seven dedicated circuits in your kitchen for all the necessary appliances used in your home.
Each of these dedicated circuits should only serve a single appliance and not more than just that one you have connected to it. You may use one circuit for the dishwasher and garbage disposal if they have the same load and power capacity.
You should make sure that one of those devices is unplugged from the outlet while you are using the other one. It is possible to use more than one appliance on one circuit, but that is only if one of them is working at a time.
To keep you from using more than one appliance at a time, it is safer to hardwire every appliance on its own circuit and breaker. If you have more appliances than dedicated circuits in your home, you should upgrade that electrical circuit’s breaker and wire gauge.
This means that you should install a breaker with a higher load capacity and thicker wire so it will be able to handle more power. The safest way is always to simply install another dedicated line when you add a new appliance to your kitchen.
Adding this line will help keep your home and the appliance safe while keeping your power use well balanced for better distribution. The safest choice when it comes to any kitchen appliance is a breaker with a minimum of 20 amps circuit load capacity.
That will help keep you safely inside the minimum load for that appliance and well inside the building codes in your area. To sum this up, keep every kitchen appliance on a separate circuit for the safety of your loved ones.
When you replace the appliance cord of your dishwasher, make sure that the appliance cord is the correct gauge to handle the load from a dishwasher. You will find that most electrical appliances come with the information you need to indicate their load and power consumption.
Countertop receptacles should only be used for small devices and appliances with a low load capacity when used to prepare food. This will help keep the electrical demands on the outlets low and in safe parameters for all small devices.
What Can Happen If a Circuit Is Overloaded?
If an electric circuit is overloaded, it may start to overheat, and an electric fire may occur, which will be difficult to extinguish. Another thing that can happen is if you use a 20 amp appliance with a 15 amp breaker, it may just keep on tripping.
You need to have the right amp circuit for your dishwasher. Correct amperage is indicated on the appliance itself and in the manual. A label on the appliance will indicate the appliance circuit specifications on the back of the dishwasher or any other type of kitchen appliance.
When using an appliance with a heating element on a circuit with a low load capacity, it will overload that circuit and overheat it. That is why you should always make sure that the circuit wires are the right thickness for the appliances working on them.
Clearly, the safest way to work with your dishwasher is to have it on a dedicated circuit with a suitable load capacity. You can also use more than one appliance with the same capacity but only one at a time.
Stay safely within the specifications of your appliances and the laws to make sure you and your loved ones are safe. You can also cut electricity costs if you keep things regulated and safe, avoiding dangers and heavy electricity usage.
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Founder of homeappliancegeek.com, avid cook, and lover of Asian food.
Signature dishes include Thai Red Curry, Chicken Saag, Bibimbap and Sushi.
Massive clean freak; a habit baked-in after spending 9 years in the catering industry.
The one appliance he couldn’t live without? Easily the dishwasher (total relationship saver!).