Do You Need Dedicated Circuits?
Have you ever plugged in an appliance and tripped the breaker? Of course, we’ve all done it from time to time, especially if you live in an older home.
However, if you frequently trip a circuit breaker, it could be a sign you could benefit from having more dedicated circuits in your home.
When your home was originally constructed, it was wired with separate circuits to spread power consumption around. Circuit breakers are designed to trip if too much electricity is drawn at once, and a power overload occurs.
When a circuit supports a single appliance, it’s known as a dedicated circuit. If you look in your electrical box, it would have its own breaker. Dedicated circuits are designed to ensure high power appliance have the amperage they need to operate safely without forcing a circuit breaker to trip on a regular basis.
Code requires that all major, fixed electrical appliances exist on dedicated circuits:
- Electric ovens, stoves, and cooktops
- Washers and dryers
- Furnaces and central air conditioners
And while smaller appliances may not be directed to have a dedicated circuit, if you continually use it in the same outlet all the time, it could be worthwhile. Small appliances with large power drains include:
- Toasters and toaster ovens
- Electric space heaters
- Window air conditioners
- Sump pumps
- Hair dryers
Could you benefit from a dedicated circuit?
Pay attention to how often you trip a breaker and what causes it to happen. If you find patterns – you use your toaster and microwave at the same time – it could signal a weakness in the power supply line it runs on.
When it comes to making a decision on needing a dedicated circuit, a good rule of thumb is to determine if something runs with its own motor and if it’s regularly used in one place. It’s safer to have it on its own circuit in the end. And it’s safer to have too many circuits than not enough.
Need help to determine if your home is wired correctly? Have a qualified professional electrical technician evaluate your home today.