One would think that with the advances that have been made, circuits can handle more than one appliance. Since they are set up to handle high electrical capacities, that may be true, but the National Electrical Code (NEC) does require that certain appliances have a dedicated circuit. Large appliances typically pull more wattage, so they are generally on their own circuit, but some smaller appliances are also recommended to be on their own circuit due to possible fire hazards.
What to Check
The first thing that you should check is the information sticker on the appliance itself. This will tell you how much power the appliance draws. If the appliance is drawing more than 1,000 watts, you should have it on its own circuit, but this all depends on its usage.
For instance, there are some appliances that will not be used regularly or for long periods of time, such as a hair dryer or vacuum cleaner. Having said that, if you run those appliances on a breaker that has an appliance requiring a lot of wattage this is also on that circuit, you will probably trip the breaker. For example, I used to live in an older home where if I plugged the vacuum cleaner into certain outlets when I was running the AC, the breaker would trip… I am sure that is a story all of you had in an older home.
Generally speaking, these are the appliances you will want to run on a dedicated circuit:
- Central air conditioning unit
- Countertop convection oven
- Countertop deep or air fryer
- Electric dryer
- Electric fireplace
- Electric range/oven
- Garbage disposal
- Hot tub or spa
- Infrared heater, heater fan, or space heater
- Large air compressor
- Large light displays for holidays
- Power saw, drill (any major power tool)
- Stand-alone freezer
- Sump pump
- Toaster oven
- Water heater
- Window-based air conditioner
Wattage will vary from item to item, so, as we noted above, check your information sticker for the exact wattage that will be needed. Also, remember the example we used above about some items not being used at the same time being on a general circuit.
If you are having a regular problem with breakers tripping, we highly recommend you call your local electrician up immediately to inspect your wiring.