Do you own an older home with outdated electrical work? If so, there’s a good chance your home doesn’t feature the necessary dedicated circuits for many of your household appliances. And unfortunately, operating those appliances on non-dedicated circuits can cause inconvenient (and potentially expensive) electrical problems. If you’re unfamiliar with dedicated circuits and which of your appliances need them, the experts at Harrison Electric have the info you need to know below.

What’s the Difference Between a Regular Circuit and a Dedicated Circuit?

An electrical circuit is pretty simple: it’s a path or loop through which electrical current flows. Each electrical circuit in your home should be attached to a breaker (or a fuse, if your electrical system is really old), which stops electrical flow when the system experiences a current spike. The breaker should also stop current flow when an appliance draws too much current at once.

A regular circuit supplies power to multiple outlets in a particular area. If you take a look inside your breaker box, you might notice breakers that are labeled “kitchen,” “bathroom,” “dining room,” etc., which denote that the circuit supplies power to multiple outlets.

A dedicated circuit, on the other hand, is designed to be used with a single appliance only. It does not supply power to anything else besides the appliance assigned to that particular circuit. Inside your breaker box, you would see dedicated circuits labeled more along the lines of “stove,” “washing machine,” “dryer,” etc. because these power-hungry appliances require too much wattage to share a circuit with anything else.

Which Appliances Need Dedicated Circuits?

Because certain power-hungry appliances require substantial wattage for operation, if they share a circuit with anything else, the current draw will be too high and the breaker will trip, cutting off the power supply. So, to alleviate that problem, electricians assign dedicated circuits to larger appliances that need more power. Which appliances are we talking about? They include:

●        Electric ranges and ovens

●        Dishwashers

●        Refrigerators and freezers

●        Certain garbage disposal units

●        Certain microwaves, depending on wattage

●        Washing machines and dryers

●        HVAC system

If you’re not certain which of your appliances require dedicated circuits, review your local electrical code. Or, If you’re unsure whether your home has the necessary dedicated circuits, consult with a residential electrician who can assess your panel for code compliance violations. Since you’ll need to have electrical panel rewiring if your home does not meet code specifications, reaching out to a licensed electrician for professional guidance is highly recommended.

Harrison Electric: Your Twin Cities Source for High-Quality Electrical Work

If you think your home may require electrical panel rewiring, it’s time to get in touch with our team at Harrison Electric. We specialize in a wide variety of residential electrical upgrades and installments and have been proudly serving Twin Cities homeowners since 1985. To request service, get a quote, or learn more about how we can help you update your electrical system, give our team a call today at 763-544-3300. You can also send us a message via our contact form, and we’ll be in touch promptly.