When people think about their kitchen, they often think about the plumbing requirements.
With sinks drains, dishwashers, and even ice makers, there are many needs for water in a kitchen.
However, the electrical connections are just as important as the plumbing in a kitchen.
If you don’t have the proper wiring and electrical in your kitchen, it merely won’t function.
The majority of the electrical load that your home has will be located in the kitchen area.
It is essential to make sure that appliances are wired correctly from the start.
If your home has continual issues with power flickering or circuit breakers popping, it could mean that it was not wired properly.
Here are a few of the commonly asked questions about kitchen wiring and circuits.
Can Dishwasher and Disposal Be on the Same Circuit?
A dishwasher and disposal can be powered by the same circuit if they are on a single 20-amp circuit.
There are also other considerations that electricians have to make if they are wiring the dishwasher and the disposal to the same circuit.
They must ensure that both appliances’ total amperage is not more than 80 percent of the circuit amperage rating.
Sometimes this will be a decision that an electrician can make, and other times, it will be decided on by the local code.
The code requirements are put into place to make sure that houses are wired in a way that will function and will not be dangerous.
Most electricians will choose to wire the dishwasher and the disposal on separate circuits.
When an appliance has its own circuit, that is called a dedicated circuit.
Hiring a certified electrician who knows the local code will save you quite a bit of trouble when it comes to the wiring issues in your home.
What Is a Dedicated Circuit?
If you take a look at your electrical service panel in your home, you will see lots of individual dedicated circuits.
Hopefully, these circuits are labeled, and they will tell you which appliances or rooms they control.
Each of these dedicated circuits has its own place in your electrical box.
When you are completing the wiring in a home, there are some things, such as a garbage disposal, that typically need their own dedicated circuit.
This means that no other appliances or outlets are going to share the energy from this circuit.
The concept of dedicated circuits helps to make sure that there are fewer breakers that trip.
Sometimes when a circuit has too many electrical appliances pulling from it, the breaker will turn off to protect against a fire or spark.
This is considered a trip of the breaker.
In addition to some of the dedicated circuits that you have for appliances, kitchens also have some other dedicated circuits for outlets.
For instance, the outlets on the countertop may all be on one circuit to make sure that the small appliances used in a kitchen do not trip any additional breakers.
What Is a 20-Amp Dedicated Circuit?
Now that you know what a dedicated circuit is, you will see that they come in different amperages.
There are commonly several 20-amp circuits in a house.
These are the typical circuits that are used for home entertainment systems or standard kitchen outlets.
You will notice that some kitchens are going to have a few of these outlets going to one circuit.
This is because certain small appliances like blenders, coffee mixers, and toaster ovens tend to pull quite a bit from a circuit.
These 20-amp dedicated circuits are the most common, but they will not work for the larger appliances.
What is a 30–50-Amp Dedicated Circuit?
There are a few appliances in your home that are going to require more electricity than others.
These appliances can’t run on their own, even on a 20-amp dedicated circuit.
The water heater, oven, and dryer are the three biggest culprits when it comes to energy usage.
The larger 30–50-amp circuit will help ensure these appliances can get the power they need without the risk of starting a fire.
Does a Refrigerator Need Its Own Dedicated Circuit?
As you can imagine, when wiring a kitchen, there are lots of questions that come up about what needs its own dedicated circuit.
You are going to have the most luck wiring your kitchen correctly from the start.
This will allow you years of uninterrupted kitchen time and fewer worries when it comes to circuit overload and protection.
It is quite common for a refrigerator to be on its own circuit.
You may be surprised at this considering most refrigerators run at around five amps.
The issue is that, when the fridge is at peak usage, it is going to be closer to 15 amps.
When you look at 15 amps of power, that will be nearly maxing out a 15–20 amp dedicated circuit.
It is best to prepare for peak usage even if the fridge will rarely need it.
This allows you to make sure your refrigerator always has power.
Power failures are certainly an inconvenience with certain appliances like a washer or dryer.
However, an interruption in power from a fridge will mean that you could lose some of the food that is stored inside it.
Knowing the importance of the food and the waste that can come from poor wiring, most electricians should put a refrigerator on its own circuit.
Should Each Room Be on Its Own Circuit?
If you have never taken a look at your home electrical panel, it can be a good idea to familiarize yourself with how it works.
You will likely be surprised at how many individual dedicated circuits there are.
A room may not always need just one circuit dedicated to it, as some rooms will need quite a few circuits.
It is important to remember that each of the things you need electricity for in your home will require different amounts of electricity.
A hairdryer that is correctly plugged in will require a different amp range than a lamp.
Essentially, this makes the wiring requirements for your home a bit like a puzzle.
For instance, the laundry room is a small area of your home that you would probably think to be on one circuit.
However, since the pull from the washer and dryer will be so strong, you will probably notice at least three circuits for the laundry room.
One will be for the outlets in the room, another for the washer, and another for the dryer.
To say that each room should be on its own circuit does not accurately describe the situation.
Each room will, at the very least, be on its own circuit.
However, rooms like kitchens, utility rooms, and laundry rooms will have several dedicated circuits.
Electricians who have been in the field for quite some time will understand the requirements and how to wire a home correctly.
How Many Outlets Can Be on One Dedicated Circuit?
Electrical work in a home helps to make our lives quite a bit easier.
When a room has several outlets, you will have no issues when you need to plug in your phone to charge and also put a TV on the wall.
Although these outlets are helpful and essential, there are specific code requirements about where the outlets are and what is legal according to the building code.
You will see that these codes are different depending on where you live.
Ensuring a house is up to electrical code is an integral part of the fire and safety protection in a home.
For the most part, the code will say that eight to 10 outlets can be on one dedicated circuit.
This is usually enough to work for a single room.
Many local codes require that each wall of a room have at least one outlet on it.
The exception would be in areas like bathrooms and even rooms with closets that also have outlets in or around them.
Essentially, the rule of thumb is around eight outlets per circuit.
Of course, homeowners who decide to use all eight of those outlets at the same time are going to risk having an issue with the power going out in that room.
Most of the time, this will simply require switching the breaker back on, but it still is an inconvenience.
Hopefully, now you can see the importance of giving certain appliances their own electrical circuit.
The kitchen is an electrical powerhouse in your home.
Every kitchen needs to have access to quite a large portion of the overall power of your home.
Think of all of the electrical requirements of a kitchen compared to a bedroom.
If you are deciding to put a disposal and a dishwasher on the same circuit, make sure you carefully consider the maximum amperage of each of these devices.
If a single 20-amp circuit can handle it, then it is generally considered to be acceptable.