Home appliances come with different power ratings and you need to know what you are using so that you can install the right circuit for its use. This is important as it will prevent mismatch and even fire eruption in instances where it has drawn too much power. What you need to know is that electrical power is always measured in Watts, but its current is measured in amps. Amps are the rate at which electrical current flows.
For most appliances that need 120V electricity, you will realize that they need to be protected by breakers that are either 15 amp or 20 amps. When we rate that according to GE Appliances, you will realize that you can use either of the amps for a dishwasher. The one that you will choose will highly depend on the type of your dishwasher. But according to the National Electric Code, a dedicated circuit for the dishwasher is the 15-amp one.
Most of the appliances now in the kitchen have been made to handle dedicated circuit breakers. These include dishwasher, garbage disposal, microwave oven, refrigerator, electric range. If you have a microwave and an oven, then you will need to install a 20-amp circuit breaker because they will need more electric current to work at all times.
- Meet S.A.E. J1625, J1171, UL1500 (Ignition Protected)
- Surface Mount, protective stud insulator included
- Red or Yellow (Random Color) manual reset button
Last update on 2021-02-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
As seen earlier, the dishwasher and garbage disposal will require at least a 15 amp when they work separately, but when they work together, you are advised to use a 20-amp breaker. For connection wires, use a 14-gauge wire so that you can get connect the 15-amp setup. But for the 20-amp connection, the 14 gauge might not be the best as that will need more power drawing.
They all come operating with a nominal voltage that is given at 120V. don’t be surprised that not all of them will need or will draw the same current. That’s why you will need to ensure that you can read the kind of watt they use before you determine the kind of breaker size you will need to install. The manufacturer’s specs of use might go missing from the package that you got, but that should not be the cause of worry or confusion. Check the label that has been placed on the machine so that you can determine the correct current flow. It is located at the back of the machine or fixed at the door side.
In some instances, it might not be able to specify the current draw, but it will provide you with the power the appliance needs to work in Watts. At this point, you need to do some calculations.
You will need to divide the power by the violated. For instance:
If the dishwasher uses 1500 watts, then the calculation will be as follows, divide the 1500 watts by the total current in volts, that’s 120V,
1500W divide by 120V (1500W/120V) = 12.5 amps of current draw.
At this juncture, having a 15 amp breaker will just be sufficient for use and should not be shared with any other appliance. So getting the right kind of amperage to use is not as difficult as it might sound when you don’t get anything given.
You may also like: How to clean KitchenAid dishwasher filters?
What to do in case of frequent tripping of the circuit breaker?
Sometimes, you might realize that the dishwasher is always tripping the circuit breaker. The first thing that you need to do is to find out if any other appliances are sharing the same circuit. If there is, then you will need to plug one of them or more. This will be an overload and will not give the dishwasher that current it needs to work well.
If the problem persists even when you have removed all other appliances, then the only answer to your worry is that the machine is drawing more power than the circuit breaker can offer. That means that you need a bigger circuit breaker to use.
When it comes to exchanging the circuit breaker, for instance, the 15 amp with a 20 amp, you will realize that changing only will not be sufficient, you will need also to redo the wiring. The 15 amp one was using a 14 gauge wire but the 20 amp one will need a higher gauge wire. At that point, you just need a professional electrician to ensure that all is done in the right manner to ensure your household items remain safe.
Always ensure that you operate appliances with the right amps and the right connections are always needed in terms of wiring. This will prevent wire burning due to more clerical drawings for those that need more current.