The Significance of Dedicated Circuits

Circuit breakers are an advanced safety feature required in all new home builds across the country. They are designed to flip in a situation where too much current is flowing to a specific circuit. In an overload condition, too much current flowing to the device is a safety risk. It is why circuit breakers are crucial—circuit breakers trip when an appliance is overloaded, cutting off the source of electricity.

Dedicated circuits are branched off from circuit breakers and support a specific appliance to avoid an overload scenario. The National Electric Code (NEC) specifies large devices that require more than 20 amps to have their own dedicated circuit. This is a simple safety protocol that has been in place in all new homes built since the 1970s.

How Do I Know If My Appliances are On a Dedicated Circuit?

All electrical panels should have a list of the circuits that are branching from the circuit breaker. The easiest way to tell if your appliance is on a dedicated circuit is to locate the label on the breaker with the device’s name.

Once you find the particular dedicated circuit, you can flip the switch on the breaker to cut off the appliance’s electricity—this a great way to double-check that the list inside the panel is correct.

What Appliances Need to be on a Dedicated circuit?

Large appliances such as ranges, dryers, water heaters, bidets, and HVAC units will require a dedicated circuit for safety. These appliances consume a high density of electricity during their use, so high amounts of current will flow through their dedicated branch circuit.

Smaller appliances like toasters, electric can openers, blenders, and coffee makers require less current to operate but still consume a considerable amount. A home’s kitchen should have a few dedicated circuits for such appliances.

What About My Washing Machine?

If there is any confusion in what appliances require a dedicated circuit, a rule of thumb is that it needs a dedicated circuit if it has an electric motor. One example of a device that has an electric motor is the washing machine and clothes dryer. Electric motors produce a lot of power fueled by a high current.

Does Each Room Require a Dedicated Circuit?

Post year 2000, built or rewired homes bathrooms are wired on their own dedicated circuit. Ideally, each bedroom should have its own dedicated circuit for lighting and outlets; however, most electricians share multiple bedrooms on the same circuit. Commodities like TV, gaming consoles, lamps, and computers do not use as much energy as other appliances in your home. Due to their small current requirements, multiple electrical devices can be used on each room’s branch circuit and still meet the NEC requirements without overloading the circuit.


Overloaded circuits are a serious safety concern. In a worst-case scenario, an overloaded circuit can cause fires that are hard to extinguish. Luckily, the NEC has required dedicated circuits, and all certified electricians must abide by this safety protocol. Circuit breakers and their dedicated circuits work to limit serious safety concerns in the home.


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