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Benefits of Dedicated Appliance Circuits

on December 31, 2015

First, a dedicated circuit is any electrical circuit from
your break box that is used for a single specific purpose.  The National Electric Code requires a
dedicated circuit for most appliances in your home.  As a general guideline, if it has an internal
motor or is an immobile appliance (a dishwasher or refrigerator instead of
small appliances such as toasters and blenders), then it requires a dedicated
electrical circuit. These circuits are especially suited to their appliances,
and are often rated for higher currents than standard electrical outlets.

Usually a dedicated circuit isn’t a priority, but if you’re
building a new home or installing an addition to your house, then it’s
definitely something you’ll want to look into.
Dedicated circuits improve the safety of your home, are required by the
NEC for some devices, and ensure that your most power hungry appliances get the
electricity they need without interrupting everything else on the line.

How it Works

Appliance circuits require more than just an isolated
outlet.  The standard wiring used for the
electrical outlets in your home isn’t rated for the current loads heavy-duty
appliances use on a day to day basis.  Dedicated
circuits upgrade the wires, connections, and circuit breakers to accommodate
the higher loads and increased heating of high-power appliances.

By installing high-level current cabling on a separate
circuit, your remove the likelihood of overloading your home’s standard
wiring.  While you could install similar
wiring across your entire home, low-gage wires are expensive and unnecessary
for most applications.  Installing them
only for dedicated circuits saves on costs.

An added benefit is increase life expectancy for your
circuit breaker.  If a high power load
such as your central heating were on the same circuit as the microwave, you’d
be much more likely to overload the circuit.
A tripped circuit breaker is caused by excess heating, which will wear
out the breaker over time.  If you find
yourself continually resetting a tripped breaker, it may be time to replace
that breaker or you should consider installing a new electrical circuit to
split up the number of devices on a set breaker.

Dedicated circuits aren’t just designed to be cost
effective; they’re part of the proper electrical safety in your home.  It’s important to have all of your electrical
circuits and your breaker box inspected every few years to identify failure
points in advance.  It’s also important
to make sure that high-load appliances are always installed on a dedicated
circuit.  This is to ensure safety above
all else.


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