The Importance of Dedicated Circuits for Your Home Appliances in California

The National Electrical Code (NEC) requires dedicated circuits, but what are they, you may ask? The code requires that a separate, dedicated circuit, not shared by any other appliance, must serve every fixed appliance in your home.

A dedicated circuit is defined as a circuit that serves only that appliance. These appliances include refrigerators, freezers, electric range, electric water heaters, furnaces, washers, dryers, microwaves, dishwashers, and garbage disposals. And don’t forget about heat pumps, sump pumps, and air conditioners as well as garage door openers and holiday lighting.

If you’ve ever had a major appliance connected to the same circuit as another and a circuit breaker has tripped or a fuse has blown, then you understand the need for these specific circuits. Remember, never attempt to install a new circuit on your own. There is far too great of a risk of electrical shock and potential damage to your home or electrical system that may result in an electrical fire.

Facts & Tips

A good rule of thumb is that if an appliance has a motor, it needs its own circuit. I’d rather have too many circuits, rather than not enough!

Locations where you may find appliance circuits and/or dedicated circuits around your home:

  • Clothes dryer
  • Microwave oven
  • Pool equipment
  • Pool pump motors
  • Pool lighting
  • Spa or sauna
  • Spa lighting
  • Spa pump motors
  • Electric car
  • Electric oven or stove
  • Electric stove
  • Refrigerator
  • Washing machine
  • Electric garage door opener
  • Garage circuits
  • Air compressor circuits
  • Welder circuits
  • Shop tool circuits
  • Machine tool circuits
  • Holiday circuits & lighting
  • Outdoor lighting
  • Garbage disposal
  • Smoke alarms & carbon monoxide detectors
  • Kitchen range and hoods
  • Computer circuits
  • Electronic TV circuits
  • TV circuits
  • Cable box circuits
  • Phone circuits
  • Home intercom circuits
  • Air conditioner circuits
  • Central air conditioning circuits
  • Forced air and heating circuits
  • Heater circuits
  • Back-up generator circuits
  • Sump pump circuits