You just bought a new dishwasher and are now unsure if your house’s current electricity setup can accommodate it.
You may be wondering what size breaker to use for your dishwasher.
The typical dishwasher breaker size will be a minimum of 15 amps utilizing 120 volts.
Choosing a breaker for your appliance will depend on the specific power requirements of your dishwasher and the essential upgrades to comply with some of the latest regulations.
Continue reading this article to learn more about the safety protocols for your dishwasher.
Understanding the electrical wiring safety requirements
In 2014, the National Electrical Code (NEC) required circuits used in kitchens to be AFCI (arc-fault circuit-interrupter) protected.
These AFCI devices are compatible with 15 and 20-amp 125-volt circuits, protecting them from arc faults that could cause an electrical fire.
As of 2020, the NEC requires GFCI (ground-fault circuit-interrupter) protection to be used in conjunction with 15 and 20-amp circuits.
When installing a dishwasher with a 15-amp circuit, a 14/2 NM wire with the ground should be used.
You may also opt to feed the dishwasher with a 20-amp circuit connected via a 12/2 NM wire to the ground.
Be sure to allow plenty of slack on the NM cable.
So that at the time of service, the dishwasher can be moved out and serviced without the need to disconnect it.
Some electricians will wire a kitchen, so the same circuit controls the garbage disposal and dishwasher.
This must be done using a 20-amp course.
Also, it must be ensured that the total current going into both appliances should not exceed 80 percent of the breaker’s amperage.
Related Reading: How Many Amps Does A Dishwasher Use – Click Here.
Calculating a Dishwasher’s Current Draw
In the US, all household dishwashers operate on a minimum of 120 volts but not the same current measured in amperes (amps).
These amps determine the size of the breaker you would require.
To calculate the amps, read the label on your dishwasher to find its amp draw and match the breaker accordingly.
Sometimes, the amps are not mentioned so plainly. In that case, you will need to work it out with some simple math.
Dividing power by the voltage will give you the value of current.
For example, if your dishwasher uses 1,500 watts of power and the voltage is 120 volts, dividing 1,500 by 120 gives you 12.5 amps of current draw.
A 15-amp breaker will work with this dishwasher.
Dishwasher connection types: Hardwiring vs. Plugging-in
Hardwiring a dishwasher involves connecting it to a circuit breaker without needing an additional outlet.
One shortcoming of this setup is that you cannot remove the dishwasher easily.
On the contrary, the dishwasher should be on a safer connection than connecting it to a wall outlet.
This setup also usually requires a GFCI circuit breaker.
Plugging your dishwasher into a wall outlet or extension cord may not need a GFCI circuit breaker.
However, placing the wire could become an issue, especially if the kitchen is a high-traffic area.
Still, people who want a portable dishwasher arrangement would prefer using the plugging-in method instead of hardwiring techniques.
Dishwasher Circuit Breaker FAQs
1. How to tell if I have a dedicated circuit?
Identifying if you have a dedicated circuit for your dishwasher is pretty straightforward.
Dedicated circuits come with a single slot for plugging machines, whereas regular circuits might have multiple receptacles.
In the electrical box, all of the dedicated circuits should be labeled clearly.
2. Should you have a dedicated circuit for a Dishwasher?
As one of the household’s top electricity consumers, dishwashers need separate electrical circuits to operate safely.
The National Fire Prevention Association and National Electric Code rules agree.
3. Can you run a dishwasher on a regular circuit?
A dishwasher can be plugged directly into a regular electrical outlet without requiring a particular receptacle.
Long as the circuit is dedicated, grounded, and protected with a suitable breaker (15 or 20 amps).
4. Can you have a garbage disposal and a Dishwasher on the same circuit?
Some electricians will connect a dishwasher and garbage disposal to receive power from the same circuit.
It provided that a 20-amp circuit breaker must be used.
The combined amperage of both machines does not exceed eighty percent of the circuit’s amperage rating.
Doing so should save you problems like short circuits and overloads.
Check with your local power regulatory authority to see if that is allowed.
5. Why does my dishwasher keep tripping the breaker?
If the breaker keeps tripping, check to ensure that there are no machines other than your dishwasher running on that circuit.
Read the label on the dishwasher and check if the right-size breaker and electrical outlet are installed in the circuit.
Also, check if the circuit and all the breakers are wired correctly and that no short circuit is occurring in the wiring, possibly due to a loose connection.
6. Is a GFCI Breaker necessary for a dishwasher?
According to the National Electrical Code (NEC), household dishwashers require GFCI protection, whether hardwired or plug-connected.
Using a GFCI circuit breaker is a good way to prevent accidents that might occur because of the surrounding moisture content.
7. What is the cost of installing a dedicated circuit?
On average, the installation of a dedicated circuit costs around $600.
However, it should be noted that the cost can vary greatly depending on such factors as the time spent and materials used in the installation.
Expert sources give an estimate ranging from $250 to $1,500.
Related Reading: Best Dishwasher Under 700 Dollars – Read More.
After going through this post, you should now have an overall idea about the correct breaker size for your dishwasher.
A dedicated electrical circuit with the correct size breaker will give you peace of mind regarding safety.
It will also ensure that your brand-new dishwasher functions to its fullest capacity.