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Energy CostsIN CHARLOTTEMarch 9, 2022by AndrewWhat Appliance Might Be Too Much to Run Together on One Circuit?

Some appliances in your home should be connected as the lone electrical device on its own circuit. If you’re having electric installation being done, and you can plan for it, the circuit and breaker for a lone appliance or device should be isolated from the main circuit for the property. What appliances might be too much to run together on one circuit?

When you have multiple devices connected to one circuit, it’s typically fine. There is a risk the combined usage will draw more power than the circuit is built for. It could overload, burn a fuse or trip. It could damage one or some of the devices on the circuit. A surge could also take out an appliance or device you need for a serious reason.

A dedicated circuit is recommended when you have electronics which use a lot of power, are of critical importance, may cause voltage fluctuations or impact other devices if they are on the same circuit.

Dedicated Circuits Prevent Overloads

Using dedicated circuits may be a more frequent and helpful idea in older homes, especially kitchens in older homes. The electric system and circuits may not be effective enough to work well with modern appliances.

Up-to-date kitchens and busy families use multiple appliances which use a high level of energy. Anything which creates heat, such as ovens, toasters and electric grills, or have motors, such as disposals or processors, often use a lot of power. For example, if a range, toaster, refrigerator and garbage disposal are on the same circuit, and they are in use at the same time, you could overload a circuit and trip the breaker.

More modern kitchens are likely built and designed with more electric use at once in mind with more circuits and higher-amp circuits. Having multiple circuits drastically decreases the threat of overloading a single circuit. It’s even better to have major devices on their own dedicated circuits.

What electronics, appliances, systems or devices should have a dedicated circuit and breaker?

Systems or Devices That Have to Work

Think of the parts or systems in your house which must stay on and keep working. What would you consider critical? It’s a must for safety and health.

For instance, if the breaker for your water heater, heating and cooling systems, refrigerator, or sump pump cuts out, and you’re without power to one of these critical systems for a time, it’ll be a serious problem. You could have to deal with a home with no hot water, everything in a refrigerator going bad, a flood or backed-up waste or something else.

Essentially, any kind of electric devices that must stay operational for peoples’ health and safety should go on a lone circuit.

  • Sump pump
  • Water heater
  • Furnace
  • AC unit
  • Medical devices
  • Refrigerator

Appliances with High-Power Needs

Some appliances that need a bunch of electricity should go on a dedicated circuit. A dedicated circuit will make more certain the high-power device has sufficient amps to operate correctly and safely.

These power-hungry appliances often are in rooms, a kitchen, bathroom or laundry room, where you might well use multiple appliances at a time.

  • Refrigerators
  • Ranges
  • Standalone or specialty ovens
  • Water heaters
  • HVAC system
  • Washing machines
  • Dryers

Expensive Devices

Appliance Might Be Too Much to Run Together on One Circuit
What electronics, appliances, systems or devices should have a dedicated circuit and breaker?

TVs, computers and speakers may not be big energy users. You don’t want such a device – often pretty costly – destroyed by a power surge, so this is the reason to protect them as much as possible. Expensive electronics and unique systems can be more sensitive to fluctuations or a surge after an outage.

These devices might include:

  • TVs
  • Sound systems
  • Computers
  • Desks or offices with multiple electronic devices

Other Appliances to Think About

Here are a few more common appliances you may need to give a dedicated circuit, or a little extra precaution, to.

  • Hair dryer – Hair dryers use 800-2,000 watts of electricity. This is a significant amount of power which is zero one second and a high burst the next. A dryer produces high heat very fast and very localized. With the high level of electricity in use, if you plug the dryer into a damaged outlet, it could lead to a sudden problem. If you’re using other devices on the same circuit and the same time, it could cause an overload. The same thought goes for flat irons and curling irons.
  • Vacuum – Vacuum cleaners can use 1,000 or more watts. Smaller vacuums can actually be the biggest power users. You probably use a vacuum all over the house. This makes it likely that sometimes, it’s plugged into the same circuit as the refrigerator, computer or multiple other running devices at the same time. The power use of the vacuum could send a circuit to overload and a trip. It’s smart to cut off or disconnect other appliances, if possible, when vacuuming.
  • Extension Cords – This could seem like an easy, quick fix, but using extension cords may have unintended issues. Extension cords and power strips should be used as instructed. Some cords may wear over the years. Some may be made with lesser-grade components or material. This could impact the power output and safety. Using extension cords by the book, when you need to, and only one at a time, is fine sand safe. Using them for major appliances, constant use, or multiple cords connected to each other, can cause surges, burns and more hazards.


Your best bet? Hire an expert to do the job. South End Electric has the background and understanding to ensure a safe and smooth installation. We can provide electrical safety inspections and wiring and lighting service. In addition, our professionals provide whole-house generator sales and installation to meet your needs. See everything South End Electric can do for you. Call us direct at 704-368-4694.