It is almost impossible to think of a modern kitchen without a range hood. Even though the use of range hoods is nothing new as people have been using range hoods to clean and purify the kitchen air for a very long time.
With time and upgrades, you can now use range hoods that can keep the air in your kitchen pure and make very less noise. But people often get confused about the circuit setup of a range hood.
Does range hood need dedicated circuit?
A range hood doesn’t necessarily need a dedicated circuit, but using a dedicated circuit would be the best choice. But not all appliances are suited to run along with a range hood. It depends on a lot of factors like the type of range hood, amperage of the circuit breaker as well as the appliances.
The main confusion about a range hood needing a dedicated circuit or not comes from the risk of overloading. You can’t let a circuit breaker overload. A range hood alone doesn’t consume that much power. Hence a range hood doesn’t need to have a dedicated circuit.
However, you can’t run just any appliance along with a range hood. The appliance’s amperage has to be compatible with the range hood’s amperage in order to avoid overloading. This is why it is considered best to have a dedicated circuit for a range hood.
If you don’t have the option, you can simply connect it to a general-purpose circuit.
But do remember that a general-purpose circuit can share the load with multiple appliances, so make sure to not overload the circuit breaker. The main reason that many people suggest putting a range hood on an individual circuit is to increase safety and ensure functionality.
If your range hood is on a general-purpose circuit, naturally, you will be plugging in and out other appliances. Now, this increases the chance of overloading. Say your range hood is connected to a 20 amp circuit breaker.
Now, if you put a stove that draws between 30 to 50 amps on the same circuit, it will overload.
3 reasons why a range hood does not need a dedicated circuit
Range hood does not necessarily need a dedicated circuit for the following reasons –
Can be put on a lighting circuit:
You can both plug or hardwire a range hood into the receptacle of a lighting circuit. But you shouldn’t put it on a kitchen receptacle in a small appliance branch circuit. Also, you should put it on a single receptacle.
Putting a range hood on a lighting circuit is easier and can be set up quickly.
Dedicated circuits take up space in the panel:
A dedicated circuit can save you from the risk of overloading. It will also help you pass the inspection based on the local code since it is safer. But, a dedicated circuit takes up extra space in the electrical panel.
If you didn’t have much space in the panel, you can consider putting it on a lighting circuit.
Can be shared by other low amperage appliances:
The average amperage of a range hood rate is between 5 to 7 amps. It can easily be put together with other low amperage appliances that are compatible with it. The goal is to not connect an appliance that will exceed the amperage of the circuit breaker.
The compatibility of the range hood allows it to be put on a general-purpose circuit. It can be either plugged or hardwired into the circuit.
How many amps does a range hood use?
Whether you hardwire your range hood or put it on an outlet, it is important to know the number of amps that it uses. Depending on its usage, you can select a circuit breaker.
Even while choosing appliances that you can run along with it, you need to take the range hood’s amperage into account.
A range hood uses between 5 to 7 amps. You can either put it on a dedicated circuit, or you can run it in an outlet with other appliances. The appliances need to be less powerful than the range hood.
For example, you can’t run an electric stove with it as a stove draws 30 to 50 amps. But you can connect an over-the-range microwave oven that only draws 5 to 10 amps.
Does a range hood need to be grounded?
If you just moved into a house and the range hood is very noisy and disturbing, it might be a good idea to replace it. Now, many old houses don’t have a grounded circuit. Most old houses only have two wires that connect to the range hood.
Now if you have to replace the range hood, it’s not necessary to have it grounded.
But, even though it is not required by code, it will be wise to install a ground fault circuit interrupter. This is for precaution and safety purposes.
Though it is unlikely to get an electric shock while replacing a range hood, since most of these are made of metal, a faulty range hood still possesses the risk of electrocution. A ground fault circuit interrupter will prevent this.
What appliances can share a circuit with a range hood?
A range hood can share a circuit with appliances that are compatible in amperage and won’t cause overloading. The main thing to check here is that the amperage must match and not exceed the limit.
Following are some low amp appliances that you can put together in the same circuit with a range hood.
Over the range microwave oven:
These days, it is very common for homes to have an over-the-range microwave oven. If your new place is designed with an over-the-range microwave oven, it can share a circuit with the range hood with a 15 to 20 amps circuit breaker. The microwave oven draws 5 to 10 Amps.
A 2 slice toaster uses only 4 amps while a 4 slice toaster uses 9 amps. Both can be shared with a range hood put on a 20 amp breaker. A range hood draws anywhere from 5 to 7 amps.
So there will be no risk of overloading when a toaster and a range hood share a circuit.
Every house has a blender. A blender uses only 5 to 6 amps which is very low. It can share the same circuit with a range hood without any risk of overloading.
A crockpot used for high heat cooking draws only 3 to 5 amps which is very low. It is a very compatible appliance to share a circuit with a range hood.
You can also connect a food processor to the same circuit. A food processor dresses between 5 to 8 amps which are also compatible to share a circuit with a range hood. Also, a food processor is an essential appliance in almost every household kitchen.
You can easily connect a coffee maker to the same circuit connected to a range hood. A coffee maker draws only 5 to 8 amps which are quite low and won’t create any risk of overloading.
You can even use an electric kettle by putting it on a shared circuit with the range hood. An electric kettle draws between 6 to 12 amps. Even if the kettle draws the highest 12 amps, it can share a circuit if the breaker’s amperage is 20 amps.
Where to put the outlet for a range hood?
The setup for a range hood depends on the electrical wiring system of the house and the type of range hood you are using. In most cases, a range hood doesn’t necessarily need an individual circuit and can be wired into the existing wiring system.
But, if you have an existing over-the-range microwave oven or a plan to set one up, you will need an electrical outlet.
The best place for an electrical outlet is inside the cabinets that are installed above, or by the side of the range hood itself. This outlet needs to be wired on a discrete line. Also, the outlet has to be grounded. This will ensure a safe installation of the range hood.
A range hood doesn’t need to run on a dedicated circuit, but it’s a nice idea to avoid chances of overloading. You can run a range hood on a circuit with other appliances that are compatible with amperage. Many people recommend using a dedicated circuit to ensure safety and functionality.