Most modern homes come equipped with a dishwasher in the kitchen; previously, dishwashers were not a common household appliance, so most homes did not have one. If you have bought a dishwasher for your home and are wondering what size circuit breaker or fuse you should use for it to stay safe, you have come to the right place.
Dishwasher breaker size
Generally, dishwashers draw 10A to 15A of current while operating. It may require more if there are more dishes to wash than usual. The starting currents may vary depending on the build of the dishwasher. Therefore, you can stick to using a 15A circuit breaker for your dishwasher.
In a home, the most power-consuming room is probably the kitchen. The kitchen is full of high-power-consuming appliances and electronics, and it often is the only room in the house with multiple dedicated circuits. A dishwasher is an example of a mighty device that pulls in significant wattage and sometimes requires its dedicated circuit and circuit breaker.
Dishwashers usually require an average of 10 amperes and 1800 watts to function optimally. However, the wattage depends on the efficiency of the dishwasher and the load of dishes it is washing. A dishwasher with higher efficiency will use as little as 1200 watts, while dishwashers with lower efficiency will pull approximately 2400 watts.
Dishwashers also have a current surge during a strenuous cycle. As a result, local electrical codes and the Nation Electrical Code (NEC) require the dishwasher to have its dedicated electrical circuit. A dedicated circuitry will prevent overloading during a power surge, and installing a circuit breaker will be easier.
Since dishwashers require a steady 10 to 15 amperes of current while running, you can opt for using a 15A or a 20A circuit breaker. You also have to consider the power surge so that the circuit breaker can tolerate that amount of current flow in the circuit. Otherwise, the circuit breaker will trip if the dishwasher works at its maximum potential.
However, not all dishwashers require the same amount of current to function. Various dishwashers produced by different manufacturers have different power needs. So, before choosing a circuit breaker for your dishwasher, consider reading the manual to understand what size circuit breaker will suit you best.
If you have a Whirlpool dishwasher in your kitchen, you can expect that dishwasher to use approximately 15 amperes current and 1800 watts of power. Check the efficiency of your dishwasher. The efficiency also determines the capacity of the circuit breaker. For such dishwashers, you can use a 20A circuit breaker to provide enough headroom to tolerate the power surge.
Similar to Whirlpool or Maytag dishwashers, KitchenAid dishwashers also use 15 amperes of current and 1800 watts of power. The wattage may vary depending on the overall efficiency of the dishwasher and the amount of load. Newer KitchenAid dishwashers are more efficient and use less than 1800 watts of power. Older KitchenAid dishwashers were less efficient, so they used more than 1800 watts. You can select a 20A circuit breaker. The additional capacity will prevent the circuit breaker from tripping during strenuous cycles.
There are various other dishwasher manufacturers. So, if you own a different dishwasher from another manufacturer, do not worry. Follow the instructions and guidelines manual, and obtain the correct circuit breaker.
Are dishwashers 15 amp or 20 amp?
On average, dishwashers use about 10 amperes of current. But while doing heavy cycles, the current and power consumption can increase to more than 15 amperes. Also, different dishwashers draw different values of current.
Some dishwashers use 15 amperes of current and around 1800 watts of power. During heavy cycles, the power consumption may increase to more than 1800 watts and 15 amperes. As a result, it is always a great idea to check the dishwasher guideline before choosing a circuit breaker for the dishwasher.
On the other hand, you will see some dishwashers in restaurants and hotels that are larger and can handle more loads than the ones in residences. Those dishwashers can use up to 20 amperes of current while operating, so they need a bigger capacity breaker. They require a 20A or a 25A circuit breaker.
Additionally, dishwashers manufactured by various companies may use a different amount of current. You will often see certain dishwashers use just 10A, while some will use more. Therefore, look for what amperes your dishwasher uses before purchasing a dedicated circuit breaker.
Should I replace a 15 breaker with a 20 Amp breaker for a dishwasher?
Before installing a circuit breaker, it is advisable to check the dishwasher guidelines to ensure you are installing the most suitable one. Checking the manual before installing will help you avoid making a mistake. There are two reasons why you may need to replace a 15A circuit breaker with a 20A circuit breaker.
Firstly, you will need to change the circuit breaker if you have installed a circuit breaker with an unsuitable capacity. If you notice your circuit breaker tripping frequently or during strenuous loads, you should replace the circuit breaker with a higher one. A higher-rated circuit breaker will be able to tolerate the power surge of the dishwasher.
Secondly, you can install a 20A circuit breaker instead of a 15A one if you plan on powering the garbage disposal and the dishwasher using the same circuit. In that case, the combined current usage will be more than 15A. So, to stay safe, you can replace the 15A circuit breaker with a 20A one.
3 factors that determine breaker size for dishwasher
Several factors determine the circuit breaker size of a dishwasher. So, before making the final decision of which circuit breaker to install, consider the following points:
A circuit breaker must allow the amount of current required by the dishwasher to flow through the circuit. If the dishwasher requires 15 amperes to operate, it is obvious you cannot install a 10A circuit breaker. So, check the power label on the dishwasher to understand the minimum amperes required by the dishwasher. Then proceed to choose the circuit breaker.
The wiring will support a maximum amount of current. Max current limit will depend on the kind and size of the wires. If they cannot handle more than 20A, installing a 25A circuit breaker will allow more current to flow and essentially melt the insulation of the wires. If you do not know how much they can tolerate, you can call an electrician to help you.
Before installing a circuit breaker, experts advise consulting the local electrical principle. Some require a specific capacity circuit breaker or a GFCI outlet. Therefore, see if there is any requirement that you have to meet and then install the breaker.
These are the main factors that determine the breaker size of a dishwasher. Keep these in mind when you install a circuit breaker for your dishwasher.
How to wire a dishwer to a breaker?
Wiring a dishwasher to a breaker is not challenging, and you can do it yourself by following the steps below. However, before you start, turn off the breaker and ensure there is no current.
Open the electrical panel of the dishwasher:
You will find the electrical panel at the bottom of the dishwasher. Remove both the screws holding the cover in place and reveal the electrical panel of the dishwasher.
After you have opened the metal cover, you will find the electrical panel labeled with some warnings. Unscrew the metal door and open it to reveal the wires of the dishwasher.
Bring in wires from the breaker inside the dishwasher electrical panel:
The wires from the breaker will be coming out of the wall where you will be installing the dishwasher. Usually, there will be a live red wire, a neutral black wire, and a green earth wire.
Lightly pull out the wires to extend them from the wall and insert the wires into the electrical panel of the dishwasher.
Connect the corresponding wires:
Inside the electrical panel, you will see a live red wire, a black neutral wire, and a green earth wire. Connect the red wire to the red wire, the black to the black, and the green to the green.
Close the electrical panel door:
After you have connected the wires, close the electrical panel door. Do not forget to screw the metal door.
You have successfully connected your dishwasher to the circuit breaker.
Choosing the most suitable circuit breaker for a dishwasher is a crucial step for the dishwasher to work effectively. It is not a challenging task, and you can connect the dishwasher to the circuit breaker by following the appropriate steps correctly.