Who doesn’t love the functionality of a washing machine, right? It has become a must-have item in our household. With a washing machine, you can wash your clothes in a matter of minutes.
You will need the right-sized circuit breaker to prevent the machine from getting damaged during the current overload.
To protect your washing machine from current overflow, you might be wondering what size breaker you will have to install for it. So, let’s find out what size breaker is required for the washing machine.
Washing machine breaker size
A circuit breaker of size 20 Amps is required to protect the washing machine during a current overload or short circuit. According to NEC(National Electrical Code), an appliance that uses 120 Volt in the laundry room needs to be protected with a 20 Amp individual circuit breaker.
A circuit breaker is one of the most important parts that you will have to consider before installing an appliance in your laundry.
Without a circuit breaker, your appliance will get damaged if the current overflow in the circuit and during the short circuit. So, to protect an appliance, installing a breaker of the right size is very important.
At first, you will have to determine the perfect size of a circuit breaker for a washing machine. The washer is one of the most frequently used appliances in our homes.
It usually consumes 2000 watts of electrical power and 10 amps of electrical current. You will require a circuit breaker size of 20 Amps to safeguard your house.
Although a washing machine uses 10 amps of electricity, a circuit breaker of 20 amps will be perfect to keep the appliance and your house safe. This is due to the fact that the washing machine can withstand 20 Ampere current.
But, if the current flow goes above 20 Amps it will get damaged and can also start a fire.
This circuit breaker size also complies with the National Electrical Code (NEC). It states that you can have a 20A specifically designated individual circuit breaker protecting a 120-volt service in your laundry room.
In addition to that, according to MCL (Maximum Continuous Load), a 10-amp washing machine can be adequately powered by a 20-amp supply.
MCL must always be taken into account while choosing the ideal breaker size for any item you may have. So, you can use a 20 amp circuit breaker for your washing machine without any issues.
A circuit breaker is engineered in such a way that it can sustain 80 percent continuous load. So, you can still plug in a few more items along with the washing machine before it trips.
That being said, not every washing machine requires a 20 Amp circuit breaker to stay safe during a short circuit and electric current overload.
If you purchase a washing machine unit with better features and a better washing cycle, you will need a circuit breaker of more than 20 Amps. In fact, a few washing machines require a 30 Amp circuit breaker.
Getting a circuit breaker of the right size is very important to keep your house and appliance safe from any electrical accidents.
If you get the right sized circuit breaker, it will trip if the circuit is shorted or current overloads, keeping the appliance safe.
Does a washing machine need a 20 amp circuit?
A washing machine requires a 20 amp circuit breaker to stay safe from short circuits and electrical overload.
This is due to the fact that the electric current usage of most washing machines is 10 amperes. So, a washing machine will not get damaged if the current reaches up to 20 amps.
A circuit breaker is designed in such a way that it can handle continuous load up to 80 percent. 80% of 20 Amp current is 16 ampere.
So, when you install a 20 amp circuit for the washing machine, you will be able to connect a couple more small devices in the circuit breaker.
You should never run your washing machine without a fully functional circuit breaker. If you do so, you can risk damaging the unit and also your house due to any electrical accident.
So, you should always keep a spare circuit breaker for your washing machine.
3 factors that determine the breaker size for a washing machine
There are numerous factors that determine the breaker size for a washing machine. Knowing the factors that determine the breaker size for a washing machine is very important for getting the right-sized circuit breaker.
If you know all the factors properly, you can get the perfect-sized breaker with minimum effort and time.
The factors that determine the breaker size for a washing machine are the wattage of the appliance, electric current, and the number of phases. Let’s take a look in detail at the factors that determine the breaker size for a washing machine.
Electric current consumption of washing machine:
The main factor that determines the breaker size for a washing machine is its electric current consumption. The circuit breaker for a washing machine will have to be of a size that has a higher current withstanding capacity than what that unit consumes.
If the washing machine uses a 10 amp electric current, then you should use a 20 Amp circuit breaker for it.
The wattage of the washing machine:
The wattage of the washing machine is also one of the major factors that determine the breaker size of a washing machine. The higher the element wattage of a washing machine, the higher the circuit breaker size will be.
Number of phases:
The number of phases in the washing machine also affects the circuit breaker size of the washing machine.
There are basically two types of phases – one and three. The circuit breaker size will vary depending on the number of phases in the washing machine.
How to choose breaker size for a washing machine?
Choosing the size of the circuit breaker for a washing machine is not as complicated as it may seem to you at first.
You can do it quite easily and effortlessly in a matter of minutes. However, you will have to do it in the right method to prevent damage to the appliance and the house.
Let’s take a look at how you can choose a breaker size for a washing machine.
Identify the watts usage of the washing machine:
The watts usage is one of the main factors for determining the circuit breaker size of the washing machine. If a washing machine consumes more wattage, the circuit breaker size will be higher.
So, you will have to identify at first how many watts of power your washing machine consumes. Most of the recently launched washing machines consume 2000 watts of electric power.
Find the voltage usage of the washing machine:
Now you should check how many volts the washing machine consumes. The voltage consumption of most washing machines is 120 volts.
Determine the electric current consumption:
The electric current consumption is the most important factor that determines the size of the circuit breaker.
The size of the circuit breaker should be 5 or 10 amps higher than what the appliance consumes. If the washing machine uses a 10 amp current, the circuit breaker should be 20 amps.
What type of circuit breaker for a washer?
The type of circuit breaker required for a washing machine is a standard breaker. This type of circuit breaker basically includes both double pole and single pole circuit breakers.
That being said, if you install your washing machine in your bathroom, then you should use a GFCI circuit breaker. The GFCI or ground fault circuit interrupter circuit breaker will trip if there is any water damage in the bathroom.
It will prevent any electrical accidents due to water. So, your house and washing machine will remain safe even if there is water leakage.
Getting the right sized circuit breaker is very important to keep your washing machine safe. The right type of circuit breaker will trip immediately if there is a current overflow and a short circuit.
To protect a washing machine that uses 10 Amp current from current overload, you should use a 20 Amp circuit breaker. You can use both standard and GFCI circuit breakers for your washing machine. If the current consumption of the washer is higher than 10 amp, the circuit breaker size will increase.