Can Dishwasher and Refrigerator be On Same Circuit?

By - Hs Saini

Updated on -

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We purchase electrical appliances from the store without being conscious of the kind of circuit they best operate. When the gadget’s plug fits into circuit, and the device starts functioning, we think that’s all.

We all know refrigerators and dishwashers require a power source to operate, but can they be on the same circuit?

Yes, a dishwasher and refrigerator can be on the same circuit if you can reach the requirements on the NEC. However, you could wake up one morning to find spoiled food in the refrigerator. That’s because the Circuit breaker tripped because of the suppressing workload. So, a dishwasher and refrigerator being on the same circuit may be possible but not commendable.

Does A Dishwasher Need To Be On A Dedicated Circuit?

Yes, a dishwasher needs a dedicated circuit. This requirement is due to technological advancement in modern dishwashers manufacturing and the electrical power they consume during their operations. Having a customized circuit reduces the current loads on the countertops. Meanwhile, sharing a circuit with other appliances may trip the circuit breaker.  

Nevertheless, there are different dishwasher models, but an average dishwasher is recommended to have a dedicated circuit.

Furthermore, being on its circuit reduces the tendency of a fire outbreak due to the overheating of wires. The overheating is a result of the suppressing load.

Notwithstanding, placing a suppressing load on the home’s electrical system might be dangerous. This may even lead to an unexpected power outage. To avoid any of this mess, a dedicated circuit will be best suitable for a dishwasher.   

Although, some models of dishwashers will be able to share the same circuits with other less power-consuming appliances.

Thus, depending on the type of circuit in use. Dishwashers are now complicated and have extra features. Therefore customizing its circuit would be a good idea.

With this in mind, If you’re running on an old kitchen wiring system when remodeling your kitchen, the current code requirements often demand adding more circuits to the kitchen.

Household appliances like the dishwasher should run on a dedicated circuit of 15-20 amp .

Meanwhile, if you’re going for a 15 amp circuit for the dishwasher, ensure using a 14/2 NM wire with a ground. If it’s a 20 amp circuit, then use a 12/2 NM wire with a ground. Ensure to make references to the NEC book for your circuit requirements.

Also, a dedicated circuit ensures your dishwasher keeps running even though any circuit of your other appliances experiences an electrical fault.

Do Refrigerators Need To Be On A Dedicated Circuit?

Unlike the dishwasher, refrigerators surprisingly draw up to six times their running current before initiating their operations.

Because of this, some manufacturers’ guides recommend a dedicated circuit for their refrigerators. To ensure a safer operation, you should follow the recommendations.

With all this in mind; 

Yes, refrigerators need to be on a dedicated circuit. If a refrigerator should use another appliance’s circuit, it may draw current, which the circuit probably won’t carry. So, a refrigerator running on a multi-purpose circuit might cause the circuit breaker to trip.  

In addition, refrigerators are known to be noncontinuous duty loads. This implies that a refrigerator draws current for less than three hours.

So, other noncontinuous appliances may be able to stay on the same circuit. As long as the total load is within the range, the circuit breaker can carry.

There are no laws that require refrigerators to be on a dedicated circuit. However, as I earlier said; Some refrigerator manufacturing companies may recommend a dedicated circuit for their refrigerators. So, to be on the safe side, those recommendations are to be implemented.

Refrigerators are always functioning to keep our food from getting spoiled. To ensure this is possible, a dedicated circuit is essential to effectively supply this uninterrupted power.

Most refrigerators usually require a voltage of 120v to initiate their operations. Recently, most refrigerators eventually required a dedicated 20 amp circuit. For this reason, a 12/2 NM wire with a ground is required for the wiring.

This circuit may require AFCI protection. The arc-fault circuit interrupter detects sparking and shut down current flow before any unforeseen incident like a fire outbreak can occur.

In addition, If a refrigerator is on a dedicated or multi-purpose receptacle circuit. To avoid electrocution and other unforeseen incidents, there should be GFCI Protection.

A ground fault circuit interrupter protects you against shock. Meanwhile, the circuit breaker protects against circuit overload.

What Appliances Can Be On The Same Circuit?

Appliances that relatively need the same current to initiate operations can practically share the same circuit. In other words, appliances that require 120 volts can be on the same circuit as other appliances of that same volts.

Even though electrical appliances require a dedicated circuit, some can just run on the same circuit with other appliances smoothly. While this may be true; All appliances operate best on their circuit.

One thing should be clear. For appliances to be on the same circuit doesn’t mean they are operating at the same time. For an appliance to share a circuit depends on the voltage it can carry and the amount of current coming out from the circuit itself.      

Therefore, a fridge sharing the same circuit in the kitchen with a kettle is okay. This scenario is because they may need the same amount of volts to initiate their operation. However, appliances can be on the same circuit based on the following;

1. The Appliance’s Power Ratings

The power ratings of appliances are mostly written on their manuals and, at times, on the appliance itself. The voltage ratings on an appliance reveal the amount of power it can handle and the amount of power it needs for work.

Sometimes if you want to find your appliance’s power ratings, multiply the value for the current by the value of voltage. To enumerate, the power consumption of your electrical appliances can indicate whether they’re capable of being on the same circuit.

For instance, when you buy a microwave of 260-680 Watts from the store, ensure the other appliance’s circuit can supply the power the microwave requires. In order not to incur any overheating.

2. The Circuit

The circuit itself equally should be in consideration for appliances to be on the same circuit. This device is what the current flows through before getting to your appliances, and it’s of different types.

Some circuits serve your lambs while others are for plug-in outlets; circuits in the kitchen usually serve your heavy-power consuming appliances, while the other circuits serve the low-power consuming appliances mostly in the living room.

For illustration, If a circuit can only allow a current of 10 amps to flow through it. Ensure the other appliance that would want to be on that same circuit doesn’t exceed that amps. At this point precisely, you should know that circuits should also be considered for appliances to share electrical outlets.


A dishwasher and a refrigerator can be on the same circuit. Although, it may cause your circuit breaker nuisance tripping.

Appliances that require the same amount of current for their operation might be on the same circuit. In brief, a circuit also determines if an appliance could share it with another.

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