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Do Dishwashers Need GFCI?

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Last updated on August 14th, 2022 at 01:28 pm

It is very common for many people to purchase an electrical appliance and plug it into a wall socket for use. It is okay for minor appliances, but when it comes to heavy appliances like dishwashers, you will have to consider some things before using them.

The most significant thing about a dishwasher is a large amount of electricity it consumes.

Dishwashers need a GFCI for protection. It is a requirement by the National Electrical Code(NEC). Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) are required for 125 volts to 250 volts of electrical outlets, while dishwashers use a current of 230 volts/15amp. So dishwashers do not compulsorily need a GFCI circuit breaker.

Can A Dishwasher Be Plugged Into A Normal Outlet?

Yes, a dishwasher can be plugged into a standard outlet. You must not hardwire or plug your dishwasher on any special outlet. It can run on at least 120 volts of power, so if your standard outlet is compatible with this, you can then plug your dishwasher into that outlet.

But a regular outlet might not be enough when handling demanding tasks, especially when the dishes are many. So you will have to do fewer dishes if you are using a standard outlet. Like on certain days, you may best use the dishwasher more than once to avoid piling up dishes.

The dishwasher will be less of a call for energy supply in recent times. This is because your regular 120-volt outlet will not be as tough and resistant as a special one designed explicitly for a dishwasher. The equipment might draw plenty of extra strength, and if the special outlet can work for an hour, the standard outlet would not last that time. It is very power-sensitive.

So, when the demand for energy increases due to the increased workload, you will undoubtedly be forced to get a better outlet because the standard 120-volt outlet will no longer be able to keep your dishwasher going for such tasks. To prevent such situations from occurring, you should use a particular outlet.

Can A Dishwasher Share Its Circuit With Other Appliances?

It is not advisable to share circuits for dishwashers and other appliances. This is because a dishwasher consumes so much power and might end up damaging your other household appliances when you share circuits with those other appliances. Depending mainly on how much energy the appliances consume.

A dishwasher utilizes heavy power consumption; thus, it isn’t a good idea to put it with different kitchen appliances on the same circuit. Let us take an instance of a kitchen fridge that consumes almost the same amount of electricity as a dishwasher. Unfortunately, there is no way to share circuits with such an appliance.

However, if the companion appliances require less voltage, it is okay to share the circuit with your dishwasher. I only recommend this for temporal and emergency needs as, conventionally, your dishwasher should not share its circuit with other appliances. Ideally, it should be connected to a circuit with just an outlet.

Do Your Dishwasher Need A Dedicated Circuit?

Indeed, a dishwasher needs its dedicated circuit. That’s because appliances like dishwashers cause a heavy load on the household’s electrical system. If it shares a circuit with different appliances, there is a strong possibility of an overload causing the circuit breaker to trip.

A dedicated circuit is made just for one appliance. It only leads to its circuit-breaker and can only be found in your electric box. The socket of a dedicated circuit must always have only one outlet and should permanently be wired to your electric box.

The NEC didn’t just implement dedicated circuitry for a dishwasher to dictate how to handle our appliances. It is an essential and unavoidable requirement as it guarantees safety, separation, and unique wiring. Further explanations are contained below.

1. Safety

An overload can cause wires to heat up significantly and lead to an outbreak of fires. A dishwasher needs to be connected to a dedicated electric circuit to save you from disastrous problems.

Apart from the high level of energy consumption when scrambling through its washing dishes, the appliance’s need for power increases. For these reasons, do not share the power required by your dishwasher with other instruments to prevent the threat of working up the machine or even resulting in an outbreak of fire.

2. Separation

Using a different circuit to power your dishwasher will be a big plus to the device. When separated, the dishwasher would have to bear its burden regardless of other appliances. And this will also relax your mind to an extent if there is an electrical fault in your kitchen.

At least knowing that your dishwasher is on a separate circuit. And if the dishwasher would have any issues with its circuitry, it would be described with the dishwasher’s dedicated circuit. So it would not have anything to do with other kitchen appliances.

3. Unique wiring

Dishwashers are very demanding and need a relatively high amount of energy to perform better. In addition, they generally require a particular wire length to supply the amount of current it needs. With this, the issue of too much load on wires causing them to burn will be avoided.

This is because the load will become compatible with the wire. When using a separate circuit system for your dishwasher, you can offer it the proper cord length it requires. At an exact time, all other circuits can stay with everyday-sized wiring. A dedicated circuit for a dishwasher is a standard requirement.

Is It Better To Hardwire Or Plug-In A Dishwasher?

Regarding dishwashers, you should plug them right into a wall socket like every other piece of equipment. However, the option of hardwiring it to the main electric box is also a good idea. But for flexibility’s sake, a plug-in dishwasher is better.

Suppose you have got a hardwired circuit for the dishwasher in the kitchen, The area of the dishwasher is permanent until you rewire the house over again. However, the hard wiring connection will help the dishwasher to always be clean in appearance, as there are no wall sockets or extra wiring close by.

One challenge of hardwiring is that converting dishwashers would always require the assistance of an electrician. So whenever any slight issue arises, you will always have to keep calling and paying to fix it.

And some of these are things you can handle, but you have no choice but to keep spending on minor issues until you’re comfortable reconnecting them.

But when your dishwasher is not hardwired, you can choose to plug it into the socket and plug it out at will. You will not have any issue updating your dishwasher since you can remove the power cord from your outlet and move it.

The position of your dishwasher is only confined to how far from the wall outlet your cord is.

So, with the plugin system of connection, you have authority over the connectivity and mobility of your dishwasher. This option will save you the time to ring up an electrician to help you with minor issues and some money as well.

So by weighing the excesses of both methods, you will agree with me that the plug-in way is preferable to the hardwired method of connecting your dishwashers.


When dealing with electricity, utmost care is required as any mistake is costly. For example, a dishwasher is a cumbersome electrical appliance that requires a dedicated circuit.

And this circuit should not be used alongside any other kitchen equipment. For example, it would be better you did not hardwire your dishwasher, as this will deny you the ability to reposition it.

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