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How Many Amps Does A Washer Machine Use?

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

Most people hardly take time to know the current requirements of their newly purchased washing machines. This is a very wrong thing to do as the current used by your appliances determines the kind of circuits they should be plugged into.

Using a circuit that is not compatible with your washing machine could cause serious electrical damage in your home.

A washing machine uses a 10 amp circuit to function. It would be best not to put any current below this specification to use as it will threaten your household appliances and your life. Asides from this, the knowledge will also help determine the circuit breaker and the type of circuitry to use for your washing machine.

What Amp Breaker Do You Need For A Washing Machine?

When setting your washing machine for use, you will need an amp breaker of 120 volts 20 amps. It should be a standard pole breaker with a properly fixed circuit. A 20-amp breaker is the most effective to use as it can take care of as much as 80% of the amperage rating of your washing machine.

You can also use an amp circuit breaker of 120 volts 15 amp for your washing machine. Provided your amp breaker is between 102 and 132 volts, it is still compatible with the washing machine. But you should not use any size below these.

The amp breaker will help in turning off the electricity in case of an overload, so not having a breaker for your circuit can bring about electric shocks and most likely fire outbreaks in your house.

Your current requirements determine the degree of damage the circuit can competently manage.

Can I Use An Extension Cord To Connect My Washing Machine?

Yes, you can use an extension wire to connect your washing machine. However, it is not always advisable to do this because a washing machine draws a large amount of electrical current to operate. It is indeed not advisable to make use of it, but that does not necessarily mean you can not use it.

Do not get confused with the point I’m trying to make; keep reading, and you will get to know how to use an extension cord with your washing machine without any problems.

If your washing machine has a long cord and is positioned where it can reach your socket, then you don’t have to worry about getting an extension cord. Using it directly is the best alternative.

But some other washing machines come with very short cords that barely reach your electrical outlets. It is a case like this that requires an extension cord.

Due to the large amount of electricity a washing machine consumes, you will have to keep a few things in mind to ensure a safe and successful installation.

The first thing you should do is go through the data plate on the back of your washer and note the amperage rating.

This is the most important thing to do as it will guide you throughout the process. After you have taken note of the amperage rating, you can go on with purchasing your extension cord.

Your amperage rating will help you purchase an extension with a cord that will handle the amperage status of your washing machine.

For instance, an amperage rating of 10 and below requires a 14-16 gauge extension cord. Make sure that the outlet on the cord can accommodate the plug. A three-prong washer plug should be on a cord that has a three-prong outlet.

So this is all that you need to know to consider using an extension cord for your washing machine. And you will not have any issue of tripping or an electric fire outbreak.

Does A Washing Machine Need To Be On A Dedicated Circuit?

Yes, it needs to be on a dedicated circuit. Normally, all laundry equipment are supposed to be on dedicated circuits which is a requirement of the National Electrical Code (NEC). A dedicated circuit ensures that sufficient power is available for your washing machine. In this way, it can function at its best and would not have any issue of overload.

Large appliances like a washing machine pull a lot of power; this phenomenon can be tasking on your regular electrical board.

Therefore, the dedicated circuit system enables your washing machine to operate without causing regular breaker trips or blowing up your fuses.

And as you already know, the tripping of your circuit is a warning sign; aside from that, it can also be very uncomfortable working with a washing machine that trips frequently.

More so, if a washing machine has an electric motor, a dedicated circuit’s wiring is essential. It is similar to having a functional circuit breaker.

A circuit being dedicated means the appliance connected with it enjoys full access to its energy. However, it would be best if you were careful as any form of carelessness can cause fire outbursts in the worst-case scenario.

But you can use a regular circuit for your washing machine as well, and it will run. The only thing is; there are risks involved in doing so and the discomfort that comes with the frequent tripping.

And when using your regular circuit board, make sure your washing machine is the only device plugged into the circuit. If you must use the circuit for any other device, then that device should not be electrical.

How Many Amps Does A Washer-Dryer Combo Use?

The washer and dryer combo can still use a circuit required by only the washing machine, which is 120 volts 20 amp. Since the two appliances are laundry tools, there is probably no issue using them on the same circuit. Additionally, it is a proposed law of the National Electrical Code (NEC).

The combo we are talking about here, which is compatible with the 120 volts 20 amp circuit, is the washer gas dryer combo. An electric dryer requires a 30 amp circuit breaker which is more than that of a washing machine.

When it comes to the case of an entirely different electrical drying machine from a washing machine, it would no longer be possible to use them on a 120 volts 20 amp circuit.

An electric dryer and a washer will consume a lot of currents which is usually about 208 – 240 volts on a 30 amps circuit breaker. That is a lot of power.

However, for this combination, the size of your breaker must be equivalent to or lower than the wire amp rating feeding the circuit, and appliances on that circuit should not exceed the max rating of the wire or breaker.

In a dedicated circuit for a dryer, the normal size of the circuit would be 30 amps.


The larger the overall build of your appliance, the more amount of energy it will require. Since a washing machine has a 10 amp circuit, ensure the circuit breaker is 120 volt 20 amp.

It should be in the laundry room with other related equipment, and in using your machine, the electrical demand should always be in line with its amperage rating.

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