Appliances That Need Dedicated Circuits, Part 3

Green background with a washer and fridge icon

In our last installment on appliances that need dedicated circuits, we’ll address the unsung appliance heroes in your home that often run behind-the-scenes, unnoticed.

You may not notice these appliances (unless something goes wrong), but they still need a dedicated circuit:

Heating and air conditioning units

Central heating and air conditioning systems keep your home and family comfy – and use quite a bit of energy doing it – 3,000 to 5,000 watts of power every hour they are used to move conditioned air through your home’s ductwork and throughout your home. The good news of all that energy consumption? If your central heating and air system isn’t on a dedicated circuit, you’ll figure it out pretty quickly.


Like central heating and air conditioning systems, electric furnaces also used forced air and ductwork to distribute conditioned air throughout your home – in this case heated air. Typically found in colder regions, electric furnaces consume quite a bit of energy, depending on the model. Ranging from 10 to 50 kilowatts, a typical modern high efficiency electric furnace such as you would use on an average 2,400 square foot home uses an estimated 18,000 watts for heating when in-use.

Space heaters

Though not quite as out-of-sight, out-of-mind as your central heating and air conditioner, space heaters are often overlooked when it comes to dedicated circuits. Unfortunately, this also contributes to their bad reputation when it comes to causing home fires. If you find your space heater isn’t running very long before you’re running out to your breaker panel, the likely culprit is an overloaded circuit. You’ll definitely need a dedicated circuit to handle the 1,500 watts necessary to ensure the safe operation of most space heater models.

Water heaters

If you’re not a fan of cold showers, you may want to enlist the help of a dedicated circuit in handling the typical 4,000 watt needs of the average water heater.

Sump pumps

Sump pumps used in basements and other areas where the water table rises above the foundation keep building structures and contents dry. However they use a lot of energy when in use: 800 to 1,300 watts for 1/3 horsepower models; 1,050 to 2,150 watts for those powered by 1/2 horsepower. If your sump pump isn’t on a dedicated circuit, you may end up breaking out your waders – or a canoe.

Water pumps

Used to pump water from your well to your home, water pumps utilize on average 750 to 1,125 watts for operation. If your water pump goes down due to an overloaded circuit, you’re looking at some serious problems: No running water - which means no way to flush or wash your hands. Keep things sanitary. Make certain your water pump is on a dedicated circuit.

Ignoring the appliances that are running in the background of your home? They could have you running – for the breaker box - or the fire extinguisher – if they’re not properly wired. Ensured the safety of your home and family. Contact Mr. Electric® today.


For Further Reading:

Appliances That Need Dedicated Circuits, Part 1

Appliances That Need Dedicated Circuits, Part 2

Post Round Up: Electrical Panel Upgrades

How to Read Your Breaker Panel

How to Identify Counterfeit Electrical Products