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What Size Breaker Does a Dishwasher Need?

As an electrician, I get asked a lot about what size breaker a dishwasher needs since choosing the wrong one can lead to many electrical issues.

In general, the dishwasher needs a single-pole circuit breaker, and it’s best to keep its circuit separate from the circuits for your other appliances.

A 15-amp circuit is the ideal size breaker. However, if your dishwasher consumes more electricity or you use the garbage disposal on the same circuit, you can install a 20 amp circuit breaker.

How do you know? Check the info plate. If your dishwasher uses 13A or less, a 15A dedicated circuit breaker will work well.

Check the wiring as well. A 15 amp circuit breaker can be wired with #14 or #12 wire, but a 20 amp breaker can only be wired with #12 wire or better.

Make sure it has a ground and that the cable from your size breaker box to the dishwasher goes straight to the dishwasher.

Some Common Brand Dishwasher Amp Usage

Amp consumption varies by brand and model. Here is a list of how much amperage each brand uses on average.

  • Bosch – 12 amps
  • KitchenAid – 15 amps
  • LG – 15 amps
  • Black & Decker – 12 amps
  • Maytag – 15 amps

Why Do Dishwashers Need a Size Breaker?

Dishwashers typically have a power rating of 1000 or greater, which indicates that they have higher power consumption and require a dedicated circuit breaker.

Furthermore, depending on the wattage, some municipalities demand that home equipment with power ratings of at least 1000 be placed on separate electrical circuits. Dishwashers, ovens, washing machines, dryers, hot tubs, and stoves are all home appliances that fall under this category.

Home appliances connected to the same circuit and have breakers of the same size share electricity. It is not an issue if they only use a tiny amount of electricity, such as lamps, fans, and the like. Nevertheless, items such as computers are susceptible to variations in electricity, and they are prone to losing power or malfunctioning.

As a result, your dishwasher should not share a size breaker with other equipment or appliances that are as sensitive as these.

Is it Necessary for the Dishwasher to Have a 1000-size Breaker?

All appliances that use more than 1000 watts of power must be on their dedicated circuits, according to the rules. Dishwashers need a circuit with at least 15 amps and nothing else plugged into it.

The purpose is to prevent short circuits, which can damage appliances on the same circuit and even your home. Keep in mind that short circuits can cause fires.

Homeowners should know how much power their appliances use so they don’t use up all the power in an outlet. Dishwashers that use more power should only be on a 20-amp circuit breaker.

Should I Replace a 15-Amp Breaker for a Dishwasher with a 20-Amp Breaker?

If you use the wrong circuit breaker in the wrong way, you could start a house fire. The reason is that the wiring for a typical 15-amp breaker can usually safely handle a power draw up to that amount.

So, if you suddenly switch to a 20A breaker and the wiring gathers more electricity than it can handle, it can cause an overloaded circuit.

Should the Dishwasher Be on a GFCI Circuit Breaker?

15 and 10 amp breaker

Some homes have dishwashers that are plugged into GFCI breakers. But GFCI breakers are not required by code, even though they are safer.

A GFCI breaker isn’t bad, but bigger motors can trip the breaker. People use GFCI to protect their equipment so that if there is a complex short, it doesn’t do much damage.

The breakers shouldn’t be hidden (like under the sink); they should be easy to get to. Installing dual-purpose GFCI, make sure you have AFCI protection.

Ground Fault Current Interrupter, or GFCI, is a standard requirement for large dishwashers. It gives you extra protection if the outlet gets wet by turning off the power or tripping the circuit breaker to prevent electrocution or a hard short.

But you need a GFCI if you connect your dishwasher and garbage disposal to the same circuit breaker.

The National Electrical Code says that a GFCI must protect garbage disposals. It means you connect it to a grounded electrical outlet or hardwire it.

Only one GFCI protection is needed per circuit. Dishwashers need a 14/2 NM wire with a separate circuit breaker and a ground. Most of the time, it needs GFCI protection, but AFCI protection depends on how the code is read in each area.

Is a 15-Amp Size Breaker Enough for a Dishwasher?

Dishwashers should be on a different circuit than other appliances with a power rating of 1000 watts or more. A 15 amp breaker can power most dishwashers.

On the other hand, some dishwashers use more power and need a 20-amp circuit breaker.

How do you know?

If the dishwasher doesn’t work when hooked up to a size breaker, it needs a higher amperage.

Get in touch with an electrician and ask them to replace your current circuit breaker with one that can handle 20 amps. You could also buy a new dishwasher that uses less electricity.

Where Do You Put a Dishwasher Outlet?

The outlet for the dishwasher should be in an easy-to-reach place. So, it can’t be behind the dishwasher because you’d have to take it out to get to it.

The water line from the sink’s water valve to the drain helps you figure out where to put it. The dishwasher’s power cord and the plug under your kitchen sink go to the same place.

The dishwasher is hardwired into your home’s plumbing system, which is different from most other appliances. So, put the electrical switches and plugs at least 30cm away from your sink horizontally.

It keeps water from getting in the way of the electric current. Also, it should be easy to plug things in.

Wrapping Up

One of the most important electrical appliances in the kitchen is a dishwasher. So, you must follow the installation rules to ensure it is safe and will last. You need a breaker that can handle between 15 and 20 amps.

Because dishwashers use a lot of power, they should be their circuit breaker. It would be best to have GFCI protection put on the breaker to avoid shocks and fires.


How Many AMPs and Voltage Does a Dishwasher Need?

All home dishwashers have a nominal voltage of 120 volts, but not all use the same amount of current. You may need the breaker size based on how many amps the current is. To figure out the amps, read the label on your appliance to find out how many amps it uses, then match the breaker to that number.

How Much Space Does the Dishwasher Need Behind It?

You must be about a meter away from the power source and about 50 cm away from your water and waste pipes. You are moving the dishwasher closer to the sink.

Most dishwashers last 12 years but can last longer with reasonable care. A GFCI wall outlet is needed for a portable dishwasher to work. GFCI cuts the power to the dishwasher if there is an overload, short circuit, or ground fault, according to OSHA.

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About Sam Orlovsky

AvatarCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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