Yes, but there is an exception allowed. The National Electrical Code (NEC) requires a dedicated circuit for any major electrical appliances in a home, such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, and dishwashers. The NEC calls it an “individual branch circuit,” although it means the same thing.
Although it's an accepted standard for homes to have a separate circuit in the panel for the fridge, the NEC does allow a refrigerator to be connected to one of the two required 20-amp kitchen counter receptacle circuits [NEC 210.52(B)(1)]. We hardly ever see it done, but it is allowed. And no other permanently installed kitchen appliances, like disposals or dishwashers, are granted this exception per NEC.
Also see our blog posts Does a home inspector check for dedicated circuits? and Is a refrigerator receptacle outlet required to be GFCI-protected?
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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about ELECTRIC PANELS:
• What causes copper wires to turn green or black in an electric panel?
• What is the maximum number of circuit breakers allowed in an electric panel?
• When should a corroded or damaged electric panel cabinet or disconnect box be replaced?
• What is a tandem circuit breaker?
• When did arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) breakers first become required?
• Can an electric panel be located in a closet?
• Can an electric panel be located in a bathroom?
• Can you add circuit breakers by different manufacturers to an electric panel if they fit?
• My circuit breaker won't reset. What's wrong?
• What is a split bus electric panel?
• How do I identify a combination AFCI (CAFCI) circuit breaker?
• What does a circuit breaker with a yellow or white test button indicate?
• What is the maximum gap allowed between the front of a recessed electric panel box and the wall surface surrounding it?
• What are the requirements for NM-cables entering an electric panel box?
• Why is a fuse box/panel an insurance problem for homebuyers?
• Why is bundled wiring in an electric panel a defect?
• What is the difference between GFCI and AFCI circuit breakers?
• Why are old electrical components not always "grandfathered" as acceptable by home inspectors?
• What happens when you press the "TEST" button on a circuit breaker in an electric panel?
• What is a Dual Function Circuit Interrupter (DFCI)?
• What is the difference between a Combination Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (CAFCI) and an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) circuit breaker?
• What is the difference between "grounded" and "grounding" electrical conductors?
• What does it mean when a wire is "overstripped" at a circuit breaker?
• Why is an old fuse panel dangerous?
• Who is the manufacturer of those "bad" electric panels?
• Why is the circuit breaker stuck in the middle?
• What is a double tap at a circuit breaker?
• What is the right electric wire size for a circuit breaker in an electric panel?
• What is the life expectancy of a circuit breaker?
Visit our ELECTRIC PANELS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.