How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes

Which house appliances require a dedicated electrical circuit in the panel?

Monday, June 11, 2018

Dedicated Circuit = Individual Branch Circuit

Most people understand that “dedicated circuit” means an electrical circuit and breaker that serves only a single appliance or outlet receptacle, but it is not recognized in the National Electrical Code (NEC), which uses the term “individual branch circuit” for essentially the same thing. We will stick with dedicated circuit here anyway. 

    Any appliance that is fixed in place and/or is necessary for your comfort or safety should have a dedicated circuit, because multiple appliances with a high amperage demand on the same circuit increase the possibly of an overload repeatedly tripping the breaker. 

Use Manufacturer’s Instructions

    Also, the NEC specifies at 110.3(B) that “listed and labeled equipment shall be installed and used in accordance with any instructions included in the listing or labeling,” and manufacturers of major appliances not only specify a dedicated circuit, but also the rating of the breaker serving it.

    You should have a dedicated circuit for all the appliances on the following list:

  •  Furnace
  •  Central air conditioner or heat pump, both condenser and air handler
  •  Larger window air conditioners - all 240-volt and any 120-volt when marked by the manufacturer on the side of the unit as “USE ON SINGLE OUTLET CIRCUIT ONLY."
  •  Washer
  •  Dryer
  •  Dishwasher/Disposal
  •  Microwave
  •  Water Heater
  •  Spa tub
  •  Sump Pump
  •  Refrigerator - NEC allows it to be on one of the two required small appliance (above-counter) circuits in kitchen but, if not, must be a dedicated circuit. See our blog post Is a refrigerator required to have its own dedicated circuit?  for more on this.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about ELECTRICAL WIRING:

• Does a home inspector check for dedicated circuits?

Can a short circuit cause a high electric bill?

What is the maximum spacing requirement for securing NM-cable (nonmetallic-sheathed cable)?

Why is it unsafe to bond neutral and ground wiring at subpanels?

Should I get a lightning rod system to protect my house?

Why is a strain relief clamp necessary for the cord connection to some electric appliances?  

Does a wire nut connection need to be wrapped with electrical tape?

What is the minimum clearance of overhead electric service drop wires above a house roof?

What are the requirements for NM-cables entering an electric panel box?

What is the color code for NM cable (Romex®) sheathing?

Why is undersize electric wiring in a house dangerous? 

What causes flickering or blinking lights in a house?

Why are old electrical components not always "grandfathered" as acceptable by home inspectors?

How can I find out the size of the electric service to a house?

Can old electrical wiring go bad inside a wall? 

What is an open electrical splice?

What are the most common electrical defects found in a home inspection? 

What is the life expectancy of electrical wiring in a house? 

What is an "open junction box"? 

How dangerous is old electrical wiring? 

What is a ground wire? 

I heard that aluminum wiring is bad. How do you check for aluminum wiring?  

    Visit our ELECTRICAL page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

Water Heaters

Water Heater Age

"What Are The

Signs Of..."

Septic Tank Systems

Structure and Rooms

Plumbing Pipes

Termites, Wood Rot

& Pests



When It First

Became Code

"Should I Buy A..."

Park Model Homes


Shingle Roofs




Wind Mitigation

Roof and Attic

"Does A Home


Pool and Spa

"What Is The Difference Between..."




Concrete and

Concrete Block

Metal Roofs


Modular Homes

Rain Gutters

Mold, Lead & Other Contaminants


Older and

Historic Houses

Crawl Spaces

Mobile-Manufactured Homes

Building Permits

Life Expectancy

Clay Soil





Exterior Walls

& Structures


Common Problems

HUD-Code for

Mobile Homes

Garages and Carports

Flat (Low Slope) Roofs

Electrical Panels

Sprinkler Systems

Electrical Receptacle Outlets

4-Point Inspections

Hurricane Resistance

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Home Inspection

Heating and Air Conditioning

Building Codes

Fireplaces and Chimneys

Inspector Licensing

& Standards

Energy Efficiency

Washers and Dryers



Doors and Windows



Electrical Wiring

Click Below  

for Links

to Collections

of Blog Posts

by Subject

Plumbing Drains

and Traps


Smoke & CO Alarms

Aging in Place

Top 5 results given instantly.

Click on magnifying glass

for all search results.






Air Conditioner & Furnace Age/Size


Electrical Switches





Water Intrusion

Electrical - Old

and Obsolete


Foundation Certifications

Tiny Houses

About McGarry and Madsen



Buying a home in North/Central Florida? Check our price for a  team inspection by two FL-licensed contractors and inspectors. Over 8,500 inspections completed in 20+ years. In a hurry? We will get it done for you.

Moisture Problems

Crawl Spaces