Imagine that you just had a hot tub installed under an amazing gazebo. The gazebo has lighting, built in sound system, and a bar and stools for entertaining friends. You are going to throw the best backyard party your friends have ever attended! You get everything set up. The drinks are chilled, lights are setting the mood, and you hop in the hot tub and flip the switch. Nothing. Just like that, stalled party. You run into the basement and reset the breaker that has been tripped. Hop back in the tub, flip the switch, and once again, everything shuts off. So much for backyard paradise, as you have to shut off all of the extra bells and whistles just to get the hot tub to run.
If you find that your appliances (and hot tubs) are frequently tripping breakers when you run more than one at a time, this is an indication that the circuits in your home are not equipped for the volume of electricity you are trying to run through them. The solution to this problem is the installation of dedicated circuits.
A dedicated circuit is one that is set aside for a specific purpose with its own circuit breaker in your electrical box. Having more than one major electrical appliance running on a circuit can trip the circuit breaker, and if a breaker trips too many times, it will wear down and cease to “trip”. If the breaker doesn’t trip, then the wiring overheats and you are at great risk of electrical fire. A dedicated circuit can protect you and your appliances from the risk of electrical fire by ensuring that no other appliance is taking electricity from the circuit. This allows your high-energy appliance to access the electricity it needs to run properly and safely.
The National Electrical Code requires dedicated circuits for all major appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, washers, and dryers. But so many more things need dedicated circuits for your safety. Dishwashers, furnaces, water heaters, and your awesome new hot tub, are just some of the things that should have dedicated circuits in order to perform at their best. If you don’t know whether your appliances have dedicated circuits, contact a licensed professional electrician to evaluate the wiring in your home.
Once you have the right circuits serving your home, you can rest comfortably and safely, and get back to planning the best backyard party your friends have ever attended!