Modern kitchens exceed anything people only dreamed about 50 years ago—almost all of the excess is due to electrical appliances and lighting. Double ovens, warming drawers, dual fuel freestanding ranges, gleaming cooktops, range hoods, wine chillers, ice makers, French door refrigerators—those are only a few things today’s cooks have on their wish lists. Throw in 1000-watt microwaves, espresso machines, heavy-duty mixers and food processors and you’re pulling a more power than whole homes once offered a few decades ago.
Building Codes and Shared Circuits
Building codes require separate circuits for high-demand kitchen appliances like electric ranges and dishwashers. Convenience outlets aren’t typically on separate circuits. Several may be on the same one, so using multiple things at once can overload them. Kitchen outlets may also be on circuits shared with other rooms, so their load will factor in as well.
If your kitchen was wired to meet the demands of the 1990s, you need an upgrade to handle 2015 and beyond.
The following table lists typical operating wattages for kitchen appliances. To determine the amount of wattage a circuit can handle, multiply the circuit's amperage by its volts. For instance, a 20-amp, 120-volt circuit can handle 2,400 watts. 240-volt electric ranges and ovens will be on 30-, 40-, or 50-amp circuits, so a 40-amp, 240-volt circuit will handle up to 9600 watts. Also bear in mind that some appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers may require over three times their running wattage to start up, causing additional peak loads on a circuit.
|Kitchen Appliance||Operating Wattage||Kitchen Appliance||Operating Wattage|
|Electric Range||Up to 5000||Garbage Disposer||Up to 950|
|Electric Oven||4000-8000||Microwave Oven||Up to 1450|
|Refrigerator, Average||600||Coffee Maker||850|
|Dish Washer - Cool Dry||700||Toaster 4-slice||1650|
|Dish Washer - Hot Dry||1450||Electric Skillet||1500|
Aluminum Wiring and Other Fire Hazards
If your kitchen has aluminum wiring or improper connections, an upgrade is necessary as both dramatically increase the risk of malfunctions and fire hazards. The best way to avoid overloads and dangerous situations is to have a licensed electrician inspect your wiring and advise you before changes are made.
Call the Pros for a Kitchen Upgrade
When it’s time to upgrade your kitchen, Allstar Electrical Services is ready to help. We will gladly inspect your service and give you a thorough, professional assessment of your wiring needs. We’ll make sure that heavy-duty appliances like ovens and rangesare wired safely.
Allstar Electrical has served the Front Range for over 15 years and is top-rated by the BBB and Angie’s List. We offer homeowners reliable remodeling and repair work that is safe and up to code.
Why risk annoying problems, mistakes and costly re-dos? Before you start your project, call Allstar Electrical at (303) 399-7420 or visit our website. Besides a thorough explanation of our services and information about our company, you’ll find timely articles about the latest developments in the ever-changing world of electronics. Then use our handy on-line forms to request an estimate or set up an appointment. It’s your best insurance that your dream kitchen will handle the load.