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If you’re repairing or installing a major appliance in your home, you’ll need to know what the electrical requirements are for that appliance. The most important things to know are the amp rating of the circuit breaker and the size wire needed. The table below lists electrical requirements for major household appliances. Also, be sure to check out these related links for more information:
|Appliance||Voltage Requirement ||Circuit Breaker Amp Rating ||Wire Gauge||Comments|
|Gas Range||120 volts||15 amps||#14 gauge||A 20 amp circuit may be used but requires #12 gauge wire. The outlet must be properly grounded and polarized or the spark module will not work properly–more information on this here.|
|Electric Range||240 volts||40 amps||#8 gauge||A 50 amp circuit may be used but requires #6 gauge wire.|
|Gas Dryer||120 volts||15 amps||#14 gauge||#12 gauge wire is preferred.|
|Electric Dryer||240 volts||30 amps||#10 gauge (minimum)|
|Refrigerator||120 volts||15 amps||#14 gauge (minimum)||#12 gauge wire is preferred. A separate (dedicated) circuit serving this appliance is recommended.|
|Washing Machine||120 volts||15 amps||#14 gauge||A 20 amp circuit may be used but #12 gauge wire is required. Because of water conditions found in a laundry room, a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet might also be considered.|
|Dishwasher||120 volts||15 amps||#14 gauge||For dishwashers without temperature boost, a 15 amp circuit may be used. Dishwashers with temperature boost should be wired on a 20 amp circuit and #12 gauge wire is required. A separate (dedicated) circuit serving this appliance is recommended.|
|Microwave||120 volts||15 amps||#14 gauge||A 20 amp circuit may be used but #12 gauge wire is required. A separate (dedicated) circuit serving this appliance is recommended.|
 Values given are nominal voltages. All voltages listed are alternating current (AC) at 60 Hz.
 Fuses with the same amp rating as the listed circuit breakers may also be used.
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Many grasshoppers often ask me, “Oh, most wise and beloved Samurai, which appliances use the most power and what can be done to make them more efficient?” To which I sagely reply, “Look, I’m Samurai Appliance Repair Man, not a friggin’ power meter. How ’bout you measure the power usage of your appliances yourself?” Yes, grasshopper, until recently, power consumption test instruments were very expensive. However, a new product called the Kill-a-Watt meter, can help you determine which appliance is hogging the most energy in your home.
Is your refrigerator running too much, or is your window air conditioner causing your electric bill to skyrocket? With the Kill-a-Watt meter, you can determine energy usage of any standard household appliance that plugs into a 110 volt outlet.
Refrigerators use a lot of power — between 300 and 500 watts while running. If the condenser coil is dirty, or the door gaskets are torn, they’ll use even more. Check the efficiency of your refrigerator and other appliances regularly, and clean or maintain them as needed to make sure they’re running as efficiently as possible.
You can also use the Kill-a-Watt meter to check computers, table lamps and most other devices that plug into standard wall receptacles. You’ll learn many devices, such as TVs and stereos, actually use energy when they’re turned off.