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Dedicated Branch Circuits

The National Electric Code has designated which branch circuits must be on a dedicated breaker / circuit. I know the inspection is visual, however, when looking at the main service panel and branch circuit wiring it would not be a bad idea to properly advise your client on which circuits should be dedicated. This information will be valuable to them if they are experiencing tripping breakers or blown fuses. Many modern kitchens will all amenities may need up to 7 dedicated branch circuits. Receptacles controlled by an automatic control means must be so marked. An example of this is a receptacle controlled by a switch. We need to make sure those appliances like a refrigerator is not on one of these circuits.

Here are some amperage sizes recommended for dedicated branch circuits:

  • Two 20 amp, 120 volt branch circuits for the kitchen counter top
  • 15 amp circuit for Furnaces / boilers (unless the manufacture specifically requires a different size)
  • 20 amp 120 volt circuit for laundry room
  • 20 amp circuit for sump pump
  • 20 amp dishwasher circuit
  • 20 amp refrigerator circuit
  • 20 amp garbage disposal circuit
  • 20 amp 120 volt circuit for bathrooms (lights and receptacles) (GFCI protected)
  • 240 volt circuits are mostly dedicated with very few exceptions

A home inspector should be looking for dedicated branch circuits, or at least advising their clients that the following appliances / areas should have dedicated circuits:

  • Garages (GFCI)
  • Electric ranges
  • Microwaves
  • Refrigerators
  • Freezers
  • Space heaters
  • Furnaces / boilers
  • Well pumps
  • Central Vacuums
  • Jetted tubs (GFCI)
  • Sump Pumps
  • Clothes washers / dryers
  • Air Conditioning units
  • Garbage disposals
  • Dish washers
  • Garage door openers
  • Bathrooms (GFCI)

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