Dishwasher amperage/wire size


Old 04-29-05, 07:59 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Tujunga, CA, USA
Posts: 209
Dishwasher amperage/wire size

I had thought dishwashers should be wired on a dedicated 20 amp (12AGW) circuit. Yet, while looking at specifications for several new dishwashers, I did not see any that require a 20 amp circuit; the ones that did list amperage were between 6 and 9.1 amps.

Are 20 amp circuits still prefered for dishwashers? I would like to use 14-3 wire and 15 amp circuit breakers for a dishwasher and garbage disposal (with a handle tie on breakers)
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Old 04-30-05, 12:35 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,150
Some municipalities may have a specific requirement for DW, Laundry and MW circuits and since LA has its own code, pose this to the Van Nuys office.

Even where local codes allow you to break for the mfg. recomendations, I wire with 12-2 and ground, which allows for versatility.
Old 04-30-05, 02:20 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
If you are running a new circuit, why limit yourself to 15 amps (or twice 15 amps via a multi wire circuit)? It's not that much more difficult to install a 20 amp circuit (or multi wire circuit).

In your case having two 20 amp circuits available allows for better future expansion. Someday you may want to add an install hot water appliance, or something else.
Old 04-30-05, 08:05 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
The NEC does not require a 20-amp circuit for a dishwasher. But some dishwashers do. So if you have an existing 15-amp circuit (with nothing else on it), and a dishwasher that says you can put it on a 15-amp circuit, then go ahead. But if you are installing a new circuit for a dishwasher, I strongly recommend you make it a 20-amp circuit. Even if your current dishwasher doesn't need one, the one you want to buy seven years from now very well might. The cost difference between a 15-amp circuit and a 20-amp circuit is about $1.95, so why not?
Old 04-30-05, 09:15 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Tujunga, CA, USA
Posts: 209
Thank you all,
I will use 12 awg wire. I was curious if times had changed and dishwashers had become more energy efficient. I had looked at 3 or 4 models at each of Whirlpool, GE and Maytag websites. I did not see any requiring a 20 amp circuit. Whirlpool and GE installation instructions said to use 15 or 20 amps while Maytag said to use a 15 amp circuit.

By the way, it was not trying to save money. 14-3 is easier to work with and I have some 14-3 that I want to use up.

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