Does a microwave REALLY need a dedicated 20amp outlet?

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  #1  
Old 08-07-05, 12:44 PM
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Does a microwave REALLY need a dedicated 20amp outlet?

I just bought an over-the-range microwave to replace the light/vent fan that's sitting over the range now. I used the wiring that was there for the light/vent by re-running it into the cabinets above and installing a new outlet (15 amp) in there. However, the manual for the microwave (1000 Watt, Goldstar) claims this thing needs a dedicated 20amp.

The 15 amp outlet is shared among the kitchen light (single light), the dining room light (which we never use), the master bath light, and (I believe) one lower wall outlet.

Do I really need to run an entirely new dedicated wire just for this microwave? I really don't want to try to be 'guessing' where this floating wall is (that the wiring would run into) if I don't have to.
 
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Old 08-07-05, 01:03 PM
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Do you "need" to. Maybe, maybe not.
Should you for common sense and legal reasons, YES!
If the instructions say you need to, then you need to.

You can't say, "we never use that receptacle", that doesn't count. Besides, it is a fixed in place appliance which draws a certain amount of power so it is code that it is on a dedicated circuit.
 
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Old 08-07-05, 02:55 PM
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I agree with Speedy. I do not believe the code actually tries to deal with the name " microwave" per say...but their are two ways to look at it....

1.) If it is a mount in place unit with a cord and plug that is designed to be mounted over a range and STAY THERE you have a fixed in place appliance with a manual stating a 20A circuit is needed for the microwave in question.

2.) If it is a counter top model designed to sit on a counter then your existing 20A circuits on the counter top can supply it.....

Either way....20A circuit is the way you should go......

NOw does that mean it wont work on the method you are planning on using is and...sure it will and the breakers in your house should protect you in case it draws more than the 80% needed to trip the breaker....

But to answer your question...yes, a 20A dedicated circuit is the way to do and with some of the microwaves today...they need every BIT of it.
 
  #4  
Old 08-07-05, 04:58 PM
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Thank you for the responses guys, looks like I'll be running the wire.
 
  #5  
Old 08-08-05, 03:45 PM
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I just put in a new micro for my grandmother, some handyman type wired the kitchen and shared all the outlets with a 15A breaker, needless to say it tripped and it needed every penny of the 15 and then some. I pulled 2 new 20 circuits to the countertop and all is well and it gives one warm fuzzy feelings that hi draw appliances are on 12 wire straight to the panel, no jboxes, no splices.
 
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Old 08-09-05, 07:11 AM
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SB,

Don't you just love those handymen who do jobs for the public and dont even know the code much less the reasons for it. Glad you got that fixed as today with the draw of so many new appliances we end up putting (3) 20A circuits on the counter tops just to reduce any possible issues...

If I were to make a guess.....by the 2008 NEC you may see the requirement for (3) 20A circuits on the countertops as a minimum....but I am no " Sylvia Brown ".....lol
 
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Old 08-10-05, 07:30 AM
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She is 99 yrs old and uses one appliance at a time , I am not sure why it never tripped before, seems she would have had a coffe pot on and a micro or toaster at same time, but I never had looked in the panel and it was never an issue. Even if he would have shared a breaker with somewhere else in the house besides another counter top.. duh. Great thing was, the house was wired after it was built, no staples, just pull in a couple new wires. I never thought much about the difference but this new micro pulled like 14.8A ha. Yes, the more I looked the more shared circuits I found and many of them make no sense, it was a no brain effort thats for sure. I am going back this fall and run a couple new things, it really showed up when I plug a couple electric heaters in while doing a furnace repair,,, damm,,, he got all this on one circuit. It was nice to have the new ones in the kitchen, that was a known quanity at least.
 
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