How Many Amps Does a Dishwasher Use? Everything You Need to Know
how many amps does a dishwasher use

Whether you’re a homeowner with a brand new dishwasher or stuck with a dishwasher that keeps tripping your breaker, you’re probably asking the question: How many amps does a dishwasher use? 

In this guide, we will cover all the technical details you need to know, including circuit and breaker requirements and ways you can troubleshoot a dishwasher’s tripping breaker.

How Many Amps Does a Dishwasher Use?

On the market, there are three different types of dishwashers available. There are standard dishwashers that are used in homes, commercial dishwashers that are used in bigger spaces like offices, and industrial dishwashers that are used in factories. 

The main difference between each type of dishwasher is the effort and output. A standard household dishwasher uses around 10A of power while commercial and industrial dishwashers use 20A or more of power. 

The power supply complements the work the dishwasher is expected to perform as well as the electrical connection, like the circuit it’s built for.

How to Choose a Breaker that Complements the Amps a Dishwasher Uses

To work well, a dishwasher needs the right-sized breaker to support its electrical plan. This is important to note because the amperage requirement of a dishwasher greatly differs from the amperage requirement of a breaker in order to run.

As a general rule of thumb, a breaker must be sized greater to or at least equal to the power requirement of the dishwasher. This means a standard household dishwasher that uses 10A needs a 15A breaker.

Keep this in mind when the breaker is running the dishwasher solely. If it’s connected to a garbage disposal or the refrigerator, you’ll need to use a 20A breaker.

How to Avoid Short Circuits in a Dishwasher

Young Male Technician Repairing Dishwasher In Kitchen

Dishwashers are a bit complicated. Like all electrical appliances, they run the risk of short-circuiting in case the power supply fails to perform. This could not only damage the dishwasher, but it could also be hazardous to kitchen appliances connected to the same breaker.

To ensure the electrical plan suits the dishwasher, double-check the power rating of the circuit breaker. It must always be powered greater to the electrical requirement of the dishwasher. This balances the power supply, which removes the risk of overload and short circuits.

This means that for a 10A household dishwasher, a 15A to 20A circuit breaker would suffice.

Tips to Ensure a Proper Power Supply Before Connecting the Dishwasher

Once you have the electrical plan sorted, it’s important to do a thorough check of the dishwasher’s parts before connecting it to power. Here’s a basic rundown of how you can ensure the power supply is connected well:

Look for Leaks

Before powering on the dishwasher, check the water filters and tanks. If there’s a chip or a crack on the surface, consult an electrician immediately to take care of it. 

Water conducts electricity, so if there’s a leakage in the pipeline, filters, or even the surface of the dishwasher, it can lead to serious damage on the appliance and, ultimately, your wallet. 

If there’s a warranty you can use on the dishwasher, it’s better to call an electrician from the brand to do a once-over after installation.

Consider the Amperage of the Circuit

Before the dishwasher is installed into place, double-check that the circuit can handle the power rating of the appliance.

Remember the circuit should always be powered greater than the dishwasher, not smaller because that would result in a great deal of damage within the power supply and output.

The circuit is essentially the motherboard of the dishwasher, so take extra caution when connecting it to the control board that runs the dishwasher.

Check the Amperage of the Breaker

Once the circuit is prepared, look at the power rating of the breaker, and make sure it complements the electrical needs of the dishwasher.

Similar to the circuit, the power rating of the breaker should also exceed the electrical requirement of the dishwasher in order to maintain a steady flow of current and avoid a fire hazard.

When choosing the size of the breaker, don’t shy away from asking the customer support team which would work best for your chosen model of dishwasher. This is especially important if you have appliances other than the dishwasher running on the same circuit breaker.

Read the Manual

Installing the dishwasher is self-explanatory once you have the right circuit and breaker chosen. The manual the kitchen appliance comes with usually has the technical details spelled out to make the process easier. 

Make sure to consult the instructions for installation, follow the maintenance steps, and do the work by the book as that is the number-one way of ensuring the dishwasher works perfectly without a lot of trial and error.

There is a small possibility that the dishwasher may still fail to function, in which case you’ll have to consult an electrician or call support from the brand before replacing it.

How to Troubleshoot a Dishwasher That’s Tripping the Breaker

Repairman Examining Dishwasher In Kitchen

Sometimes, a dishwasher may start tripping the breaker and refuse to start. Though it would be easier to replace the appliance, there are a few easy steps you can take to troubleshoot the circuit breaker of the dishwasher. It’s not only more cost-effective, it also ensures the problem won’t continue.

The Heating Element Is Damaged

At the bottom panel of the dishwasher, you’ll see a U-shaped element usually connected to two wires at each end. That is the heating element of the dishwasher. It mainly circulates hot air to warm up the water that washes the dishes and automatically turns off when the cycle is over.

If the dishwasher is filled to the brim, there’s an increased risk of plates and cutlery falling and hitting the heating element, which may cause damage to its surface. To power through, it will draw more current from the breaker to heat up the water, which may be causing the trip.

This is also more likely to occur in older dishwashers as the heating element slowly loses running power. In both cases, it needs to be replaced. 

The Electrical Circuit Is Improper

A dishwasher runs on electricity, so it needs an adequate supply of power, which is provided by the circuit. It essentially connects various electrical components to the control board and balances the power between them so the dishwasher can run smoothly.

If the electrical components are poorly installed, one or more of the connectors are bound to come loose with the dishwasher’s heavy vibrations. This would cause an imbalance in the power supply and, ultimately, cause a trip in the breaker.

Check for loose wires, tighten where needed using an allen wrench, or simply call an electrician to complete the service.

The Control Board Is Burnt

In a dishwasher, the control board manages all the functions – from the press of the power button to sending signals to the circuit board and turning on the sensors for heat and water. It’s safe to say that this is the most important part of the dishwasher.

To keep it safe, it is important to make sure the control board isn’t exposed to a lot of moisture or heat as this would burn it and ultimately damage the circuit and trip the breaker. 

Unload the dishwasher as soon as the wash cycle is complete. If the control board is faulty, simply replace it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to install a dishwasher by myself?

Yes, it is safe to install a dishwasher on your own. Make sure to follow the instruction manual. It usually has comprehensive steps to install a dishwasher and maintenance tips to ensure it works well. You can also contact the brand’s support team to double-check the specifics. 

Can you plug a dishwasher into a regular power outlet?

Yes, a dishwasher can be connected into a regular power outlet. Just make sure it supplies 15A of current. That’s usually the standard for all outlets and works well with the amperage requirement of all kitchen appliances. If you have a higher-end dishwasher, consult the manual and check whether it needs a 15A or a 20A circuit.

Can a fridge and dishwasher be on the same circuit?

Yes, a fridge and a dishwasher can be wired to the same circuit. But this isn’t recommended because it risks improper power supply to each appliance, which increases the chances of short circuits. If there’s no way around it, make sure to consult a professional electrician to install a circuit that supplies at least 20A of current.

Final Thoughts

Installing a dishwasher on your own can be a hefty task because it doesn’t require a proper circuit plan. But, now that you have an answer to the question, “How many amps does a dishwasher use?” and now that you know how to ensure the appliance lasts for a long time, you can install it confidently and take quick steps during an emergency.

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