Circuits can only handle a specified total wattage of all the electrical products connected to that circuit. If too much wattage is plugged into a circuit, serious electrical problems can result. Here is a guide to knowing what a circuit can handle:
- 15 ampere branch circuit can carry 1500 watts.
- 20 ampere branch circuit can carry 2000 watts.
Find the nameplate on each appliance indicating its power (watts) rating. Add up the total watts for appliances that you may use at the same time on the same branch circuit. Examples:
Hair Dryer – 1400 watts
Iron – 1000 watts
Portable Heater – 1200 watts
Vacuum Cleaner – 600 watts
Deep Fat Fryer – 1300 watts
Portable Fan – 150 watts
Most home lighting and wall outlet branch circuits may carry as much as 1500 watts (15 ampere branch); Some kitchen circuits, as much as 2000 watts (20 ampere).