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Does a Space Heater Need a Dedicated Circuit?

Space heaters are great for keeping your energy bill low while still staying warm in the colder months. But if you have a 1500-watt or similarly high-wattage space heater and you notice it keeps tripping your breaker, you should consider installing a dedicated circuit.

What appliances need dedicated circuits?

The National Electrical Code requires that all major appliances have dedicated circuits. Major appliances include refrigerators, stoves, washers & dryers, and some space heaters. Space heaters can range from 400 to 1500 watts, but a good rule of thumb is that the maximum watts per outlet should never exceed 1500 watts. In other words, yes, your 1500-watt heater needs its own circuit.

Why does my space heater keep tripping the breaker?

Portable space heaters use a lot of power and can overload circuits, cause breakers to trip, and even start an electrical fire. (This is also why you should never plug a space heater into a surge protector or an extension cord.) If your breakers trip when your heater is in use, then we recommend installing a dedicated circuit. This will help you stay safe while also ensuring that none of your other appliances are affected.

Electricians will install the additional circuit by connecting it to your current electrical system. Then you can connect your appliance to a dedicated outlet for safe and uninterrupted use.

Bottom line: Space heaters can help you save money and keep warm, but always prioritize your safety when using them. For space heaters on the larger end, this means installing a dedicated circuit.


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Will Spurlock is a team of experienced electricians and has been serving Atlanta and Northeast Georgia for 30+ years. We’re committed to providing cost-effective, high-quality commercial and residential electrical services, including inspections, repairs, and installations.

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