Can Dishwasher And Disposal Be On The Same Circuit? (The Truth)

Just moved to a new home and want to set up the circuit? If you are working on setting up your kitchen, you would probably wonder if the dishwasher and disposal should remain on the same circuit. They are two different appliances handling different loads. 

A dishwasher and disposal can remain on the same circuit with a circuit breaker to divert the load whenever the capacity exceeds 80%. For safety reasons, you can extend a dedicated circuit for each appliance.

What is so special about their circuits? How do they work? Let’s get into detail in this article. 

Same Circuit vs. Different Circuits

Is it a good idea to have a dishwasher and disposal on the same circuit? Well, we have a few reasons to connect them to the same circuit. 

1: Manage Loads Better

When connecting both appliances on the same circuit, the power requirement is not continuous. As a result, the power consumption is less, and it saves you money. 

Since majority of families do not run both appliances simultaneously, there is no need to maintain separate circuits. 

2: Both are Independent 

Garbage disposal does not hamper the functioning of a dishwasher and vice versa. Several users of these appliances report motors and other internal spare parts problems. 

However, there is hardly any evidence claiming the dysfunctional nature of these appliances are because they are connected on the same circuit. 

Since these do not have to be connected to dedicated plugs, it’s good to hardwire and run on the same circuit. 

3: Internal Connection of Disposal 

Several garbage disposals tend to have internal options to connect to a dishwasher. If you have purchased your appliance recently, you are more likely to see the option to connect to other devices. 

Since these devices are already made to handle loads and prevent blocks, it’s a good idea to capitalize on this option. 

We would recommend connecting them to different circuits under the following circumstances:

  • If you use dishwasher and disposal machines simultaneously 
  • If you have problems with the power supply in your location
  • If you have old appliances that can potentially break anytime

Circuit Requirements

Dishwasher

A dishwasher needs a circuit that supports 120 volts and 15 amps with a ground connection and a 14/2 NM wire.

As dishwashers are meant to aid in carrying out cleaning processes, these have specific measurements and circuit requirements. When the circuit does not meet the criteria, it can be difficult for the appliance to operate. 

Disposal

A garbage disposal appliance needs a 15-amp dedicated circuit with a ground connection and a 14/2 NM cable. 

This requirement is quite similar to a dishwasher. However, garbage disposals are designed as food shredders. 

When dishwashers clean dinnerware and push food, it moves to the garbage disposal, which manages the load and then runs continuously. 

Does a Dishwasher Need to be on its Own Circuit?

Dishwashers need dedicated circuits to avoid power overloads and high energy needs. 

Certain kitchen appliances like dishwashers tend to cause power overloads, which can affect other devices. When it is hardwired, it helps balance the energy and allows users to use it for long hours. 

When setting up a dishwasher in a dedicated circuit, here are a few things to keep in mind: 

  • Circuit wires with 15A/20A ratings
  • Circuit with 120-125V
  • 14/2 NM wire (for 15A) and 12/2 NM wire (for 20A)

If you have a dishwasher with a 20A rating, it avoids overloadings and maintains the health of the circuit for a long time. 

What Size of Circuit Breaker for Dishwasher?

A single-pole 15A or 20A circuit breaker is ideal for dishwashers. 

Dishwashers require 120V, but as they are vulnerable to power outages and fluctuations, a circuit breaker ensures continuous operation. 

You are good to go if you have a single-pole breaker with at least 15 amps. However, if you are a large family or deal with heavy loads, you need to use a 20-amp circuit breaker. 

This circuit breaker aims to avoid overloading whenever the load exceeds 80%. Another advantage is that this circuit breaker lets you use both appliances simultaneously. 

Dishwashers generally consume around ten amps, and a 20-amp circuit breaker promotes continuity. 

Does a Garbage Disposal Need its Own Circuit?

Maintaining garbage disposal on a dedicated circuit is advisable due to motor differences and power requirements. 

Although there are options available for garbage disposals to connect with dishwashers, it’s still a risk to have them on the same circuit. 

There are chances for circuit breaks and power outages. To avoid such instances, you should hardwire or arrange a dedicated electrical outlet to the ground. This will let the appliance run properly during its operation. 

What Size of Circuit Breaker for Disposal?

Garbage disposals need 15-20-amps circuit breakers. 

If you are running disposal on a dedicated circuit, it’s sufficient to use a 15-amp circuit breaker. However, if disposal and dishwasher are connected to the same circuit, you need a tandem breaker that manages power needs and avoids potential issues. 

A double breaker circuit that is Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) protected is recommended for disposal and dishwasher. Disposal consumes around 4-8A, and a 15-amp circuit breaker is all that is needed. 

Dishwasher and Disposal on the Same Circuit Not Working

When the dishwasher and disposal stop working on the same circuit, it could mean a problem with the electrical outlet and needs a manual reset. 

When you hardwire these appliances, it’s a common practice to plug them into an outlet that is beneath the sink. The connected appliances stop working when the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) trips. The power supply also ends during this process. 

The ideal solution is to reset manually. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Unplug both appliances from the outlet. 
  • Find the red button on the outlet. 
  • After some time, plug in the dishwasher and then run it. 
  • Subsequently, you can plug in the disposal and run it. 
  • Allow both appliances to run simultaneously. 

If they run smoothly, the reset is successful. 

Otherwise, you need to conduct a thorough check of the circuit in the kitchen. 

Still finding it difficult to carry out the reset process? Here’s a video you can check out:

Final Thoughts

Connecting the disposal and dishwasher on the same circuit is a great idea to save effort and money, but it does not work all the time. 

Using a tandem circuit breaker ensures the longevity of both appliances and avoids power/drainage problems. 

If you are just working on the circuit of your kitchen, analyze your usage and inform your plumber to connect them on the same circuit with a circuit breaker. 

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