Know your load

Keeping your circuits from tripping

Keeping your circuits from tripping

Customer question #37: “I have 4 outlets in my kitchen, shouldn’t that mean I can use that many at a time? How many appliances can I plug in to a circuit?”

A circuit is a loop of power for a specific area or room. It is used to bring a specific amount of power to outlets, lights, etc. Therefore how much you can plug into a circuit depends on how big your circuit is. Home circuits are typically 15 or 20 amps. You can find out specifically by going to the breaker box and looking at the breaker for the room/area in question and seeing the number printed on it.

A rule of thumb is a 15 amp circuit can handle 1500 watts of power. A 20 amp circuit can handle 2000 watts.

Back to the question: In the kitchen, how many appliances can be use at the same time without tripping the breaker? To figure this out look at how much power each appliance uses – typically found on the nameplate or sticker. Add them up. If together they use more than your circuit can handle you can’t use them all at once.

Example: Your blender uses 700 watts and your toaster oven uses 1200 watts. To use both at the same time you will need a 20 amp circuit.

Keep in mind some older homes have multiple rooms on the same circuit – which may be why you can’t run the portable heater in one room and use your vacuum in the other without tripping the breaker.

Need more power? Call us, we can help.