Are you considering putting a microwave and fridge in the same electric circuit? You’re not alone. Many people are looking to save space and money by combining the two appliances in one space. The kitchen appliances are increasing from time to time. And they become more functional. In this way, too many appliances in a kitchen without multiple circuits can tempt you to install a refrigerator and microwave on the same circuit.
No, it is not safe to put a microwave and a refrigerator in the same electric circuit. The microwave uses a large amount of electricity which can overload the circuit, which could lead to a fire hazard. It is best to have separate circuits for each appliance.
Usually, we buy electrical kitchen appliances from the market without being conscious of the type of circuit they best operate. But when we plug these appliances fits into the circuit, and the appliances start functioning, then we think that’s all to put them together. So, this article has a deep detail to this question, including. We all know refrigerators and microwave needs a power source to operate, but can they be on the same circuit? This thing is to be understood. So let’s get started for more detail!
Refrigerator Electrical Requirements
The modern fridge may need less power than one built in the 1970s just because of some changes meant to improve energy efficiency. Basically, the changes in electric code are a response to the increased power draw of modern home and kitchen appliances.
When you plug in and it starts up, then your fridge consumes three times the power it does when it’s running, according to GE Appliances. So we can say that most of today’s refrigerators consume about 750w and need a dedicated 20amp 120/125V circuit. If a refrigerator works non-continuous duty load then it draws power from the circuit non-continuously from the mains.
This load cannot draw power for more than three hours when you put it on the same circuit as any other non-continuous circuit loads, so in this way, their total consumption will not exceed that of the circuit breaker.
If your fridge is smaller and is working properly on a general power outlet, that means you have to install a dedicated 120/125V circuit with a 12/2 NM wire with a ground terminal. Your circuit should have AFCI protection, and GFCI protection if the plug is within 6 feet of a sink. You can also put both with an outlet by installing an AFCI/GFCI breaker.
Microwave Circuit Requirements
Microwave circuit requirements are much similar to the circuit requirements for a refrigerator. Usually, the microwave must be plugged into a 20-amp dedicated circuit, and the circuit also needs AFCI protection. Here don’t be so concerned about GFCI protection because the outlet is already hidden behind the appliance that’s why it is protected from moisture.
So, you have to install an AFCI outlet, but you should always prefer to install an AFCI breaker in the panel. So we can say that the cost for that of a refrigerator is almost the same as it is for any other circuit. Just Because the NEC needs more outlets in your kitchen than it did previously, if you remodel your kitchen then you must have an upgraded panel.
Is it safe to put a microwave and fridge in the same electric circuit?
The kitchen appliances are more functional nowadays. There are a lot of appliances in a kitchen without multiple circuits, but can you install the refrigerator and microwave on the same circuit? Is it right? So the answer to this question is, no, the refrigerator and microwave cannot be installed on the same circuit due to the combined load, which can lead to the circuit breaker tripping.
If there is no circuit breaker, then the overloading can cause the circuit wiring to overheat and melt the insulation of the electric cable and it may be resulting in a fire. The issue is the random nature of the refrigerator begins. When the refrigerator runs, it makes a large starting current. So, a refrigerator should never be sharing a wall socket with another appliance. Even if it is a light bulb of high voltage.
You can never power a microwave and refrigerator on the same circuit just because each of these appliances needs a dedicated circuit that can never be shared with other appliances or lights. it can lead to overheating and this overheating may result in short circuits. So, Safety does matter a lot and it must be the first priority for everyone especially when it comes to kitchen appliances. You must consider the power consumption of your kitchen appliances and other electrical properties so that you can take the right installation decisions to avoid any serious damage or fire.