How Do You Decide on Breaker Sizes for Appliances?
Determining the correct circuit breaker size for appliances depends on the size and type of appliance. In some cases, the type of circuit breaker relates to the size.
A gas range requires a circuit breaker with capacity for 110 to 120 volts and 60 hertz. The branch circuit should be properly grounded and polarized and protected by a 15/20 amp circuit breaker or fuse. The house wire should be 14-gauge.
Microwaves, dishwashers, refrigerators and gas dryers also require a circuit breaker with capacity for 110 to 120 volts and 60 hertz properly grounded and polarized. For microwaves, one should use a 15/20 amp circuit breaker or fuse along with 14-gauge house wire. The requirements for a dishwasher are the same except the 15-amp breaker is only suitable if the dishwasher does not include a temperature boost option. If it does, then a 20-amp circuit breaker is necessary, coupled with 12-gauge house wire. The 12-gauge house wire is also recommended for a refrigerator or gas dryer.
Electric dryers and ranges have greater requirements. Both require a circuit breaker with capacity for 220 to 240 volt, 60 hertz, properly grounded and polarized. For the dryer, a 3-amp breaker coupled with 10-gauge wire is required. An electric range requires a 40- or 50-amp breaker coupled with 8-gauge or 6-gauge wire.