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Old 10-16-2016, 03:53 PM   #1
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Microwave Outlet


I got a new microwave a few months ago and I was reading through the instructions this morning and noticed they recommend a "20A single-outlet circuit." The microwave takes 1450W and only has a 15A plug (no extra blade).

There is a dedicated circuit for the microwave, but it's only 15A and cannot be upgraded because the wiring is only 14 gauge.

We have been using the microwave nightly for the past two months and have had no problems.

Do we have a fire waiting to happen?
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Old 10-16-2016, 04:39 PM   #2
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Re: Microwave Outlet


No. The breaker will still protect the wire.
A 15 amp circuit at full 15 amps is 1800 watts so you are well within limits.
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Old 10-16-2016, 07:28 PM   #3
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Re: Microwave Outlet


So why would they recommend 20A?
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Old 10-16-2016, 07:29 PM   #4
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Re: Microwave Outlet


I was interested in this because the circuit our microwave plugs into also supplies power to our dining room light.

When we have the light on and start the microwave, the light dims. MW is 1500W max, 1100W normal. Light 60W.

Doesn't seem like it should be a problem. There is a dimmer switch on light switch - perhaps that is affected?
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Old 10-16-2016, 07:30 PM   #5
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Re: Microwave Outlet


Lawyers covering their butts???
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Old 10-17-2016, 07:41 PM   #6
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Re: Microwave Outlet


Quote:
Originally Posted by lakeresident View Post
I was interested in this because the circuit our microwave plugs into also supplies power to our dining room light.

When we have the light on and start the microwave, the light dims. MW is 1500W max, 1100W normal. Light 60W.

Doesn't seem like it should be a problem. There is a dimmer switch on light switch - perhaps that is affected?
I believe NEC recommends a dedicated appliance circuit (20amp 12 guage). Meaning Just one receptacle for the appliance being plugged into the circuit, and nothing else. Not sure either for the reasoning behind the 20 amp circuit. Probably easier than specifying different amperage for microwaves, washers, fridges, etc. so they just went with 20amp to cover everything. It also will allow for higher powered appliances in the future. Everythings getting bigger, more powerful, which means more electricity is needed. It really depends on your needs. I would recommend not having lighting on the same circuit, but depending on how your house is set up, it may not be easy to run a new line.

In short, you should be A ok. In terms of code, you need the bigger line, and a separate line for your lighting/etc. Any appliance like microwaves, fridges, dishwashers, even garbage disposals require their own dedicated circuit. Since many either include a motor or a compressor in them which will have a peak rating and a running rating. Which in turn would cause lights to dim, and if there were power sensitive electronics plugged into that circuit, they could be damaged by that
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