Does a Washing Machine Need a Dedicated Circuit?  

It’s tough to imagine any appliances more important in day-to-day life in your home than your washing machine and your dryer.

Washing machines (and dryers) help us keep our laundry load low, keeps our wardrobe and our bedclothes fresh, and make quick work of a household chore that would have otherwise taken a ton of time if we still had to wash our laundry by hand.

Incredibly powerful appliances (they have to be to handle the heavy laundry loans they are responsible for cleaning), washing machines – and dryers – need to run off of a dedicated circuit.

Yes, washing machines need their own dedicated circuit. They don’t necessarily need their own separate circuits, but they should be the only things on their own circuit on your panel.

Do Washers Need a Dedicated Circuit?

Yes, it’s a good idea to make sure that your washing machine is set up on a separate circuit (alongside your dryer) without any other electrical appliances or outlets hooked up to it.

Washing machines draw a ton of energy to operate – requiring at least 120 V and often 220 V. All of that energy goes to good use, though.

Any other electrical appliances on the same circuit would run the risk of drawing from that dedicated pool of power washing machines need.

It might not be the end of the world at first, but it would definitely compromise the efficiency of your washing machine.

In time you run the risk of “popping” your circuits anytime you used another electrical appliance plugged into the same circuit as your washing machine when it was running, too.

At the end of the day, it’s best if your laundry setup is on its own completely dedicated circuit. It just makes things a whole lot easier.

Can a Washing Machine and Dryer Be on the Same Circuit?


In fact, the overwhelming majority of modern homes (since laundry machines in the home have been commonplace, anyway) feature dedicated circuits that cater to your washing machine and your dryer.

Smaller washing machines and dryers might only need to use 120 V of power (each), but even standard size – and especially larger – washers and dryers will need more “juice”.

220 V of power (and a dedicated 20 A) will make a world of difference.

Your machines will run the way they were designed to, you won’t deal with short circuits or flipped breakers, and you’ll be able to get your laundry done without any headache or hassle whatsoever.

Do I Need Upgraded Electrical Service to Run a Washing Machine?

As long as your home has a “laundry circuit” dedicated specifically to your laundry appliances – your washer and your dryer, and as long as the circuit is providing enough energy to run your equipment efficiently, you shouldn’t need to upgrade your entire home electrical service just to run a washing machine.

At the same time, though, let’s say that your home is a little older and only has 120 V electricity running to the dedicated laundry circuit.

Let’s also say that you’ve gone and upgraded your old washing machine for some new hardware – a washing machine that needs 240 V to operate.

In these situations, you are going to need to call an electrician and have them upgrade your panel/service so that you can safely run your new laundry equipment.

Can I Run Washing Machines on 15 Amp Circuits?

While most washing machines aren’t going to require a whole lot more than 15 A, it’s not a bad idea to have your electrician put in a 120/240 V service to make sure that you have lots of extra “overhead” to run your equipment safely.

The last thing you want to do is overload the dedicated circuit that you’ve carved out for your washing machine.

Those extra five amps might not seem like a whole lot, but they may make all the difference in the world.

Closing Thoughts

Yes, it’s a good idea to make sure that your washing machine is on its own dedicated circuit alongside your dryer.

This “laundry circuit” can be clearly labeled on the panel, too.

Anytime the breaker flips (maybe running your washing machine and dryer at the same time was just too much for the system) you can get your power back up and running without having to worry about disrupting any other outlets or electronics in the rest of the house.

Keep these power-hungry appliances on their own circuit and you’ll have nothing to worry about!