Laundry room circuit

luganJanuary 25, 2012

How many circuits do i need in my laundry room if i have the following items requiring power...washer, GAS dryer, chest freezer, extra fridge, 3 lights and a plug just in case

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ionized_gw

self-defrost refrigerator/freezer or just manual defrost refrigerator?
deep freezer or self defrost?
will you be plugging in the iron in there?
what kind of lights?

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 6:47PM
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petey_racer

I'd say two 20A circuits; washer & dryer, refer & freezer & extra receptacle. Plus a lighting circuit which you can grab from any existing lighting circuit.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 8:32PM
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brickeyee

Make sure you have something else on remote freezer and refrigerator circuits.

You want something small like a hall light that is used every day so you will notice if the circuit is off.

You do NOT want to go down after a week and find something tripped the breaker to the refrigerator or freezer.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 12:33PM
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lugan

Good point! The fridge is used 10X per day and everyday so no problem checking status of that.
So, how about washer, gas dryer and lights on one circuit and then fridge, freezer and additional plug on a second circuit?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 1:57PM
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Ron Natalie

Laundry circuits must be 20A (at least one must be provided, but I'd agree with petey, that two is probably better here and adequate).

Sorry brick, but you can not place other outlets on the laundry room receptacle circuits. For $10 you can get a freezer alarm that will tell you if the freezer is starting to warm up whether due to power failure or just mechanical failure.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 1:58PM
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lugan

So just to clarify...petey and ronnatalie are agreeing on two 20A circuits...how would i divide the washer, gas dryer, fridge, freezer, lights and additional plug up on those 2 circuits? I apologize for my confusion!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 2:12PM
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ionized_gw

Re; failed freezers

For years off and on, I have been searching for a good, reasonably-priced, wireless freezer alarm. They Cheney units seem to work well. The batteries for the sending units will cost you more than buying the alarms. My only complaint is that there is no temporary silence feature. If you silence it because you are defrosting or you have been digging around in it for too long, you have to remember to turn it back on.

Chaney Instrument 00985 Wireless Refrigerator Freezer Thermometer

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 3:19PM
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brickeyee

"Sorry brick, but you can not place other outlets on the laundry room receptacle circuits."

The freezer should not be their either.

I never said to put anything on the single required 20 A laundry room circuit.

The alarms are not worth the trouble when simply making sure a light used daily is also on the refrigerator and freezer circuits.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 4:40PM
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lugan

i appreciate all the input but still unclear how i divide up the 6 fixtures between the 2 circuits...washer, gas dryer, fridge, freezer, lights and plug? Code where i am "suggests" freezer on its own but is not "required" to be on its own.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 7:02PM
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brickeyee

Freezers have a decent starting surge, as do washers.

The NEC requires a 'laundry room' circuit but does not specify much else.

Once you have the single laundry room circuit requirement met you are free to add other circuits.

The washer and gas dryer can be on the same circuit.

Unless you are going to access the freezers & refrigerators on a daily basis, giving them each their own circuit AND putting in a light or other outlet that is at least seen daily is cheap insurance, and eliminates the need for alarm systems that will have their own failures (and batteries most likely).

Even running two fridges or freezers on the same 20 amp circuit can result in nuisance tripping if they both happen to try and start at the same instant.

If this is new construction, this is about the cheapest time you will have to add additional circuits you can identify (and receptacles).
Exterior Christmas lights are a lot easier to power if you slip a receptacle into the eaves now.
The NEC has minimal requirements for outside receptacles.
Adding more than the minimum avoids needing long cords all the time.

Even the required 12 foot receptacle spacing can easily be cut to 6 feet, making furniture placement that much easier, and eliminating 'routine' extension cords.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 11:51AM
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ionized_gw

If it was my laundry room, and I have enough open breaker slots in a panel, I would have a dedicated circuit (or shared with a light as suggested) for every one the large appliances save for maybe the dryer. They all have rather large start-up requirements. You could use the same circuit for the "just in case" plug as for the dryer.

You can put as many outlets on a circuit as you want. It just depends on how much nuisance tripping you can tolerate which might depend on how hard the panel it to get to. If you want a lot of circuits in the laundry room and you don't mind setting aside a place for a panel there, the easiest thing might be to install a sub panel there.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 6:40PM
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bus_driver

Remember that circuit breakers are inverse-time. In my area, we still have number of houses built before the availability of electricity. Wiring when electricity was initially available was often minimal, a light in every room and a receptacle for a refrigerator. Some have received minimal upgrades since then. Those people live within their limited financial means. I know of a number of those that now have a refrigerator and a freezer both on a 15 amp circuit with no problems.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 7:47PM
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texasredhead

I believe the 2008 NEC requires the washing machine be on a GFCI. I would be a little concerned about how far the other appliances are from a wet location.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 9:41AM
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petey_racer

"I believe the 2008 NEC requires the washing machine be on a GFCI."

You believe wrong. There is no such requirement.
There IS a requirement that all 15 & 20A 120V receptacles within 6' of a laundry sink are GFI protected.

"I would be a little concerned about how far the other appliances are from a wet location."

Why?? Are the appliances wired wrong?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 10:42AM
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