Safety - Appliances | Alabama Power

Appliances

How many appliances can a particular circuit handle?

To determine how many watts a branch circuit can handle, you need to know two things. First, you need to know how many amperes, or amps, for which a circuit is rated. An amp is the amount of electrical current that flows through a circuit. In most homes lighting and small appliance circuits are 15 or 20 amps, and major appliances are on 20, 50 or even 60 amp circuits.

Second, you need to know the volts flowing through the wires. Volts are a measure of the pressure that causes current to flow through a circuit. Generally, household wiring is 120 or 240 volts.

To determine the amount of wattage a branch circuit can handle, multiply the circuit's amperage by the circuit's volts. A 20-amp, 120-volt circuit can handle 2,400 watts.

The following list gives you the average wattage rating for common household equipment. For specific information on your home equipment, check the manufacturer's listing found in your owners manual or on the information plate of the equipment.

All wattages are approximate. See your equipment documentation for exact wattage.

For lighting, check the wattage rating of the bulbs being used.

Average Wattage Rating
Equipment Wattage
Blender 300
Clothes Dryer 4,900
Computer 300
Power Drill 360
Box Fan 175
Frost Free Deep Freeze 500
Frost Free Refrigerator 615
Furnace 500
Hair Dryer 600
Room Heater 1,350
2 Burner Hot Plate 1,650
Microwave Oven 1,450
Clock Radio 70
Range 4,000 to 5,000
Sewing Machine 75
Television 150
Vacuum Cleaner 750 to 1,350
Water Heater 2,000 to 5,000
Drill Press 1,100
Toaster/Toaster Oven 1,150
Coffee Maker 1,200
Dishwasher 1,200
Heating Blanket 200
Food Processor 200
Standard Deep Freeze 400
Standard Refrigerator 325
Garbage Disposal 450 to 950
Baseboard Heater 1,600
Heating Pad 65
Iron 1,100
Mixer 130
Oven 4,000 to 8,000
Circular Saw 1,200
Stereo 1,200
Toaster 1,150
Washing Machine 500
Table Saw 4,500
Wet/Dry Vacuum 1,850