How Many Circuits Does My Home Need?

Think about all the appliances, lights, and devices plugged in around your home – we bet there is quite a few. Every item plugged in is connected to the electrical circuits in your house; in order to effectively power all the items you need, your home needs numerous circuits. Just how many will depend on several factors!

What’s a Circuit?

A circuit is a connected, circular path which electricity follows throughout your home. It consists of a wire (your home’s electrical wiring) and a load (a device plugged in or multiple devices on the same path). Circuits begin and end at the same location, as electricity flows full circle.

Dedicated Circuits vs. Regular Circuits

Perhaps you’ve heard the term “dedicated circuit” and have wondered what exactly it means. There is very little difference between dedicated circuits and regular circuits, they are both engineered the same; the difference is that a dedicated circuit serves the sole purpose of powering one specific device, such as an appliance, a tool, or other system.

Major appliances, such as your heating system, air conditioner, or refrigerator, can cause voltage to fluctuate, which would negatively impact other devices plugged into the circuit. Some devices consume a lot of power to operate, such as hair dryers and power tools, which can prevent other devices from operating at the same time if plugged into the same circuit. To prevent these problems, dedicated circuits are used; in fact, the National Electric Code (NEC) requires dedicated circuits to be installed to operate all major appliances in the home.

How Many Circuits Does My Home Need?

Now that you have some basic knowledge of circuits, let’s talk about how our electricians determine how many you need. Simply put, there is no standard answer; the number of circuits your home needs will depend on several factors, such as:

  • How big is your home?
  • What is the capacity of your breakers?
  • How many outlets are required throughout the home?
  • How many appliances are in use in the home?
  • What devices do you use and where do you use them?

When designing a complete electrical system for a new home or upgrading an existing system, we consider these factors and more to determine how many circuits are required to allow you to power all needed systems and devices.

Do I Need More Circuits?

Electrical needs seem to always be evolving these days, as new devices become household staples and appliances which were once considered luxuries become standard. Especially in an older home, you may not have all the circuits you need in the existing electrical system. Below are some electrical problems you may experience when you have too many devices utilizing few circuits:

  • Breakers flip / fuses blow constantly
  • Appliance use is interrupted
  • Lighting flickers
  • Lightbulbs burn out quicker than expected.

If you experience these troubles, you likely need additional circuits installed, and it’s time to call an electrician for assistance.

Mister Sparky can set your Phoenix home up for success, creating a residential electrical system with the right amount of circuits to power all your essential systems, appliances, and devices. Call us today to schedule a free estimate.