Circuit breaker for kitchen trips

I'm renting the top half of a house.
For the second time now, the circuit breaker for one of the circuits in the kitchen tripped. (Aside: annoying 'cuz the breaker switches are in the other half of the house.)
Here's what was running and what their labels say: * Microwave (13 amps) * Fridge (6.5 amps) * Hair dryer (blower): 1875 W
Is it reasonable that this keeps happening? The house is pretty old, but the kitchen is supposedly an addition. (Though it could still be not so new.)
I'm not sure if the amps/circuit is too low, or if there aren't enough circuits, or whether that's an unreasonable load.
There's also a washer/dryer in the kitchen, though that hasn't been on either time.
TIA
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1875 W / 120 V = 15.6 A
13 + 6.5 + 15.6 = 35.1

Reasonable that the circuit breaker keeps tripping, yes. Reasonable that you're overloading it, well... maybe not. :-)

No -- you're overloading it.

You need *at*least* two circuits for that load, and three would be better.

That's an unreasonable load. Why are you running the hair dryer in the kitchen?
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

Don't get him started about the malfunctioning dishwasher...
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Yeah, God forbid landlords would actually have to keep their units in good repair.
Though actually in this case the dishwasher is pretty state-of-the-art.
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And the landlord is probably thinking, God forbid that tenants would ever overload the circuits.
The electrical code does not require upgrades to existing installations that were Code-compliant at the time they were installed.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Except that the same microwave and fridge were on that circuit when we moved in, and the owner herself had been living here for a few months when we moved in.

I figured that might be the case.
Cheers.

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The refrigerator doesn't draw the full 13 amps the whole time it's running, and probably the microwave doesn't either, so the two together won't necessarily trip the breaker every time.
However... if the building is old enough to have so few circuits in the kitchen, (a) the circuits may be only 15A, not 20A, and (b) the wiring is likely not in the greatest shape either. The two should not be on the same circuit. And the toaster and hair dryer *definitely* should not be on that circuit *too*.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Fri, 30 Mar 2007 10:38:53 -0400, "sinister"

I think that will make her less sympathetic to your problem.

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wrote:

Thanks for responding to my post.
I meant, reasonable that the kitchen seems to be wired with so few circuits.
I just tested...there's one other outlet near the sink, that's not on the same circuit. (In-sink garbage disposal and perhaps some of the big appliances are on that circuit.) But AFAICT there's only one outlet on that circuit.
But the fridge and microwave are on one circuit, for sure, and that's already 19.5 A.

Wife likes to dry her hair while she's eating.
Also, it happened when the microwave, 900 W toaster, and fridge were on.

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In an older home, sure. Very common.

That would be a good place to plug in one of your high-current appliances.

You really should move the microwave to a different circuit.
[snip]

Unless you can find a different circuit in the kitchen to plug that into, she'll have to give that up.

Not surprising at all -- that's more than enough to overload a 20A circuit. You should not have the toaster and the microwave on the same circuit, or, if you can't avoid that, don't operate them both at the same time.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Is it OK that the MW + fridge is 13 + 6.5 = 19.5 A? Or does that mean that one should definitely be moved?
Thanks for the very prompt and informative replies.

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No, it's not OK. Those definitely should be on different circuits.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Fri, 30 Mar 2007 07:40:58 -0400, "sinister"

= something like 16 or 17 amps.
I would stop using the hair dryer when the microwave is running.
The fridge goes on automatically, so that would be very hard to coordinate, and you've said that the landlord used to use both the microwave and the fridge, so I doubt if those two alone will blow the breaker. And if I were her, I would not have a lot of sympathy. I would say, "Don't use the hairdryer when you use the microwave."
(I would think the microwave uses about the same during its entire cycle.)
I used to have a 7 room, 3 bathroom, aparment with 3 roommates, 4 of us total, and we got by on 20 amps for the whole place. One slo-blo fuse in the basement. (And 2 15-amp slo-blo at the apartment.)
For a couple summers I even had a small window AC, and I was pretty sure when the fridge and the AC went on at the same time, I would blow the fuse. But I don't think I ever did.
And I had a big micorwave, but didn't have occasion to use it, and wouldn't have, when the AC was on.
None of us guys used hair dryers, however.

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Running on one 20 amp slo-blo fuse (and circuit breakers are all slo-blow, iiuc.) I never blew the 20 amp fuse by using the big model 2 Amana microwave, and I'm sure the fridge went on some of those times over 5 years.
But blown breakers turn out to be a problem, mayybe
If this gets to be a problem, and you could convince the ll this would be a long term solution, maybe a breaker accessible to you could be installed and the one behind the entertainment center bypassed if that would be legal.
But I would never even suggest that until I had stopped using 3 big items at the same time.
You may not have realized before how much a hair dryer or toaster oven uses. They use enormous amounts. Generally speaking, things that make electric heat or remove heat use the most current. Things that make light are next, except for fluorescents. Motors use even less, if they drive fans or turn CDs, but use a lot if they drive AC compressors. Clocks and transistor radios, even the ones that plug in, use very little.
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