Freezer power needs

Some background ... I am not an expert with electricity, but trying to learn as much as possible ...
... I just recently moved into a new house and my question(s) is in regards to appliance installation into my unfinished basement. "Lack of power" seems to be prevalent in this case.... 15 amp fuse on breaker, with a 115 volt outlet, labelled for wash machine. The dryer has its own 30 amp breaker and 230 volt outlet. I have a "sump-pump" that has its own 115 volt outlet and a 30 amp breaker nearby as well.
I just purchased a small 10 cuft freezer that in the manual is asking for its own seperate circuit at or near 20amps (energy rated at 312kwh); is this power requirement out of line of industry norm? Could I add this to the same outlet as .. say what I currently have my washer on? Or should I call in an expert and have them install another circuit for my freezer?
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That's probably just the maximum rating of the disconnect for the sump pump, it's probably a fractional horsepower pump using far less than 30 amps.

Yes. I'm thinking this is a defensive measure, liabality-wise on the part of the manufacturer. A 10 cu.ft. freezer, brand new, should be very energy efficient and work just fine on any 15 or 20 a circuit. They're asking for a dedicated circuit in thew event something else on that circuit causes it to trip, thereby spoiling a lot of frozen food, goes unnoticed, gets reset and the spoiled food re-freezes, gets thawed, then you eat, get sick, die, and then someone is gonna figure out what happened and sue the freezer manufacturer for not putting warning labels all over or recommending a seperate circuit in the manual...
>Could I add this to the same outlet as .. say what I currently have my

What I would do is look for the current-rating on the actual freezer itself. It may be in the back, near where the cord exits, or inside, or near the coils or on the bottom, but it has to be somewhere... read the amperage it's probably less than 5 or 6. Now, read the one on your washer, and add the two. If it's more than 20 amps total your answer is no, if it's less than 20 amperes your answer is yes.
Another thing you could do is call an electrician and have a couple of new circuits installed in the basement. One for the freezer (even though it may not need it, it can't hurt and you'll never lose food because the washer machine tripped it) and another with a couple of conveniently-placed GFCI protected outlets. You said "lack of power" is an issue with your basement - and while utilizing the washer receptacle might solve that ONE problem, for now, you still have a lack of power and safe places to plug in a power tool, a vaccuum, a rock tumbler, whatever...
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Couple thoughts come to mind. First, electric motors draw more current than their labels while they are starting up. So, the big risk is that the freezer and the washer motors are starting up the at the same moment, and trip the fuse.
Second thing came to mind, it's not all that dificult for an electrician to put in a new electric socket in an unfinished basement. Probably not all that far away from the electric circuit panel box.
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By national electric code (assuming you are in the us) the washer must be on its own "Laundry" Circuit. If you have a fairly new panel, with some extra space, it wouldnt be too hard to add mor plugs in the basement. You should also check the sump pump isnt on a 30 amp circuit. <If anyone has a sump pump THAT big, the house should be equiped with life preservers> :>
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If its Yellow Label is 312 KWH than that is less than 1 KWH a day . Probably it runs at 100 - 150 watt with a max of 3 to 600 on startup. If you really want to know put a clamp on amp meter on it . It sounds like an efficient unit and 15 A is overkill
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Wade Ekstrom wrote:

I agree with HaHa. The separate circuit recommendation is for protection from possible food spoilage and has nothing to do with power draw. You can put the freezer on any 15 A circuit (heck you could put 3 of the things on a 15 a circuit); there is no reason for it to be on a 20 A circuit. I have a 17 cubic foot freezer in my garage that is on the same circuit as my tools and lights. The circuit breaker has never tripped even when a 1 hp motor (rated 12.2 a) is running. Recognize that that freezer uses very little power and won't run very often if you keep the door closed and full of frozen food or frozen jugs of water. But, since the basement is unfinished, install another 15 a line just for the freezer if you are worried.
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Just to pile on the other answers, yes, it is a good idea.
While he is there, have one or two more circuits and a half dozen receptacles installed. The freeze can share a circuit with another small appliance, but they as for separate ones so if your kids trip out the breaker playing with something and don't tell you, the freezer will not be out also.
Now that you have plenty of electric, make a little workbench, get a few power tools, etc. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Nothing gets a do-it-yourselfer's OR a craftsman's motor running like hearing about a big, dry, unfinished basement...
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