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?
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
>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...
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.
Christopher A. Young
Jesus: The Reason for the Season
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> :>
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
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.
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
Now that you have plenty of electric, make a little workbench, get a few
power tools, etc.
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