As both appliances are essential in daily life and can be heavy electricity consumers, understanding the potential compatibility of their circuits is crucial.

Can a fridge and washing machine be on the same circuit? I am here to shed some light on that and clear your doubts.

This article delves into the considerations and potential implications of connecting these appliances to the same circuit, shedding light on the factors that need to be weighed before making a decision.

Can a Fridge and Washing Machine Be on the Same Circuit?

In general, having a refrigerator and a washing machine on the same electrical circuit is not recommended.

This is because both appliances are heavy electricity consumers, and running them simultaneously could lead to overloading the circuit, which may result in tripped circuit breakers or even potential electrical hazards like overheating or fire.

Refrigerators, washing machines, and other large appliances often have high startup currents when their motors or compressors kick in.

If both appliances are connected to the same circuit and start running simultaneously, the combined current draw could exceed the circuit’s capacity.

It’s best to consult an electrician or refer to the electrical specifications provided in the manuals of your appliances to determine their electrical requirements and to ensure that they are properly distributed across different circuits to prevent overloading.

It’s generally safer to have each appliance on separate circuits if possible to avoid potential issues.

Can a Fridge and Washing Machine Be on the Same Circuit?

Power Requirements of Fridge and Washing Machine

Breakdown of the power consumption of a typical refrigerator

Modern refrigerators are designed to be energy-efficient, but they still consume a significant amount of power due to their continuous operation.

The power consumption of a refrigerator can vary based on factors such as size, age, efficiency rating, and usage patterns.

On average, a typical refrigerator might consume around 100 to 800 watts, depending on these factors. This power is mainly used for the compressor, which maintains the desired temperature inside the fridge, as well as for operating fans, lights, and other electronic components.

It’s important to note that refrigerators do not consume this power constantly. They cycle on and off to maintain the desired temperature, usually around 37 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (3 to 4 degrees Celsius) for the fresh food compartment.

Analysis of the power requirements of a standard washing machine

Washing machines, like refrigerators, also come in various models with different power requirements. The power consumption of a washing machine is primarily determined by its capacity, wash cycle duration, water heating mechanism (if applicable), and the efficiency of the motor.

A typical top-loading washing machine might consume around 350 to 500 watts during the washing cycle, with slightly higher consumption during the spin cycle.

Front-loading machines are more energy-efficient and may consume around 200 to 400 watts during the washing cycle.

If the washing machine has a built-in water heater, the power consumption could be higher, especially during the water heating phase.

Comparison of the power demands to understand their impact on an electrical circuit

When considering placing a fridge and washing machine on the same electrical circuit, it’s essential to consider their combined power requirements.

Let’s say you have a refrigerator that consumes 150 watts and a washing machine that consumes 400 watts during its washing cycle. This adds up to 550 watts when both appliances are operating simultaneously.

This combined power consumption should not be a problem for most circuits in a typical household. Standard electrical circuits in homes are usually rated for 15 to 20 amps, translating to 1800 to 2400 watts at 120 volts.

Since 550 watts is significantly lower than these limits, having a fridge and washing machine on the same circuit appears feasible.

However, it’s important to remember that other devices, such as lights, small kitchen appliances, or electronics, might also be using power on the same circuit.

Additionally, the startup current of certain appliances, like the compressor in a fridge or the motor in a washing machine, can be higher than their steady-state power consumption.

This brief surge in power could potentially trip the circuit breaker if the cumulative demands are too high.

Does a Washing Machine Need to Be on a Dedicated Circuit?

Yes, a washing machine needs to be on a dedicated circuit. A washing machine pulls a lot of currents (usually around 13 amps) while it’s running.

If it’s plugged into an outlet that’s also plugged into something else, like a vacuum cleaner or microwave, it can overload the circuit and cause a fire.

For safety reasons, it’s always best to have appliances like washing machines that draw a lot of current on their own dedicated circuit breaker.

That way, you know there’s plenty of power available for the appliance without the risk of overloading the circuit.

Read more: Do Washing Machines Need A GFCI?


What Happens If You Use Two Heavy Appliances on the Same Circuit?

If you use two heavy appliances on the same circuit, one of them will probably trip the circuit breaker. This is because each appliance uses a certain amount of power, and the combined power draw of both appliances is too much for the circuit to handle.

The trip switch is designed to protect your home from electrical fires, so it’s actually a good thing that it happens. However, it can be inconvenient if you’re in the middle of using one of the appliances when it happens.

To avoid this, you can either use each appliance on a different circuit or make sure that the total power draw of both appliances is within the limits of the circuit breaker.


The compatibility of connecting a fridge and a washing machine to the same circuit requires careful consideration. Can a fridge and washing machine be on the same circuit?

Given their substantial power requirements and potential startup surges, running both appliances simultaneously on a single circuit can lead to overloads, tripped breakers, and even electrical hazards. So, it is not recommended to be on the same.

While the combined power consumption of these appliances may appear manageable within circuit limits, other devices sharing the same circuit and the temporary power surges during startup must also be factored in.

It is advisable to consult an electrician and adhere to manufacturer specifications for safety and optimal performance.

In most cases, employing separate dedicated circuits for these heavy appliances is a prudent choice to ensure reliable operation and mitigate potential risks.