Purchased a home. Used dishwasher for the first time and it flipped the breaker and I could smell that something overheated and burned out. Could it have been drawing to much power and fried the board? The previous owner had it hard wired into the junction box and the garbage disposal is run on the same circuit. It didn’t flip the breaker until after it started to give off the burning smell. Any ideas on what could have caused the flame out?

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    At what point in the cycle did you start smelling the burning ?
    – JACK
    Jul 15, 2021 at 23:17
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    Electrical appliances in good condition will only use/take the power they need, does not matter if 15 or 50 amp breaker(as long as right voltage). Basically something fried/bloke in the dishwasher, which tripped the breaker.
    – crip659
    Jul 15, 2021 at 23:34
  • What make and model is the dishwasher? It sounds like a dead appliance, not anything to do with the circuit Jul 16, 2021 at 0:25

2 Answers 2


A dishwasher is normally put on a 20 amp circuit--all products sold in the us may come with 15 amp plugs but are rated for 20 amp circuits.

Code only allows for 15 or 20 amp circuits. The only difference is how much the appliance can draw prior to tripping the breaker.

If there was a burning smell the dishwasher probably has an electrical fault or loose wiring.

Depending on your code version when built you may or may not have a GFCI. Some states still do not require GFCI protection for dishwashers but the national code has for several cycles.


Since you do not know what smoked I would suggest you get a licenced electrician to check your electrical system. I do not know about where you are but we are required to supply a separate GFCI circuit for the dishwasher and an additional one for the disposal. I have no idea if the rest of the house is ok or maybe a previous a DIY project.

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    GFCI is (generally) a requirement for dishwashers and disposals now, but that is a fairly new change (NEC 2014). So it may have been perfectly legitimate to not have GFCI and, unless the circuit was installed after adoption of NEC 2014, it is likely grandfathered. Not to say it isn't a good idea, but not necessarily required. Jul 16, 2021 at 3:05
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    This was also allowed: Some electricians will wire a kitchen so the dishwasher and garbage disposal are powered by the same circuit, but if this is done, it must be a 20-amp circuit and care must be taken to make sure the total amperage of both appliances does not exceed 80 percent of the circuit
    – Gil
    Jul 16, 2021 at 3:11
  • @Gil Could you source the 80% rule? Jul 16, 2021 at 4:31
  • Here you go! thespruce.com/…. This was written by Written by Timothy Thiele and reviewed by Larry Campbell and updated 06/30/21 Remember the code is a minimum specification, exceeding it is allowed.
    – Gil
    Jul 16, 2021 at 16:44

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