Dedicated circuit is a circuit set aside for a specific purpose, often with the implication that the use is either sensitive in nature or highly demanding, making it necessary to isolate the circuit used. Such circuits require some extra attention and care during the installation phase so that they are installed properly given the use they are intended for.
In electrical wiring, a dedicated circuit is set up with its own circuit breaker and intended for a single use. In some cases, a receptacle may be wired to it so that it can be connected to an appliance such as a stove or a refrigerator. In other cases, an appliance can be wired directly into the circuit, as is commonly seen with electrical water heaters.
This type of circuit is designed to ensure that it will not be overloaded by the appliance that draws power from it. By dedicating a circuit, the supply of power will not be interrupted and operating conditions will remain safe.
A circuit breaker is a manually or automatically operated electrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by overload or short circuit. Its basic function is to detect a fault condition and interrupt current flow. Unlike a fuse, which operates once and then must be replaced, a circuit breaker can be reset (either manually or automatically) to resume normal operation.
Below are common known circuit breakers:
+ GFCI (Ground Fault Ciruit Intereupter) circuit breakers: used as replacement for standard circuit breakers, providing ground fault protection to all receptacles in that same circuit.
+ AFCI ((Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) circuit breakers: used to address fire hazards caused by arcing faults in the home electrical wiring, while GFCI are installed to prevent shock hazards. AFCI’s are required since 2020 for bedroom circuits in new residential construction. AFCI’s can be installed in 15 or 20 ampere circuits in a home and are available as circuit breakers.
+ Single-pole and double-pole circuit breakers: Single-pole circuit breakers play an important part of electrical distribution as a safe way to manage branch circuits from a circuit breaker panel. Single-pole circuit breakers supply 120-volt power to circuits, while double-pole circuit breakers supply 240-volts to circuits. Single-pole breakers come in a wide range of amperage ratings, with 15-, 20-, and 30-amp circuit breakers being the most commonly used in most household installations.