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What You Need To Know About An Electric Fireplace: Does It Require A Dedicated Circuit?

What You Need To Know About An Electric Fireplace: Does It Require A Dedicated Circuit?

An electric fireplace will soon be installed because it will improve the aesthetics of your living areas. But because it depends on electricity, you frequently ponder whether it needs a special circuit to work properly.

The electrical requirements of the electric fireplace will always determine if a dedicated circuit should be provided. A few electric fireplaces of the built-in variety employ various heating elements.

You must abide by the need to give the electric fireplace a dedicated circuit because of this. Some electric fireplaces, however, operate simply by being plugged into an outlet.

In addition to giving the electric fireplace a dedicated circuit, there are many other important details you should be aware of. Below, we address the optimal breaker wire size, the best receptacle, and whether an extension cable can support your electric fireplace.

How Big A Circuit Breaker Do I Need For An Electric Fireplace?

What You Need To Know About An Electric Fireplace: Does It Require A Dedicated Circuit?

To prevent potential problems during operation, you should always install your electric fireplace in line with the size of the circuit breaker. Currently, the electrical capacity of the majority of electric fireplaces range from 120 to 240 volts.

For those sizes of electric fireplace, a 15-20 amp circuit breaker is required. The majority of technicians would advise using the breaker amps. However, it’s also a good idea to consult your user handbook for more detailed information.

Keep in mind that your electric fireplace is the sole appliance covered by this electrical specification. If you decide to operate a different appliance on the same circuit, be sure to increase its amp capacity to accommodate the increased current load.

Size Of Ideal Breaker Wire

The adequate capacity sizing of the panel is not the essential requirement for the circuit breaker’s overall performance. Additionally, the wiring size of the device must match the requirements of the current load.

Keep in mind that the current load capacity decreases noticeably as wire size increases. A 12 gauge cable is required for a 20 amp size breaker. This will take care of your electric fireplace and keep it operating without any electrical issues.

Can I Simply Plug In My Electric Fireplace?

What You Need To Know About An Electric Fireplace: Does It Require A Dedicated Circuit?

Since electric fireplaces need an electrical supply to operate, many versions come with a standard socket. As long as it is a normal socket, you may definitely plug the electric fireplace into your home’s outlet.

Never try to plug your electric fireplace into an outlet that isn’t designed to support the device. Just a friendly reminder of how dangerous it is to put a device into an outlet that isn’t the right size.

In the United States, there are 51,000 residential electrical fire occurrences per year that result in 500 fatalities. As many as 5,300 events per year involving receptacles are among the many factors that contribute to these horrible incidents.

One approach to prevent home fires is to protect your electrical outlets. Because GFCI outlets are what experts advise for every outlet in your home, using one will ensure that your electric fireplace functions safely.

Can I Safely Plug An Extension Cord Into My Electric Fireplace?

Additionally, extension cords are available in various diameters that may fit your electric fireplace. The risk of a fire only rising if you try to plug your electric fireplace into an extension cord.

This is due to the fact that the wire eventually overheats and melts due to the energy flowing through each cord’s outlet. Additionally, the majority of extension cords should only be used briefly.

Using extension cables for a long time may cause your fireplace to malfunction if there isn’t enough electrical source available for it.

Does The Electric Fireplace Use Little Energy?

What You Need To Know About An Electric Fireplace: Does It Require A Dedicated Circuit?

You already know that, like with any other item, the size will always affect how energy-efficient an electric fireplace is. You may find electric fireplaces with 5,000 or more BTUs, or roughly 7,500 to 10,000 BTUs.

However, an electric fireplace used in a normal American home consumes between 1 and 1.5 kWh of electricity each hour. You should budget between $0.15 and $0.23 per hour for this.

In comparison to gas and wood fireplaces, it also distributes hot air far more effectively around the room. As a result, it loses 50% less heat than other fireplace configurations.

Should My Electric Fireplace Be Hardwired?

Every fireplace’s ideal wiring configuration is determined by its size or BTU output, as usual. First, what does “hardwired” for an electric fireplace actually mean? For users who have enough electrical expertise, this might be evident.

However, we believe it’s important to note this because improper wiring from your electric fireplace into the circuit can result in an electrical catastrophe. This implies, your fireplace unit will be directly connected to the breaker.

Furthermore, for wall-mounted electric fireplaces that are larger or more powerful, hardwiring is advised. Essentially, a strong 240 V fireplace unit needs to be linked to a breaker.

This is acceptable given that it requires a tremendous amount of energy to function as it should.

Can I Use One Outlet To Plug In Both My TV And An Electric Fireplace?

The ideal solution is to create a new, separate outlet for each item to ensure safety and security. However, the energy consumption of TVs is not particularly significant. Considering that it only uses 1.0 amps of power per hour on average.

As long as you plug them all together into a regular socket, you should be good. As we’ve talked about earlier, a GFCI type of outlet is the approved outlet for domestic consumption. Basically, in order to support them securely, you’ll need a GFCI outlet.

It is completely acceptable to place the TV in the same socket as the TV because the TV isn’t encouraging tension in your socket. Additionally, modern outlets are only designed to support two appliances at once.

What Causes My Electric Fireplace to Constantly Trip The Breaker?

You almost certainly will experience breaker tripping issues at some point throughout the lifespan of your electrical fireplace. Chances are that the circuit breaker will trip even while the fireplace is not in use.

These are the typical reasons why it trips:

  • Perhaps there is a power outage in your neighborhood. As a result, the fireplace is difficult for the breaker to support.
  • The circuit breaker has already outlived its usefulness and is unable to continue doing its duty.
    • Experts estimate that the circuit breaker has an average lifespan of about 30 to 40 years.
    • Given its extreme intent, this will always degrade earlier than anticipated.
  • The most frequent reasons why the electric fireplace trips are overloaded circuits. As previously said, to prevent tripping concerns, follow our proper rules for how much your socket or circuit breaker can hold.

How Frequently Should Your Breaker Be Maintained?

Because the breakers may not be displaying early failure indicators, the need for circuit breaker maintenance is frequently invisible. Additionally, because of the breaker’s design, which is ideal for a heavy duty, maintenance need to be done infrequently.

Whatever the case, moulded case breakers require annual evaluation. Additionally, you ought to perform a routine trip test at least every three to five years.

The low-voltage breakers should ideally be inspected and maintained every one to three years as well. Keep in mind that the extent of the regular maintenance will always depend on how poorly it is functioning.


An electric fireplace should always have a breaker installed to ensure its electrical safety. In this article, we covered the top issues that users of electric fireplaces have.

We informed you that each electric fireplace has specific electrical requirements and whether a circuit has to be provided. You also discovered that using just an extension cord to power your electric fireplace is not advised. We provided you with a thorough description of when to maintain your circuit breaker.

Simply abide by all of our suggestions and guidance to keep your electric fireplace working without any electrical problems.

What You Need To Know About An Electric Fireplace: Does It Require A Dedicated Circuit?

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