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Everything You Need to Know About Microwave Wattage

Posted on: February 11, 2016

A microwave is basically standard in any home these days, along with refrigerators, washing machines, etc. But do you know very much about your microwave? Furthermore, is it important that you know anything about your microwave? You might be surprised by our answer!

At Kolb Electric, our experts make a point to stay up to date with any and all information regarding modern electrical practice, the workings of appliances and how they impact your home. Why do we tell you this? So you know we know our stuff when we say wattage is the single most important factor in choosing a microwave! Well, that and a popcorn button.

What Exactly Is Wattage?

Avoiding the potential (and boy, is there potential) for a massive science lesson, wattage boils down to a unit of measurement for a unit of power. In how your average person understands it, wattage is how much power an appliance utilizes to operate.

Microwave Wattage: Why is it Important?

Microwave wattage generally spans between six and twelve hundred (600-1200) watts. You can see the wattage of your microwave on either the original package, or on the bottom of the unit. It will either have a number and say watts beside it, or it will simply have a number and a “w”, which means watts.

Understanding the wattage of your microwave tells you a few things. In a practical sense, it tells you how strong the microwave is. This is why “cook times may vary”. It also tells you what your microwave needs to operate smoothly. Many microwaves require a dedicated circuit to operate smoothly. We’ll go further in depth on this in a moment.

But, why have varied microwave wattage?

Well, there are a few good reasons. Many homes and older building simply can’t handle the supply need of higher wattage appliances, thus lower wattage options are available. Additionally, larger or more powerful microwaves are (naturally) more expensive. So, there’s a practical reason, and a cost-based reason.

What was that about a dedicated circuit?

Many homeowners feel that just any old outlet will do for their microwave. Most of the time, they learn they’re wrong the hard way. Microwaves require a dedicated circuit because it’s code and legally required, and  because not having a dedicated circuit can lead to breaker flips, power surges and permanent appliance damage.

Microwaves are high-power items, and use some of the highest wattages in your home. Furthermore, they use energy in a very intense way, which means a microwave can stress your circuits like no other.

Dedicated Circuit Installation in Maryland, DC and Virginia With Kolb

We hope you learned something useful (or at least a little interesting)! Do you know if your microwave is on its own, dedicated circuit? If not, contact a Kolb professional today!

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