The question of whether or not a wine fridge needs a dedicated circuit is an interesting one. A lot of people think that because their wine fridge is small, it won’t need a dedicated circuit. But the truth is that no, your average wine fridge doesn’t need a dedicated circuit.
But! If you’re looking to get a large unit, it might be worth investing in one. Or if you want to buy 2-3 smaller units, then yes, you’ll need to invest in a bigger circuit.
How much power does a wine fridge use?
Because your wine fridge can draw so much power, it’s important that you know how much it uses. After all, if it’s sucking up all the power, then your other appliances (i.e. speakers) won’t get much of a charge. An average-size wine fridge uses around 16kWh per hour. That’s enough to charge around 5 iPhones.
If you have a small unit, this shouldn’t be an issue, as you’ll only really be using it for storing wine and for serving as a unit to cool the wine. If you have a bigger unit, and if it’s running all day, then you’ll find that your power bills start to rise.
How do I know if my wine fridge needs a dedicated circuit?
Well, you need to install a label on your fridge (which we’ll show you how to do in the next section). Basically, this label tells your wall switch or circuit breaker how much power your fridge uses. You need to mark the circuit box on your fridge with this label before you power your appliance on.
In short, your wine fridge doesn’t need a dedicated circuit if: Your refrigerator is under 7.1 cubic metres (9.3 cubic feet) Your refrigerator weighs between 20KG and 60KG Your fridge doesn’t power off after a certain time (say 20hrs)
What size wine fridge needs a dedicated circuit?
Generally speaking, you’ll need to purchase one unit that is the same size as your fridge. This means that for a normal size fridge, you’ll need to purchase an additional unit that’s just slightly larger than the size of your fridge (which will have a connector to plug into the main appliance).
This isn’t a massive inconvenience, but it’s not too small either. A lot of people also argue that because a lot of them are controlled by smartphones, they don’t need a dedicated circuit. And, while I don’t entirely disagree, I can’t really recommend that you opt for this for any of your home appliance. It’s a small convenience, but one that you should be aware of.
What are the benefits of using a dedicated circuit for your wine fridge?
It means that you can control it from your fridge, your iPad, your phone or your PC. You can even use the app to make your pre-selected wines a couple of degrees warmer and a few degrees cooler. There’s a lot you can do with a dedicated circuit!
You don’t need a separate power supply for a wine fridge? You don’t need a separate power supply for a wine fridge. They typically use 10 to 25 amp 3 phase 3A circuit. If you’re looking to be on the safe side, you could go for the Protek 6A 10 Amp 3 phase system.
The trade-off here though, is that it’s likely to cost a lot more. And what about the food? Most wine fridges will have separate electricity sockets for your food as well as for your wine. This is important for safety purposes and also to prevent food spoiling in a warm environment.
Downsides of a dedicated circuit
Apart from the obvious downsides of having a dedicated circuit (e.g. additional wiring), there are other reasons to avoid the dedicated circuit. The biggest one, and the biggest reason you should consider having it, is cost.
In total, it costs around $25 each for 2 x 220v separate circuits and up to $45 per circuit for 4 x 220v units. You need to buy the separate circuits, one for each fridge, unless you have a new fridge or only one fridge. This makes these two extra circuits cost an average of $75 each. Unless you are one of the very rare cases where you need four separate circuits (which we are not suggesting for a normal fridge) then this isn’t worth it for most people.
So, does wine fridge need a dedicated circuit? At this point, there isn’t definitive evidence one way or the other. So I think it’s probably a good idea to look at each situation on a case by case basis. If you’re buying a smaller, sub-20 litre unit, then probably not.
If you’re buying a larger, sub-40 litre unit, then probably. The bigger your wine fridge, the more important it will be to have a dedicated circuit. Especially if you’re keeping lots of bottles in there, and want to keep those bottles cool.