What Size Circuit Breaker for Ceiling Fan? (Solved!)

As you may know, a circuit breaker is a switch designed to restrict the current flow between designated electrical circuits and a power source; it protects appliances from short circuits and electrical overload.

Ceiling fans use little power, so a moderate-sized circuit breaker or circuit breaker with low voltage would be ideal for these appliances. To be more precise, a 110-volt circuit breaker.

There are so many types of circuit breakers out there. The ones commonly used in a home are as follows, Miniature Circuit Breaker (MCB), Residential Current Circuit Breaker (RCCB), and Molded Case Circuit Breaker (MCCB).

Circuit breakers are sometimes confused with fuses; both devices perform similar functions but significantly differ.

For instance, both circuit breaker and fuse protect appliances from overloading, but only one option can protect a home from short circuits.

The most notable difference between a circuit breaker and a fuse is that the first can be reused repeatedly while the latter can only be used once.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way let’s take a closer look at what size of a circuit breaker is most suitable for a ceiling fan.

Does A Ceiling Fan Need Its Own Breaker?

 A ceiling fan doesn’t necessarily need a circuit breaker to itself; this is because the amount of amperage (amps) used by a ceiling fan is very small.

Ceiling fans can be wired together with other electrical appliances that do not demand a lot of power. In other words, they can use the same power source or circuit breaker.

Other home appliances such as a refrigerator, washer, microwave, electric oven, air conditioner, and washing machine require their own circuit breaker because they consume a lot of power.   

How Many Amps Does A Ceiling Fan Need?

The higher the speed of a ceiling fan, the higher the number of amps it’d need. Ceiling fans typically use between 0.5 and 1 amp of electrical current. Sometimes the fan model has a bearing on the amperage required.

Ceiling fans use minimal energy compared to other home appliances like air conditioners and washing machines.

Determining the number of amps required for a ceiling fan can be tricky because each fan setting consumes different electrical current levels.

Also, the type or size of fan you have determines how much amp your ceiling fan requires.

For instance, a normal-sized ceiling fan uses 0.25 amp on low speed, 0.4 amp on medium speed, and 0.6 amp on high speed.

Larger ceiling fans, on the other hand, use 0.5 amp on low speed and 0.6 amp on high speed.

A hunter ceiling fan model, which often comes with a light bulb attached to its center, uses two amps with the bulb and three amps without the bulb.

Ceiling fans with lights attached to them don’t require many amps, even when they’re on a high setting. This type of fan only needs about 0.5 amp to function on low speed.  

52-inch ceiling fans, usually located in master bedrooms, dining rooms, or patio areas, use 0.17 amp on low speed and 0.65 amp on high speed.

The following table summarizes the information provided above.

Normal Ceiling Fan0.4 – 0.25 amp0.6 amp
Large Ceiling Fan0.5 amp1 amp
Hunter Ceiling FanTwo amps (with light bulb)Three amps (without light bulb)
52-inch Ceiling Fan0.17 amp0.65 amp
Ceiling Fan with Light0.5 ampAround 0.5 amp

How Many Ceiling Fans on A 15 AMP Circuit?

You can use up to 18 ceiling fans on a 15 amp circuit. As mentioned earlier in the article, ceiling fans don’t consume a lot of power. The most amount of power a ceiling fan can function on is 120 watts.

Kindly note that you can only run the number of fans specified above on a single circuit if there are no other electrical appliances connected to the same circuit.

You might want to consider a circuit higher than 15 amps if you wish to hook up 18 ceiling fans, other electrical appliances, and several light bulbs to your breaker.

A 15 amps circuit can only take about 1800 watts of electricity, to be on the safe side, only load your circuit with 80% of the aforementioned wattage, that is 1440 watts which is 12 amps.

Don’t panic if you accidentally connect too many appliances to your amp circuit. Remember, they are designed to disrupt the passage of current when an overload is detected, so you can easily rectify your mistake.

How Many Ceiling Fans on A 20 AMP Circuit?

A 20-amp circuit breaker can handle a maximum of 2400 watts, so you can hook up about 20 ceiling fans to it. To be safe, only load your amp circuit with 80% of the wattage it can handle.

Using the 80% rule, the total amount of amps after connecting your lights, outlets, and ceiling fans to your 20-amp circuit breaker should not be more than 1920 watts.  

20-amp circuits are designed to carry heavy appliances, so while it will do no harm to connect as many appliances as you want within the wattage of the circuit, you must be mindful of the wiring.

A 12-gauge wire is ideal for connecting a ceiling fan. If you have a modern wiring system, then consider using a 14-gauge wire to connect your appliances.

If you have little to no technical knowledge or experience, hooking up electrical appliances to a circuit breaker is a project you should leave to a professional.

For your safety and the safety of your home, do not attempt to connect or mess with the wiring in your home if you’re not sure you can handle it.

You should also know that turning a circuit breaker on and off frequently can destroy it. You can turn it off when it’s no longer in use, but if you constantly make use of it, don’t turn it off. 

Flicking the switch of a circuit breaker often can make it spark, and this can lead to a fire in your home, so only tamper with the switch if it’s necessary.

Final Thoughts.

Installing circuit breakers in your home is one of the most important measures you can take to safeguard your appliances and, subsequently, your home from damage.

Although circuit breakers are designed to prevent overloading, it’s important that the wattage of appliances that you connect to your breaker does not exceed its capacity.

The lifespan of a circuit breaker is between 30-40 years, so you don’t have to worry about getting a new one for a long while.