Are you running out of power in your apartment? Have you ever done a load of laundry and blown the breaker? You might be exceeding the allotted amps in your suite. Short for ampere, amps are units that measure electric current. When too much power is drawn, the breaker shuts off to prevent the wires from getting dangerously hot. Appliances like air conditioning systems and laundry machines draw large amounts of power and use up lots of amps. In our fast-paced lives, we use a lot of power to perform daily tasks like cleaning and cooking. But how many amps should an apartment have, and does yours have enough?


In an apartment building, amps are distributed based on the size of the apartment. Electrical capacity is calculated based on square footage and expected usage. A one-bedroom apartment is typically allotted 40 amps, and a three-bedroom might have up to 80. Since most apartment buildings have limited power, the amount of amps in a suite usually correlates to its size. If your one-bedroom apartment is short on amps and you want to request more, you may be out of luck – most apartment buildings have a limited capacity of power. Another resident in the past may have requested more than their share, and shorted your apartment on amps. 


The key to not overloading the circuit is proper current management. If you are continually tripping the breaker, look at which appliances that you use the most. There are high-load and low-load appliances; try to stagger your usage so that not everything draws power at once. Doing laundry in the morning? Wait until it’s done before running the dishwasher or heating up the oven. Air conditioning units are another huge draw of power. Things like coffee machines and televisions use much less. To avoid popping the breaker, manage the appliances that use the most power. Some clothes dryers have a half-power setting that uses less amps – this is a great option for someone with limited power. Be mindful of how much power you are drawing when using electric dryers and stoves. When buying future appliances, look at how much power they use. You can use this information to keep your circuits running smoothly. 


So, how many amps should your apartment have? The answer is subjective. It really depends on the size of the apartment, how much power is being used, and the capacity of the building’s electrical panel. It’s possible that your suite isn’t allotted enough amps for its size and expected usage. 

If you are concerned that you aren’t being provided enough amps in your apartment, consider calling a Winnipeg electrician. At Powertec Electric, our technicians can inspect your apartment and tell you how many amps you’ve been allotted and how many you are using. We can also suggest ways to decrease the load on the circuit to prevent the breaker from tripping again. We hope that these tips will help you manage your power supply.