Most modern appliances require more electricity than their previous models. The hair dryer is no exception to this trend as its motor became much more powerful over the years (from 750 to 1875 watts). Because houses typically have fixed electrical circuits for a long period of time, circuit breaker tripping is a concern over the use of hair dryers.
How many amps does a hair dryer use? At their highest settings, the typical dryer amperage can reach almost 16 amps.
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Determine the Current of Your Hair Dryer
The current in an electric hair dryer or any other electrical appliance can be determined by how many watts the device is and how many volts of the outlet. Electrical power is defined as:
If we re-arrange this definition, we get the amps as:
\[ \text{Current (A)} = \frac{\text{Watts (W)}}{\text{Voltage (V)}} \]
Let’s give an example. The average hair dryer wattage is around 1875 watts. Therefore, the average current drawn by a hair dryer in a 120-volt outlet will be:
\[ \text{Current (A)} = \frac{\text{Watts (W)}}{\text{Voltage (V)}} = \frac{1875 \, \text{W}}{120 \, \text{V}} = 15.6 \, \text{A} \]
With nearly 16 amps of current drawn from a 120-volt outlet, it’s easy to see that hair dryers use a lot of electricity, a whole lot more than a hair straightener but quite close to a curling iron (specifically a moulder).
Take note that this is just based on the average hair dryer power consumption so some devices may pull more current than others.
Of course, if the same average hair dryer wattage is available for a 220 volt outlet, then:
\[ \text{Current (A)} = \frac{\text{Watts (W)}}{\text{Voltage (V)}} = \frac{1875 \, \text{W}}{220 \, \text{V}} = 8.5 \, \text{A} \]
Pros and Cons of Different Hair Dryer Wattages
High-powered hair dryers offer certain pros and cons. Some stylists agree that a higher power relates to the faster and hotter blow dryer. Interestingly, because hair dryers are used for only short periods, they are not too costly to operate. Of course, these high-powered devices can become expensive to purchase.
On the other end of the spectrum, a low-amp hair dryer is great for traveling. A low-wattage hair dryer for RV, for instance, can have a low impact on the trailer’s battery. It also reduces the risk of tripping the circuit breaker if used at home.
Hair Dryer 15 or 20 Amp Circuit
The American household has both 15 amp and 20 amp circuits at 120 volts. The 15 amp circuits are used for normal appliances while the 20 amp circuits are used for high-powered devices.
But remember, these circuits are limited to only 80% of their overcurrent protection devices (in this case, their circuit breakers) for non-continuous loads as mandated by the US National Electrical Code, so their actual current carrying capacity is only up to 12 amps for the 15-amp circuit and 16 amps for the 20-amp circuit before the circuit breaker trips.
Thus, the right circuit depends on how many amps a hair dryer pull from a 120 volt outlet. To prevent the circuit breaker from tripping, a low powered hair dryer drawing up to 12 amps goes well with a 15-amp circuit, but the average hair dryer may need a 20-amp circuit.
Estimated Current Ratings of Different Hair Dryers
Using our re-arranged relationship, we can check the current that different hair dryers use. An article from ecocostsavings.com shows the hair dryer wattage of various units. We’ll just apply our equation to some of these power ratings:
Hair dryer brand and model | Electrical power in watts (W) | Estimated current rating (amps) | |
At 120 volts | At 240 volts | ||
BaBylissPRO – TravelFX | 1000 | 8.33 | 4.17 |
Tineco – MODA One Smart Ionic Hair Dryer | 1400 | 11.67 | 5.83 |
Dyson Hair Dryer | 1600 | 13.33 | 6.67 |
Shark – HyperAir Blow Dryer | 1800 | 14 | 7 |
Revlon – Essentials Compact | 1875 | 15.63 | 7.81 |
Remington – Pro Wet2Style | 1875 | 15.63 | 7.81 |
Conair – 1875 Watt Cord-Keeper Folding Dryer | 1875 | 15.63 | 7.81 |
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you run a hair dryer on a 15 amp circuit?
The average 1875 watt hair dryer might not run on a 15 amp circuit. Based on our calculations, its current draw on a 120 volt circuit is more than 12 amps. Consult an electrician to check the right circuit for the hair dryer.
How much current does a hair dryer draw?
If the average power of a hair dryer is around 1875 watts, then it can draw almost 16 watts in a 120 volt circuit, and almost 8 amps in a 240 volt circuit based on our calculations.
Why do hair dryers use so much power?
Because this device generates heat, it may consume more electricity than many of us would expect. To save money, we can always go with a low-wattage model.
Conclusion
The average hair dryer can be a power-hungry device that draws a lot of current from an outlet, and may cause a 15 amp circuit breaker to trip. It reaches around 16 amps and may benefit from a 20 amp circuit.
Thus, knowing how many amps does a hair dryer use can help plan the electrical requirements needed to conveniently use the device and prevent frequent trips. Don’t forget to consult your electrician to safely install the right circuit up to code.
I am Edwin Jones, in charge of designing content for Galvinpower. I aspire to use my experiences in marketing to create reliable and necessary information to help our readers. It has been fun to work with Andrew and apply his incredible knowledge to our content.