refrigerator power requirement 15A or 20A?

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they are probably stating that they should be on a max 20A breaker so it has a chance of tripping if there is a problem, not that the fridge under full load draws 20 amps. find out what the fridge will actually draw... i cannot imagine you need more than 15 amps.
randy

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You should be OK. I just looked at a couple of web pages to see what power they actually draw, but they did not list the specification. Kitchen Aid did state a 15A or 20A circuit is sufficient.
As a matter of code I believe new homes must be wired with a single 20A circuit for the refrigerator. This is to allow for a decent power draw and it avoids having the fridge and toaster on the same line, blowing breakers, etc. It is just good common sense.
I have a second fridge in the basement also and it is on a 15A line and has been for over 20 years. New models take much less power than the older ones. What you want to be careful of is putting a lot of other appliances or heavy draw items on that branch circuit. Safety aside, you don't want the kids to plug in a game, blow the breaker and they go out and play. Three days later you find the fridge is now warm and food spoiled.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Thanks all who replied.
I figured 15A is probably OK, as my current main refregerator is on a 15A circuit shared with rangehhod and some lights.
Those refregerators doesn't require much energy - the yellow tags stated that they run 400 - 600 KWH per year, which is $30 to $40 a year (it costs less than 7 cents/KWH here.)
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a guest wrote:

less than a 60-watt bulb running continuously. I actually checked this with a Kill-A-Watt meter.
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If your 60 watt bulb is running, you better catch it before it gets out the door!
Ha!
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William W. Plummer wrote:

I presume you mean it uses less *total kwh* than a 60-watt bulb running continuously. What was the starting current and the running current? I don't think the breaker is sized according to average current draw, which includes time when it isn't running.
%mod%
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snipped-for-privacy@worldnet.att.net wrote:

Ok, so far everyone is talking nonsense or around the point. You are right, what one needs to know is the running power usage.
My old whirlpool (no ice maker) says the running power requirement is 330 to 420 watts. That between 3 and 4 A. Newer machines undoubtedly use more electricity, but I can't imagine one using 10 A except at start up and a 15 A breaker allows for temporary overage at start up.
My house built in 1976 has no dedicated circuit for the refrigerator. The reason refrigerator and freezer manufactures emphasize using a dedicated circuit is so that another device doesn't trip the breaker and you loose all the food. Imagine having a half a beef in your freezer (or a 1/4 in a refrigerator/freezer unit) and some other appliance popping the breaker, especially while you are on vacation, and no one notices for a week. A dedicated circuit has nothing to do with safety, it has to do with economics.
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Don't be suprised if the new ones use less. I got rid of an old 10 cu. ft fridge and replaced it with a new 18 cu. ft. frost free and my electric bill went down $10 a month. It has a nameplate rating of 4.75 A The kitchen fridge has a Full Load rating of 6.5A for a 21 Cu. ft. side by side.
Searching a few web sites, they don't give any power requirements aside from 115V so doing any comparisons is not going to be simple. . In any case, a 15A breaker can certainly handle that load.

I'm not so sure. My house built in 1978 has a separate circuit. The safety issue is not what the fridge will draw, but what other kitchen appliances will do along with it. I'm not up on the code but I believe there is specifics for counter receptacles as they can easily carry coffee makers, toaster ovens, microwaves, all going at the same time.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

New units of the same size may use less electricity, but many of the new ones are much larger and have way more features that older models which I expect would offset any increased efficiency. Certainly your 4.76 and 6.5A ratings are larger than mine. BTW, my figures came off the circuit page for the frig.
I'm sure that safety isn't a factor. The circuit(s) are protected by the breakers. The only thing that putting the various appliances on separate circuits does, is reduce the likelihood that the breakers will trip. Tripping isn't a safety problem, just an inconvenience or loss of food if it goes unnoticed.
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OK, the refrigerator I mentioned before was not 10 cu. ft, but 7.2. We have it at work and I just checked the tag. It says I takes 5.5A. It has such luxury features as a lightbulb inside. The freezer is inside the main door, not a two door model.
The new 18 cu. ft. takes 4.5A and is frons free so a defrost cycle must run as well as a fan. Two and a half times more in size, more features, less power. The missing factor is how many hours they run to maintain the same temperature, but as I said, my electrri bill went down $10 a month. Improved compressor design, better insualtion, better door seals all make a difference.
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From Whirlpool (copy & paste): Electrical Requirements 15 OR 20 Ampere, 115 Volts, 60 Hertz (1/second). FUSED ELECTRICAL SUPPLY IS REQUIRED. GROUNDED CIRCUIT IS REQUIRED. A TIME-DELAY FUSE OR CIRCUIT BREAKER AND SEPARATE CIRCUIT IS RECOMMENDED.
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It would have to be a pretty big refrigerator to need a 20A breaker. I think mine uses something like 8A.
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scott snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com wrote:

I agree. My current main refregerator (25 cu ft) is on a 15A circuit that is shared with some lights and rangehood. It never tripped the circuit breaker.
However, browsing the net, and you see specifications like: http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes&vertical=APPL&pid655242000&tab=spe#tablink
and maximum amps is 20. I was wondering if the newer refregerators requires larger circuit.
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http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes&vertical=APPL&pid655242000&tab=spe#tablink
I think the maximum is for a safety factor to assure the breaker will trip from a serious overload. I don't wee any amperage information on any of the web pages I looked at for a few brands, just what is on the nameplate on mine.
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Sure that was not maximum over current protection? As in max breaker size?
a guest wrote:

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