We've been told we have a short in our refrig and it still works but
while we await a new refrigerator my wife is worried that it is a fire
risk. Anyone have any thoughts? We have a 50 year old house and the
outlet it is plugged into is not a GFI.
A little more info on where and what is shorting would help give some
advice, but I'd be worried about fire or electicution too!
As for being plugged into a GFI, generally it is recommended that you not
plug a refrig or freeze into a GFI. GFIs are pretty sensitive and may trip
under the draw these appliances place on them.
if you had a "short" in your unit, your circuit
breaker would trip.
whoever told you it had a "short" is an idiot !
do you know WHAT a "short" is ?
there are other failure modes which can produce
a fire hazard (frayed insulation, frayed conductors
causing high resistance leading to heat/fire, etc)
but a "short" ain't one of them! (presuming your
circuit breakers are functional).
a "short" (in this context) would be if hot &
neutral (or ground) were to come in direct contact
with each other (without a load).. the resulting
arc & high current would ('should') trip any sort
of protective device.
Shorts inside the compressor are the reason why old friges trip GFCIs.
A properly running frige should not trip a GFCI. If you look at a
frige that trips a GFCI with a current probe on a scope, looking at
the ground, you will see very short duration current spikes. It is not
enough to trip a breaker but it does raise the amount of current used
and it will trip a GFCI.
If it is a short in the winding, closer to the neutral side, there
won't be much extra load but it still trips the GFCI.
I actually posted this situation in a separate thread. Our refrig
froze up over last weekend while we were away. Appliance guy said it
was the thermostat, but when he came back with the thermostat and he
had disconnected it from the wire harness, it continued to run so he
was baffled! He then said it wasn't the thermostat but instead a
short because when he moved the refrig a few inches from the wall, it
would run fine but if he pushed it back against the wall where it
usually sits, it would stop working. So we decided to get a new
refrig but weren't in a rush as could live with it pulled away from
our wall a couple of inches for a few days until we got a chance to
get a new one. Well then coincidentally or not, a tiny hole popped in
our ice maker's copper water line so we ran a new line over the
weekend and I was trying to attach it to the hose on the back of the
refrig, I got an electric shock that scared the crap out of me.
We'll be ordering the new refrig tonight
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