Why does my freezer require a dedicated circuit?

I recently bought a small 7.2 cu ft chest freezer. According to the documentation, it uses 1.6 amps at 120VAC, so it's not exactly a pig (the energy sticker says $23/yr). I'm confused by the fact that the instructions state that it requires a dedicated circuit. What is the reason for that?
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Maybe it's so you don't have another device on the same circuit that could trip the breaker (or blow the fuse) and cause the freezer to loose power (that could get ugly if not noticed in time).

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Let's say you have in the same circuit as your kid's bedroom. The kids are horsing around and do something to trip the breaker. They get up the next day and go to school and the breaker is still off. So is your freezer.
Or maybe it is on the same circuit as that little used receptacle in the basement and it trips out just as your wife finishes vacuuming so she forgets to tell you until a week later when she wants to vacuum again?
You don't want it on a GFCI circuit either as it can trip for some reason and it kills the freezer. The scenarios presented here are based on real life happenings posted here by others with spoiled food.
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.......................................................................................................................... I believe you can buy a small device (probably battery operated?) that will sound if/when there is no AC power to your freezer? Anybody go information/comments about them? If so could they post here. In meantime will do an internet search.
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terry wrote:

As an alternative you can add a small light (I like those small flat night light panels) to the same circuit as the fridge/freezer mounted where you will regularly see it. If there is no light, you then know there is a problem.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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Now THAT'S a stone-age comment if ever I heard one! ;-)
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ya, for sure. What wife vacuums?
--
Steve Barker




"Mike" < snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com> wrote in message
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It's probably standard instructions that they include with all their freezers, irregardless of size. It's really not very applicable to your situation.
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Not mine. Her doctor won't let her. But she did for about 40 years before that.
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Hey, if it weren't for the stone age, we wouldn't have enough stones. ;-)
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FREEZER ALARMS? 1) http://www.shiptheweb.com/Gifts/Product/Freezer_Alarm__TA10_CDN-2DTA10.html?gclid=CLSnicX5gowCFQufbgodFBmdyw 2) http://www.cabelas.com/prod-1/0017651515725a.shtml (Appears similar to item 1) and has on/off switch. 3) Also models (google search) that will dial up to four telephone numbers if freezer temp outside limits. Prices for 1 and appear to be $10 to $20 plus shipping. One of theses might be an alternative if it is just not possible to install a separate circuit? Chest type freezers in particular are often poked away out of regular sight in garage or basement storage area; by the time one finds freezer not working there may be a soggy mess of unusable/unsafe food?
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Thanks, all, for the responses. I just assumed that the requirement was a safety feature in the more traditional (circuit overload) sense. I'm going to be using this freezer for my beer kegs, so a normal freezer alarm won't work (they trigger when the temp rises above, say, 15 degrees. This will typically be around 40). I'll probably just cobble together a simple 'lost power' alarm.
Curiously, my upright freezer has a built in temperature alarm. Unfortunately, it's AC powered, so it would be useless in the described scenarios.
snipped-for-privacy@nf.sympatico.ca says...

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Probably required by the National Electric Code.
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An alternative Q might be: "Why do so many people take only a quick peek at the instructions before depositing them in the trash can?"

My conjecture is simply that the folks that wrote the instructions (and perhaps some others) assume that the owner is not competent to monitor circuit design/usage and act accordingly. Examples were given in other responses. Under such assumption, the only safe recommendation is for a dedicated circuit.
I doubt that NEC requires a dedicated circuit in your circumstance. Local ordinance *could*, I suppose.
You properly identified usage as 1.6 amps at 120VAC. Check the surge spec (if any) as well. If both specs are consistent with your rational expectation of total usage on an existing circuit (with which you're entirely familiar), I doubt that a dedicated circuit would be needed.
If existing circuits are all potentially overloaded after adding freezer amp draw, install a new circuit.
Cheers, Puddin'
"Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens!" -Friedrich Schiller
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Mike Hartigan wrote:

Like others said, it's probably more of a suggestion than code. My whole garage is on one circuit along with 2 exterior outlets. Let's see, 1 chest freezer, 1 refrigerator/freezer, 1 garage door opener, 1 compressor. Oh,... an electrical cord that goes to the shed next to the garage that has all my tabletop tools; table saw, router, band saw, drill press, etc. I blow the breakers all the time if I am not careful to limit myself to one tool at a time. I'm in the garage at one time or another every day, so I keep an eye on the garage door opener on the wall to see that the little red light is still on.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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