Last night my Maytag deep freeze popped the outlet in our garage. I
hit the reset on the outlet and it popped it again right away. We left
the freezer unplugged (got everything out of it) and this morning I
tried again...same result. At first I thought it must be the outlet so
I plugged in a radio and it did fine. I then ran an extension cord
into my house and tried the freezer off an outlet in my kitchen. Same
thing, popped the outlet. So now I'm pretty sure it's the freezer.
It's only around a year old, but what could be going on with it that's
making it draw so much current? I'd appreciate any help.
Time to get out the warranty paper and see what's up.
Sometimes the compressor is warranted for longer than the rest of
the freezer, so you may be in luck there.
What I'm saying is that you most likely have a burnt out compressor.
A new one costs about twice what a new freezer will cost.
Does it run in a regular outlet? Refrigerators should not be on a GFCI
because of potential tripping problems. You may or may not have a freezer
If it is a year old, it should be covered under warranty yet I would think.
I tried it for a couple of minutes in a regular outlet and it ran fine.
I just did it as a test and didn't leave it plugged in. I'm obviuosly
not an electrician. Should I leave it in a regular outlet and just see
I would. But don't take my word for it. See below
(Contains some bogus info, like grounds on a receptacle do not have to
be down and the NEC has no limit on the number of outlets downstream
from a GFCI.)
My refrigerators are not on GFCI circuits and I don't intend to put them
However - in commercial kitchens, plug in refrigeration is required by
the NEC to have GFCI protected receptacles. The justification is that
shocks (electrocutions?) have been caused by plug in refrigeration
equipment, and the equipment should not trip a GFCI. UL standards, I
have read on the internet, are max 0.5 ma leakage to ground. Presumably
starts should not cause trips.
IMHO tripping a GFCI is a warranty issue (if still in waranty). If you
connect to a non-GFCI circuit, it would be a good idea to measure the
ground current. One way to do that is to use a clamp-on ammeter on the
ground wire. Might not be important if leakage is 10ma, but 250ma?
gfretwell? posted recently that ground leakage could be the sign the
compressor is on the way out.
I KNOW FOOR A FACT THERES NO REGULATION FOE GROUND PINS DOWN! In
commercial buildings TODAY ground pins are frequently UP. So that say
change dropped cant short the 2 power prongs of a plug, thats happened
here not good:( Today in new construction they frequently put ground up
for switched outlets those on a wall switch and ground down for those
powered at all times. frankly I think ground up si better for short
Honestly I dont know about the nuber of outlets on a GFCI, they have
GFCI breakers are seemingly such a breaker is allowed to serve all the
outlets on a circuit.
I ran into the GFCI hassle when selling my other home I included a
freezer and had it plugged into a dual receptable non GFCI. Freezers
and washers, fridges, and dishwashers are exempted from GFCI
requirements specifically because of nuisance trips.......
I ended up changing the dual receptable to a single to make the buyer
happy since nothing else could be plugged into the outlet but the
freezer., buyer backed out of deal next buyer didnt want freezer ended
up installing GFCI, which was a hassle the box was too small....
I agree with the links!
Incidently the GFCI code for requiring in COMMERCIAL kitchens works
because thew quality of commercial freezers is way better than
residential and besides the cost of a cheap real commercial freezer
can be 5 grand and up, they are built to better standards and its more
likely a GFCI tripped freezer off would be discovered fasst
U/L never allowed any ground leakage in any refrigeration equipment.
These faults develop after the unit is installed and run for a few
years. They are so common that people assume refrigeratorse are
supposed to trip GFCIs. The only way manufacturers will start making
compressors that don't fail with this type of fault is to make them
replace them on warranty..
Remember this leakage to ground makes the meter spin a little faster.
It is happening inside the sealed compressor so you don't know until
the winding burns completely out and either stops running or trips the
If you cut open the freon lines on a fridge that trips a GFCI you will
see burned oil and smelly freon coming out.
I nquired once and was told commercial refrigeration equiptement is
designed to a better standard since it MUST be on a GFCI.
Manufactuers only do what they must I tend to believe it...
Home washers, dishweashers, fridges, and freezers are NOT required to
be on GFCIs.
They tried that and too many tripped the GFCIs........
The never "tried" anything. The code always gets stricter and the
exceptions are falling away with every code cycle.
That language is not in the code anywhere. There are some exceptions
for receptacles that are behind fixed in place equipment but that will
all be going away with the 2008 code. If the 2008 code comes outthe
way the current draft is written ALL 120v branch circuits will be AFCI
and that includes 30ma level GFCI protection as part of the AFCI
standard. The industry is actually edging toward making AFCIs with
full 5ma protection. The appliance manufacturers have a couple years
to get their products fixed.
As it is now and has been for the last several cycles, the only way
you can avoid GFCI protection is if the receptacle is behind the
refrigerator and not accessible without moving it. The same is true
for anything installed in a garage or unfinished basement. If your
fridge is outside you get no relief at all.
As of 2005 there is no relief for the washing machine plug either if
it is within 5 feet of the laundry sink.
That is not all. In 2008 you will need child proof receptacles
everywhere. That is a receptacle that will not accept anything but a
regular cord cap (aka plug). A shutter covers the holes.
Don't shoot the messenger!
If this pisses you off send a comment to NFPA before October and write
a letter to your local polititians and tell them to reject these
articles when the code gets sold to them,.
ORIGINALLY GFCIs were REQUIRED on freezers and fridges. After many
complaints this rule was changed to a SINGLE receptable that could JUST
plug in say a freezer, or a dual receptable blocked or behind say a
fridge where NO access is to the remaining unused outlet
My knowledge of this and its history from a middle group inspector when
selling my other home a couple years ago.
The code always gets stricter and the
You know I am ALL for safety BUT they should consider the large base of
existing equiptement like freezers fridges, washers, dishwashers that
are old and werent designed to not trip a GFCI.
the government goes nuts protecting us sometimes:(
Feezers should be plugged into non-GFCI-protected outlets. But this is
to protect the contents of the freezer if the GFCI trips (which they do
sometimes for no reason) If your freezer trips the GFCI, it probably
has a problem with leakage current to ground, but it could be that the
GFCI is bad and overly sensitive to inductive loads -- the compressor
BTW, sometimes regular outlets are downstream of a GFCI and protected by it.
I used to have a GFCI in my basement that would trip whenever I plugged
a shop vac into it. It didn't like the universal motor. I could plug a
large induction motor into it and it was fine. I replaced the GFCI with
a different brand and had no trouble after that (this was about 10 years
GFCI outlets (so called "Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters") work on
the principle that if there is a difference in the current flowing in
the live and and neutral wires, it MAY be due to a ground fault. So
the device trips for protection. GFCI are mandatory in many
jurisdictions for 'wet' or outside locations. And probably provide a
better level of protection when using an electric lawn mower, electric
shears in the garden etc.
However an unbalance may occur whenever any motor including,
compressors, start up.
For that reason it is recommended that such devices as feezers, fridges
etc. NOT be plugged into GFCI outlets. There are stories of people
coming back from vacation to a disconnected fridge/freezer ...........
You have a bad compressor and I would have Matag replace it.
Refrigeration frequently pops GFCIs but it is because of internal
shorts in the compressor ... period!
If you don't believe that, try it with a 2 prong to 3 prong adapter
and stay away from the strap/pigtail. The GFCI will hold, which
eliminates any "inductive load" bullspit. If you do the same thing on
a non-gfci oitlet and connect a small neon tester to the floating
ground it will flicker or just stay on solid. That should tell you
Things that trip GFCIs have ground faults. It may not be a serious
problem if you have them solidly grounded but you are still paying for
all that arcing and sparking that goes in inside that sealed
compressor. That is one reason why an old fridge costs more to run
than a new one. Han a clamp on ammeter to the ground and see how much
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