My fridge was installed at a different location than originally
planned so I think the wiring was not done right. The fridge is on a
20A circuit with its outlet the first one on the circuit, then the
GFCI outlet, then other small kitchen appliances such as toaster,
coffeemachine, etc., next in the circuit.
The original plan was to have it as the last device on the circuit, I
think. My old fridge broke down and the new GE fridge now seems to
trip the circuit breaker (only partially) in the garage at least once
every month and switches the GFCI off as well. I reset the breaker and
GFCI and the fridge is on again. This is a big nuisance as the fridge
with freezer could be off for a long time when we are not home or gone
for a few days.
Any good advice for a non-electrician?
The refrigerator and freezer should not be on a GFIC. They can trip and the
food will spoil. This is one thing the nation electric code puts the food
first and safety second. The refrigerator and freezer should be on breakers
that are not connected to anything else. The motors pull a high current for
a couple of seconds as they start up and then the current falls way back.
If you have other things powered from recepticals on the same breaker as the
refrig , the breaker could trip.
Coffey machines and toster ovens while not large do use a lot of current.
The coffey machines will normally use a lot of current while the coffey is
brewing and then less while just keeping it warm. If you are using them and
the refrig starts up, the breaker could trip if they are on the same
At this point the easiest thing to do would be either run a dedicated
outlet for the fridge, or replace the GFI with a regular outlet ( as a
temporary fix). From experience, I remember when you put a fridge
before a GFI outlet, it does wierd things due to the current draw when
the compressor starts up.
Am I the only one wondering why the new fridge trips BOTH the circuit
breaker and the GFCI outlet?
I'm also wondering what he means by the breaker tripping only partially. He
really needs a new line for the fridge, one that does NOT have a GFCI.
This is not quite true. In a residence a refrigerator need not be on
a GFCI receptacle. In a commerical kitchen, _all_ receptacles are
required to be GFCI. If a refrigerator trips a GFCI, it is defective.
Period. Now the defect, which is at least 6 ma of leakage current
between the hot and the ground, may not cause any other apparent
problems. But it is a defect none the less--an appliance should not
leak that much current to ground.
I still not convinced about a frig tripping a GFI's proves that the
frig is bad.
small fan with two wire cord & all plastic construction (including
housing & fan on/off, two speed switch) mounted to a wooden window
Trips GFI about 50% of the time when switched quickly from high speed
to low speed and sometimes when switching off.
Where is the leakage to ground? Seems like something else is
oh, I tired the fan on four different GFI's ...trips on two of them
but never on the "other" two !?
Are the GFI's "bad" (and which ones?) or is the fan a problem?
At this point I'm stumped & I just cycle the switch more slowly and
never trip the GFI.
I agree. Most of us have seen similar things where somthing suddenly
switching on/off can trip some GFCIs. Not sure of the exact
mechanism, but for one thing, GFCIs do not trip based on leakage to
ground. They work by sensing and comparing the current flow in the
hot and neutral and tripping if the current is not equal. Apparently
there is something about larger inductive loads that can cause them to
Your example is an excellent one, because there clearly is no path to
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