The dedicated 15a fridge circuit has been in the code since 1996 and
the minimum 2 small appliance circuit requirement was 1990. It is
really just relief from the otherwise required 20a requirement on the
rest of the receptacles.
On Fri, 23 Jan 2015 08:48:04 -0800 (PST), bob_villa
It was addressed. The icemaker has nothing to do with the sink rule.
The rule is really based on where the "receptacle" is located.
If you had 3' of countertop on the fridge side of the sink and you put
the receptacle on the far side of a 38" fridge bay, it still would not
need a GFCI even though the fridge itself was only 3' from the sink.
OTOH if the GFCI receptacle was accessible without moving the fridge,
it would be legal too.
When I added several new 20A circuits to the kitchen I used GFCI's on all of
the circuits. The upstairs outlet were fed from the basement where the
GFCI's were located just to avoid the problem you've noted - moving the
fridge to reset the GFCI.
I'm a little concerned because it sounds to me from what I've read here that
it wasn't NEC-worthy to have the new kitchen outlets wired downstream from
the GFCI outlets in the basement. But it certainly seems more sensible than
burying a GFCI and its reset and test button behind the fridge.
This is an old house with 15A cloth covered wires and only two circuits
feeding the kitchen. With all the kitchen appliances we would alway be
tripping a breaker if we were careful. The refrigerator often tripped the
GFCI. It got so frequent that I bought a little relay/buzzer unit that
sounds an alarm whenever an outlet it's plugged into looses power. That had
really low spouse approval so I was tempted to put the fridge on a non-GFCI
circuit. Then I read two things here that helped solve the problem.
One thread talked about how old refrigerators often developed ground faults.
The other was how inefficient old refrigerators are compared to new unit.
Turns out the 30 year old refrigerator had a real ground fault (I think it
was the insulation which had become moisture soaked). In any event, a new
unit (and a new GFCI - I had used some old Slater units I had purchased in
the 80's) eliminated the nuisance tripping problem.
The biggest bonus was how much less the new unit cost to run that the old
one. The new unit uses less than half the juice as the old one. I suspect
it's both the more efficient compressor and the newer and much thicker
insulation. I suspect that the final "cost to run" analysis won't be as
rosy as it seems just based on the lower electric bill. First, I'm afraid
that the new unit won't last thirty years. The compressor's already become
pretty noisy (it started two weeks after the warranty expired) and I've
already had to repair the door light switch because it didn't mate properly
with the door and repair a sagging door.
The magnetic gasketing isn't very strong either. When you close the
refrigerator compartment door, the freezer door pops open slightly. It
*usually* recloses but when the freezer is very full, I've had it stay
slightly ajar causing major headaches during humid weather. Just last week
I added some super neodynium magnets to the freezer door. Now the door
doesn't "pop" when the lower door is closed and it really makes a positive
sounding "snap" when the magnets mate. I might do the same for the lower
compartment. The snapping sound turns out to be important feedback in
making sure the doors are completely closed.
On Friday, January 23, 2015 at 7:28:03 AM UTC-8, Percival P. Cassidy wrote:
1st off,a dedicated circuit is supposed to mean it's dedicated.
2nd, The devices that require dedicated circuits will pull LRA or Locked Rotor Amps upon start up, although this will only be for a second or 3, it is 3 times or more the RLA or Run Load Amps of the devices.
That is old school thinking. Modern refrigerators are low current
appliances these days, even when starting. Most modern breakers are
HACR anyway and are curved to handle a compressor or two starting.
I have a big side by side and with the doors closed, running, it only
pulls a few amps. Opening the doors and turning the (4) lights on
bumps it up about 50%.
On Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 10:05:05 PM UTC-5, email@example.com wrote:
During hurricane Sandy I was running off a generator and had my KillaWatt
meter inline. Had a fridge and a freezer, one was about 7 years old, the
other 2. When either went to start, I saw the power blip up to
about 350 watts for a couple seconds, then it started to quickly decline.
Once running they pull less than 100W. So, I agree, I don't see the
startup of two modern fridges being an issue. Even my 25 year old one
that I replaced pulled only 250W when running. IDK what the startup
draw was, but you would think even two of those would be OK on a 15A
On Sat, 24 Jan 2015 20:27:20 -0500, "Percival P. Cassidy"
Cuttler Hammer has had them for a while and the rest are catching up.
Since Cuttler Hammer invented the AFCI and strong armed it into the
code (even before they had a market ready product) it is not
surprising they made the GFCI/AFCI first and generated a code
requirement for it.
There are now thousands if not millions of big reefers in commercial
kitchens running on GFCI, not to mention all of those pool, spa and
sump pumps along with all of the power tools in garages and basements.
trips almost without a doubt,especially if it gets foggy with the unit
To be fair, he was referring not to reefers, but outside appliances used in
heavy fog. (-: I don't know of too many homeowners who keep their
The number of nuisance trip complaints we've seen over time are likely a
case of early adopters reporting "settling in" problems. The same was true
of CFLs. If you were the first to buy CFLs, you got all sorts of junk.
None of the very expensive CFLs I bought early on performed well or lasted
long. That's changed as designs and manufacturing techniques improved.
I suspect GFCIs are the same. The 30 year old Slater GFCI's I bought when
they first became available were junk and nuisance tripped all the time.
The last trip I had from a recent vintage Leviton 20A unit was when my
gardener hedge-clipped his electrical extension cord. The refrigerator
hasn't tripped the GFCI in two years although the older one did. I suspect
the older refrigerator (30 years old!) DID have a ground fault of some kind,
but I never checked it out to see for sure.
I just threw that out there to dispel the rumor that motor loads trip
GFCIs. I agree refrigerators that trip GFCIs have a ground fault. I
have tested a few and they all do, usually internally in an old
compressor. That is why the freon smells burnt when you cut them open.
I tested with a current probe on a scope, looking at the ground wire.
If someone is a non believer, plug in a 2 prong to 3 prong adapter and
tell them to touch the pigtail wire when you plug it in.
I meant to test the old compressor but when the refrigerator fails, there's
usually not a lot of time left for screwing around, particularly if the
vendor is going to take the old box away when they deliver the new one. The
old unit *did* trip the much newer Leviton GFCI as well as the 30+ year old
Slater GFCI so I assume there was current leak. The new GE unit on the new
Leviton GFCI has not yet nuisance tripped.
No thanks! (-: I often wonder why I wasn't electrocuted when I had a color
darkroom in the basement. Lots of water, lots of electricity and no GFCI's.
I did get some impressive shocks when the Uniroller motor agitator base's
internal wiring corroded, but I managed to repair it and make sure there
were no outward facing metal parts.
It's hard to believe how much color photography has changed since the
1970's. I went from rows and rows of bottles and tanks to support
Ektaprint, Ektachrome, Cibachrome and B&W film to just a tiny compact flash
card reader. Now I don't even need to pull the card out of the camera - it
connects to the PC via WiFi.
Once in a great while I still miss doing some dodging and burning on the
enlarger, but it took me a half hour to get chemicals mixed, get the
trays in place, etc. just to get started.
My OM-2 has not been out of the case for years now.
An old friend is a graphic artist and has informed me he's decided to
return to film photography. After using digital for several yrs, he's
become frustrated by his own lack of experience in this field. This
despite pro equipment and computer software and the knowledge of how
to use it. One reason is, he likes wide format photography (4x5).
I've not adapted well to digital, myself, so I understand his POV.
I used to specialize in large color prints and the setup/cleanup was a
killer. Oddly, I rarely print anything anymore although I've been promising
myself to get a large printer/plotter.
One thing that's really changed is that I am no longer inclined towards dark
backgrounds just to minimize dust problems. When you're blowing up a 35mm
slide to 20 by 24" dust is the number one enemy. No matter how hard I
tried, there would always be some sort of dust blemish. Not a big problem
for negative printing (Spot-off) but a real issue for positive to positive
printing like Cibachrome.
What I *really* like is not having to pay $160 for a brick of 20 rolls of
Ektachrome or Kodachrome and another $100 for 20 processing mailers. That
and the fact that you can create multiple originals with the click of a
mouse and store thousands of photos on a tiny memory card that cost $20.
Yes, but . . . I'd think the shock hazard is greatest when you're dealing
with things like metal sinks and actual contact with grounded wet surfaces
that improve conduction. With an icemaker you've got narrow diameter
plastic tubing and tap water, whose conductivity will vary with the ion
content of the water and very little chance of contact with liquid water or
the tubing that delivers it to the unit in normal use.
The truth is that I really don't know what the NEC says. I've read lots of
articles that say not to use a GFCI with a refrigerator because of nuisance
trips when the unit starts, but my GE box and Leviton GFCI have lived
happily with each other for over two years now.
Remember, I did say 'mitigate' and not 'eliminate' any shock hazard. (-:
After all, plastic piping is one reason that grounding rules have changed in
recent years. Even when they are filled with water, they don't make a very
good ground. It is an interesting point. Maybe someone out there knows
what the NEC actually says about icemakers, GFCIs, distance rules and
I looked around and found this site:
While the posters there are kicking around the same issues, one comment
"The Refrigerator can be fed with a 15A Dedicated Circuit or on the 20A
Kitchen Circuit......but since it is not on the counter top it does not have
to be GFCI."
There's a very lengthy thread about GFCIs and nuisance trips from motors
IIRC, the last time I researched this is that early models of GFCIs, like
AFCIs, were far more prone to nuisance tripping than current models. It's
not nearly the problem it used to be and that's why my refrigerator is on a
GFCI (and not a dedicated circuit - which I might run the next time I decide
to add another circuit in the house. We recently bought an electric skillet
that managed to trip the breaker during Thanksgiving when everything was
running at once.
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