they are probably stating that they should be on a max 20A breaker so it has
a chance of tripping if there is a problem, not that the fridge under full
load draws 20 amps. find out what the fridge will actually draw... i
cannot imagine you need more than 15 amps.
You should be OK. I just looked at a couple of web pages to see what power
they actually draw, but they did not list the specification. Kitchen Aid
did state a 15A or 20A circuit is sufficient.
As a matter of code I believe new homes must be wired with a single 20A
circuit for the refrigerator. This is to allow for a decent power draw and
it avoids having the fridge and toaster on the same line, blowing breakers,
etc. It is just good common sense.
I have a second fridge in the basement also and it is on a 15A line and has
been for over 20 years. New models take much less power than the older ones.
What you want to be careful of is putting a lot of other appliances or heavy
draw items on that branch circuit. Safety aside, you don't want the kids to
plug in a game, blow the breaker and they go out and play. Three days later
you find the fridge is now warm and food spoiled.
Thanks all who replied.
I figured 15A is probably OK, as my current main refregerator is on
a 15A circuit shared with rangehhod and some lights.
Those refregerators doesn't require much energy - the yellow tags stated
that they run 400 - 600 KWH per year, which is $30 to $40 a year (it
costs less than 7 cents/KWH here.)
I presume you mean it uses less *total kwh* than a 60-watt bulb running
continuously. What was the starting current and the running current? I
don't think the breaker is sized according to average current draw,
which includes time when it isn't running.
Ok, so far everyone is talking nonsense or around
the point. You are right, what one needs to know
is the running power usage.
My old whirlpool (no ice maker) says the running
power requirement is 330 to 420 watts. That
between 3 and 4 A. Newer machines undoubtedly use
more electricity, but I can't imagine one using 10
A except at start up and a 15 A breaker allows for
temporary overage at start up.
My house built in 1976 has no dedicated circuit
for the refrigerator. The reason refrigerator
and freezer manufactures emphasize using a
dedicated circuit is so that another device
doesn't trip the breaker and you loose all the
food. Imagine having a half a beef in your
freezer (or a 1/4 in a refrigerator/freezer unit)
and some other appliance popping the breaker,
especially while you are on vacation, and no one
notices for a week. A dedicated circuit has
nothing to do with safety, it has to do with
Don't be suprised if the new ones use less. I got rid of an old 10 cu. ft
fridge and replaced it with a new 18 cu. ft. frost free and my electric bill
went down $10 a month. It has a nameplate rating of 4.75 A The kitchen
fridge has a Full Load rating of 6.5A for a 21 Cu. ft. side by side.
Searching a few web sites, they don't give any power requirements aside from
115V so doing any comparisons is not going to be simple. . In any case, a
15A breaker can certainly handle that load.
I'm not so sure. My house built in 1978 has a separate circuit. The safety
issue is not what the fridge will draw, but what other kitchen appliances
will do along with it. I'm not up on the code but I believe there is
specifics for counter receptacles as they can easily carry coffee makers,
toaster ovens, microwaves, all going at the same time.
New units of the same size may use less
electricity, but many of the new ones are much
larger and have way more features that older
models which I expect would offset any increased
efficiency. Certainly your 4.76 and 6.5A ratings
are larger than mine. BTW, my figures came off
the circuit page for the frig.
I'm sure that safety isn't a factor. The
circuit(s) are protected by the breakers. The
only thing that putting the various appliances on
separate circuits does, is reduce the likelihood
that the breakers will trip. Tripping isn't a
safety problem, just an inconvenience or loss of
food if it goes unnoticed.
OK, the refrigerator I mentioned before was not 10 cu. ft, but 7.2. We have
it at work and I just checked the tag. It says I takes 5.5A. It has such
luxury features as a lightbulb inside. The freezer is inside the main door,
not a two door model.
The new 18 cu. ft. takes 4.5A and is frons free so a defrost cycle must run
as well as a fan. Two and a half times more in size, more features, less
power. The missing factor is how many hours they run to maintain the same
temperature, but as I said, my electrri bill went down $10 a month.
Improved compressor design, better insualtion, better door seals all make a
From Whirlpool (copy & paste):
15 OR 20 Ampere, 115 Volts, 60 Hertz (1/second). FUSED ELECTRICAL SUPPLY IS
REQUIRED. GROUNDED CIRCUIT IS REQUIRED. A TIME-DELAY FUSE OR CIRCUIT BREAKER
AND SEPARATE CIRCUIT IS RECOMMENDED.
I agree. My current main refregerator (25 cu ft) is on a 15A circuit
that is shared with some lights and rangehood. It never tripped the
However, browsing the net, and you see specifications like:
and maximum amps is 20.
I was wondering if the newer refregerators requires larger circuit.
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