Does a refrigerator need to be on a separate circuit?

ronteroApril 23, 2008

Does a refrigerator need to be on a separate circuit?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
normel

Recommended? Yes
Required? No

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 10:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joed

Required in Canada.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 1:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
petey_racer

Normel, you go it backwards. It's:

Required? No
Recommended? Yes

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 1:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rontero

Thanks. I guess I will run a new circuit. The builder didnt put the fridge on a separate circuit. I am moving the fridge anyway so I guess running a circuit wont hurt.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 10:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jackjagg

yes put on its own cct u dont want something stupid as a hair dryer or some power tool leaving you with a wealth of spoiled food not too mention the odor good luck

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 2:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
normel

Hey jackjagg, just how often do you run hair dryers or power tools in the kitchen?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 6:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
petey_racer

Damn norm, you beat me to it! LOL

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 7:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Ron Natalie

You've obviously not had teenage girls if you've never had hairdryers going in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 9:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fa_f3_20

In my area, code requires a separate circuit for the fridge in new construction. We could debate whether or not this is the sort of thing that code should really be getting into, but it's also true that a lot of builders would not do it if code didn't require it, and most home buyers don't know enough to be smart about something like this.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 10:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jackjagg

just to add yes i have seen those stupid hair dryers and hair curlers plugged into a cct in kitchen also those mirrors with lights on them yes i have on occasion used power for my power tools if iam doing some work in or around kitchen,
also what other ccts would rontero connect to we dont know, it could be from a hallway or other room close to his kitchen my point is i feel its better for dedicated cct for refridg.

same for the microwave dedicated cct.

this will lead to less headaches in the future.
just my opinion

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 11:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hexus

off topic maybe a little but...
If you don't pull in a dedicated circuit there's a very high chance that the fridge is going to be on with with one of the small appliance circuits. Small appliance circuits are required to be GFI protected. So depending on whoever wired the house, where they pulled the home run to, how they made things up, etc... the fridge might be on a GFI protected circuit which is a very very bad thing. Motors often have an imbalance when they start up which causes GFI's to trip.
In short, if you don't pull in a dedicated circuit, at least make sure that it's not GFI'ed, if you do pull in a dedicated one, don't GFI it.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 5:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
petey_racer

"Small appliance circuits are required to be GFI protected."

This is completely untrue.
Counter receptacles must be GFI protected. NOT the whole circuit.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 9:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
normel

If you don't pull in a dedicated circuit there's a very high chance that the fridge is going to be on with with one of the small appliance circuits

Actually the refrigerator is required to be on one of the 20A small appliance circuits OR it may be on a dedicated 15A circuit. And as Petey said, only the receptacles serving the countertop are required to be GFCI protected.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 9:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
brickeyee

The odds of tripping a breaker on a kitchen refrigerator and NOT noticing are pretty small.
Think how often you go into the refrigerator.

A freezer that is NOT opened as often (and may be in the basement) should be on its own circuit along with a light that IS used regularly.
The light will at least give a warning that the circuit may be off, even if you do not open the freezer daily.

There is a reason many old freezers had a pilot light on the front.
At least you could tell power was present before everything thawed.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 12:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
s_anthony

I love the comment about using hairdyers on a kitchen circut... however you all havn't met my house yet!

I just started trying to figure out what is on what circut. I have 3 dead outlets, amazingly on top of each other - one in the kitchen behind the fridge, one in my sons room above the kitchen, and another same spot on the 3rd floor. Amazingly these are all on the same kitchen circut right now (#7) that powers my fridge and counter appliances. To top that off, it isn't grounded. The GFCI outlets that they put on to sell the house even now show me that they are reverse polarized. There is also a kitchen light that seems to be on the same circut too that doesn't work - so I assume I have an open neutral or something that I'm not detecting. I know its a firehazard either way, so I'm trying to make it my priority right now.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 10:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hendricus

We have so met your house.

Half the house is not grounded.
Half the kitchen has no GFCI.
Circuits wander all over the place.

This is very normal in older houses.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 11:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ovisairo

I'm sorry as I'm a little late to this game, but this is one of the hits I got on google when I searched for the need for dedicated circuits. from this and a few other threads on this site, it sounds like they are good but not absolutely necessary.

However, my application is slightly different than what has been discussed so I figured I'd ask. I'm installing a whirlpool tub and the instructions call for two separate, dedicated, gfci circuits for the pump (20 amp) and heater (15 amp). Adding those will be difficult so can I :

1. Use an existing 20 amp circuit for the pump only as long as I add gfci protection and understand that the breaker may trip if I have something else running along with the tub. I'll return the heater if I go that way.

2. Run a dedicated 35 amp circuit with gfci protection to power both the pump and the heater.

Please let me know what you guys think.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2015 at 2:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Ron Natalie

If the manufacturer says it requires two circuits, it requires two circuits. If the manufacturer only recommends it, it would still behoove you to do so.

In either case GFCI is an absolute requirement.

To answer the other questions...are these both 120V circuits that are required? You could pull a single 12-3 as a multiwire branch circuit. If the thing requires 240, you could run a heavier (40 lets say) circiut and put a subpanel into split it, but the problem is you'd have to find someplace nearby to put the subpanel that is legal, the current codes don't allow it in bathrooms nor in clothes closets.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2015 at 8:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bus_driver

What is the voltage for the circuits? 15 amp heater at 120 volts is not really much heat.
20 amps at 120 volts will power a substantial pump.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2015 at 12:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ovisairo

Thanks for the responses. They both run on 120 volts And the heater is the one specified for the tub. I understand that its purpose is simply to maintain the water temperature so maybe that's why it seems too small.

Since it sounds like I'll have to tear up the wall to run the wiring for the pump anyways, I'll just go ahead and run both circuits.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2015 at 12:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Curt D'Onofrio

Just voicing my opinion, that is, this is what i would like in our kitchen: 3 circuits minimum shall be installed in the kitchen, one soley for frig, one for microwave , other one for lights . A possible fourth one if one has electric ranges. This sounds like overkill though.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2015 at 12:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Ron Natalie

Well Curt, thanks for reviving a thread that should have died a long time ago but your SUGGESTION is far from the practical and LEGAL requirements. For legal and safety matters you must have a minimum of FOUR circuits in a kitchen: Two small appliance circuits, one for lighting, and your stove (if electric). Additional convenience and appliance requirements man dictate or recommend more. Best to have someone who understands the CODE and practice design things.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2015 at 4:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Curt D'Onofrio

Ron, what i suggested sounds like what you just suggested. Am i reading this wrong ? I do believe i mentioned a fourth one if a electric range was installed

    Bookmark   February 27, 2015 at 9:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Curt D'Onofrio

Wow! I just noticed this post started back in 2008 ! Some posts i guess never lose merit in getting an answer

    Bookmark   February 27, 2015 at 9:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
petey_racer

No Curt, it has nothing to do with merit, and all to do with folks resurrecting a seven YEAR old thread with a completely off topic post. <slowly looks over to ovisairo>

    Bookmark   February 28, 2015 at 3:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Ron Natalie

Yes, Curt, you're still wrong. Your two dedicated circuits seems to omit the requirement for the small appliance circuits. You can't just put your kitchen receptacles on a lighting circuit. While certain appliances may recommend dedicated circuits (or require by the manufacturer), you have to START with the legalities. That means (at least ) 2 20A circuits dedicated to kitchen area receptacles. For practical purposes the code otherwise requires lighting in the kitchen, so you need at least a shared 15A circuit for that. Then you ca start pontificating on what additional dedicated circuits for certain of the other appliances you think would be necessary.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2015 at 4:21AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Troubleshooting Kohler 12RES Problem
I have a Kohler 12RES generator with an RDT 100 Amp...
sniffdog
Bath fan/light combo
Attached is wiring diagram of masterbath (I hope I...
jaspol
Confused & need help please
I know just about zero when it comes to electricity....
bicyclegirl1
Power to shed
Looking to run one 20 amp circuit to my shed and I'm...
ohio45424
Subpanel Question
I have a 100 amp panel being fed by #4 awg copper wire I...
Calo Renovations
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™