GFI/fridge link

tbassJune 1, 2010

We just had a home inspection done (home is for sale). Home inspector claims that our kitchen fridge (tied into a 20A countertop GFI which in turn is tied into its own 20A c/breaker on the main panel)needs to be put on its own c/breaker. The house was built 11 years ago and this set-up was approved by the township electrical inspector at that time. That being said, our basement is completely finished in drywall (ceilings too). Can an electrician re-wire this sitaution without having to tear-up the drywall?

Thanks to all who respond!

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Ron Natalie

First off, there's nothing code-wise that prevents the fridge being plugged into the small appliance circuit.

Some might recommend putting it on a non-GFCI circuit as fridges can sometimes trip the things but if it hasn't been a problem, I'm not sure I'd mess with it. While it's possible it could be no drywall cutting, probably some will be required.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 1:31PM
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hexus

Home inspectors are a joke. Tell him to give you the NEC article that states that it must be on it's on circuit and then laugh in his face when he says "What's an NEC?"

I can't stand 99.99999% of home inspectors. They don't have a clue what they're talking about.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 7:48PM
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wayne440

It passed inspection when installed. Thank the "inspector" for his/her input and forget about it. If a potential buyer lets this issue prevent him/her from buying they didn't want your house anyway.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 8:53PM
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azlighting

Demand your money back. This inspector is a joke.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 2:03AM
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Billl

The inspector is supposed to alert you to possible issues. If you read the official recommendation, it will always say "blah, blah, blah should be checked by an electrician." Home inspectors have to operate in CYA mode 100% of the time.

Depending what else is on the circuit, it may or may not be a problem. If you have lived there for years and it basically never trips, then it obviously working fine as is. If you are constantly resetting the thing, then yes, you should have a separate circuit.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 8:40AM
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brickeyee

"The inspector is supposed to alert you to possible issues."

Creating issues with bogus references to non-existent requirements does not extend to "possible issue."

All the fool had to say was the the refrigerator was 'noted on the counter circuit' and that it 'could be an issue.'

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 9:09PM
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Billl

"All the fool had to say was the the refrigerator was 'noted on the counter circuit' and that it 'could be an issue.' "

Well, we don't really know what the "fool" put in his report. I would be shocked if he definitively commented on a course of action.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 9:10AM
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texasredhead

Very simply, I would never have a refrigerator on a GFCI circuit. Don't care who approved it!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 9:33AM
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brickeyee

From the OP:

"Home inspector claims that our kitchen fridge (tied into a 20A countertop GFI which in turn is tied into its own 20A c/breaker on the main panel)needs to be put on its own c/breaker."

Sure sounds like a recommendation/action required.

A refrigerator that is used on a daily basis is not that much of a problem on a GFCI circuit.
Any loss of power is going to be noticed very quickly.

The ones that ARE just dumb are freezers in unfinished basements that are now required to be on GFCI protected circuits.

Go down after a few days to find the contents thawed when the GFCI tripped days ago.

It can be very expensive if the freezer was full.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 10:28AM
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petey_racer

"Very simply, I would never have a refrigerator on a GFCI circuit. Don't care who approved it!"

Do you do any commercial work?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 1:10PM
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Billl

"From the OP: " - well, this wouldn't be the first person to overreact to a note in an inspectors report. I have a feeling that if the actual report was posted, the inspectors comments would be phrased very similarly to the warning you suggested.

"A refrigerator that is used on a daily basis is not that much of a problem on a GFCI circuit. "

I agree.... until you go out of town for the weekend. It isn't a huge risk, but if given the choice, I think everyone would like the frig on a separate non-gfci circuit.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 1:38PM
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brickeyee

I agree with not putting the fridge on a GFCI circuit.

The newer GFCIs are getting better are nuisance trips from motors, but it is still not worth the risk.

The inspector is just like many of them, a little knowledge.

Just enough to be dangerous.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 2:21PM
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