Question regarding 2 freezers on same outlet

AngelWings2000July 8, 2014

Hi! We've had 2 freezers on the same outlet for over 10 yrs. We recently purchased an energy saving freezer to replace the older freezer. The problem is that the new designs on the freezer plug prevents us from plugging them both into the 3 prong outlet, the bottom of the plug wants to bump the top of the plug that's plugged into the bottom of the outlet. I've done some net searching and seen where people talked about getting a heavy duty appliance extension cord to use for 1 of the freezers. Is that safe? What other options (besides moving it to our outer building) are there? Thanks for your feedback!

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greg_2010

I've done some net searching and seen where people talked about getting a heavy duty appliance extension cord to use for 1 of the freezers. Is that safe?

That's probably the easiest. Try to get the shortest cord possible.

Or you could cut the plug off and replace it with a new one that plugs in straight.

Or you could buy something like the thing in the link below to offset the plugs.

Or if it's in an unfinished area, installing a bigger box with an additional duplex outlet might be an option.

Here is a link that might be useful: Adapter

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 4:28PM
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bus_driver

Sounds as if your freezer has what is known as a "flat plug". Cannot locate the receptacle at the moment, but seem to remember that some maker offered a receptacle that would deal with that. You could search on the web.
Below is the link to a short cord with rotating plug. It would solve your problem on a temporary basis while you arrange a better solution.
Another solution is to change to a two-gang box so that two receptacles can be used.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rotating plug

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 4:36PM
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bus_driver

Found this.

Here is a link that might be useful: Receptacle

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 4:38PM
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AngelWings2000

You all are the BEST! My brother was just telling me about the outlet that is side by side. Going to have to go see what our local Home Depot and Lowe's sells! Thanks so much for the quick responses! All of them are very helpful! We just want to make sure that there are no issues! ;) God bless!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 4:46PM
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ionized_gw

Whatever you do, don't use a "power strip" with a switch. It is too easy to turn them off accidentally and have a freezer disaster. I've seen it happen.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 4:55PM
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weedmeister

I've seen little short cords, like 6 ", for use in the computer world (plugging those wall warts into a power strip). They would work.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 5:31PM
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hendricus

This is what I use for 2 bucks.

Here is a link that might be useful: cube tap

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 7:56PM
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AngelWings2000

You all are the BEST! My brother was just telling me about the outlet that is side by side. Going to have to go see what our local Home Depot and Lowe's sells! Thanks so much for the quick responses! All of them are very helpful! We just want to make sure that there are no issues! ;) God bless!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 9:04PM
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AngelWings2000

Thanks everyone! They didn't have the rotating plug so for now I bought a power strip (yes it has a turn off switch) but it' located behind the freezer so there won't be any accidents! ;)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 9:06PM
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kudzu9

Do yourself a favor and check the total amperage load you would have on the circuit if both appliances were drawing power at the same time, and whether the cord on the power strip is rated to handle that. Some of those strips look like they have a heavy gauge cord, but it's just a result of a lot of plastic jacket covering some skinny wires. You don't want a fire...

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 3:10AM
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bus_driver

The often-found undersized conductors in the power strips might cause excessive voltage drop while the freezer is starting. And eventually both of them will start at the same time. The power strip is the least desirable way to deal with this problem.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 8:09AM
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AngelWings2000

The one I found is Utilitech (750 Joules - 3 ft cord). It was at Lowe's and above it, it listed all the appliances including freezers that it could be used with. I also have one of these: http://www.wellmaxtools.com/6-outlet-grounding-wall-type-adapter-p-921.html?zenid=d71b7186532daa40f9cc66e6e717224d but didn't know if it would be better? I appreciate everyone's feedback on this as I definitely don't want a fire and we haven't put anything in the freezer yet.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 8:44AM
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Ron Natalie

Be very careful with anything that says Utilitech on it. That's Lowe's house brand and the reliability is all over the map. The batteries are universally awful as are the CF bulbs. On the other hand the LED bulbs seem to be holding up.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 10:09AM
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ionized_gw

"...but it' located behind the freezer so there won't be any accidents! ;)"

I saw just that kind of accident once. It was in a workplace, not a home. No one could explain what happened.

Use one two short (3') 12 or 14 ga extension cords. You'll probably find use for them anyway if you don't already have one or two. It is easier than changing the plugs on the cords.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 10:55AM
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AngelWings2000

Ionized: The back of this power strip says 14/3 SJT Power cord. I've placed in behind the other freezer that's closer to the outlet. So there's no way for it to get shut off! lol I'm just concerned because some are saying that the power strip could catch on fire. :( Mixed feelings!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 11:01AM
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greg_2010

So there's no way for it to get shut off!

Something falls behind the freezer and hits the switch.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 11:25AM
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saltidawg

"Something falls behind the freezer and hits the switch."

You're kidding, right? lol

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 8:20PM
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Ron Natalie

Not too far fetched. I've had rakes and stuff fall down behind the garage freezer (my wife tends to try to stuff them between the freezer and the side wall).

Best to put something visible on the circuit or invest in a freezer alarm.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 7:00AM
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saltidawg

"Best to put something visible on the circuit or invest in a freezer alarm."

Other options.

Turn the power strip over so the switch is facing down or to the side.

Put a piece of tape over the switch.

Design, build, and install a $500 cover to prevent rakes and pigeons and other objects from operating the switch.

Hire a security service to hourly check that the freezer does not lose power due to falling rakes.

Don't store rakes over or adjacent to the freezer. You should post a warning sign to help your wife not store items inappropriately.

Plug a radio into the power strip and investigate the loss of power should the music die... unless it is the anniversary of February 3, 1959.

Hire a lawn service for your yard and donate your rakes to Purple Heart.

Use a power strip that doesn't have a switch.

And the last I can come up with, get rid of one of the freezers so there is no need for a power strip that has a switch.

Absolutely incredible job of making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 8:42AM
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AngelWings2000

There's no worries on my part about anything falling down on the power strip as I don't have anything above the freezer, it's in a tight corner and it does have an alarm on it! ;) Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 8:43AM
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greg_2010

I don't know why you'd think that's so bizarre. I'm always having to fish stuff out from behind my freezer and clothes washer/dryer.
And some power bars have switches that are extremely easy to trip.
Maybe it's not something that will happen very often. Maybe never. But there is potential for it to happen and when you are gagging while shoveling hundreds of dollars of rotten meat into garbage cans, you'll wish you'd chosen one of the many other easy ways of solving this problem.

*Edit: Other posts were made while I was writing the above. I was picturing a chest freezer like I have. I'm always setting tools or stuff on it and things invariably fall behind it.

This post was edited by greg_2010 on Thu, Jul 10, 14 at 8:55

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 8:49AM
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ionized_gw

That reminds me, the Acurite freezer alarm works well in my hands. It is marketed for refrigerator-freezer monitoring. In the OP's situation, one sensor could be used in each freezer. It is inexpensive to boot. Batteries for the freezer sensor need to be cold-tolerant, however, so the lithium batteries may set you back more than the alarm itself, but it is still a good deal. It matched function with much more expensive industrial/commercial devices.

The item seems to have an official name of "Digital Refrigerator/Freezer Thermometer model 00986A2"

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 10:51AM
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w0lley32

I don't know if they still make it, but several years ago I bought from an electrical supply house a decora duplex receptacle with the slots rotated 90 degrees to adress the same problem. At the time, it didn't cost more than any other spec grade receptacle, but they had to place a special order for me.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 5:00PM
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