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Does a refrigerator need to be on a separate circuit?

Posted by rontero (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 23, 08 at 10:27

Does a refrigerator need to be on a separate circuit?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Does a refrigerator need to be on a separate circuit?

Recommended? Yes
Required? No


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RE: Does a refrigerator need to be on a separate circuit?

Required in Canada.


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RE: Does a refrigerator need to be on a separate circuit?

Normel, you go it backwards. It's:

Required? No
Recommended? Yes


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RE: Does a refrigerator need to be on a separate circuit?

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.


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RE: Does a refrigerator need to be on a separate circuit?

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


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RE: Does a refrigerator need to be on a separate circuit?

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


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RE: Does a refrigerator need to be on a separate circuit?

Damn norm, you beat me to it! LOL


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RE: Does a refrigerator need to be on a separate circuit?

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


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RE: Does a refrigerator need to be on a separate circuit?

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.


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RE: Does a refrigerator need to be on a separate circuit?

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


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RE: Does a refrigerator need to be on a separate circuit?

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.


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RE: Does a refrigerator need to be on a separate circuit?

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

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


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RE: Does a refrigerator need to be on a separate circuit?

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.


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RE: Does a refrigerator need to be on a separate circuit?

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.


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RE: Does a refrigerator need to be on a separate circuit?

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.


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RE: Does a refrigerator need to be on a separate circuit?

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.


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