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GFCI & Garage Refrigerator

Posted by jgmiller (My Page) on
Tue, Dec 8, 09 at 16:25

Let me start by saying I know you're not supposed to put a refrigerator on a GFCI protected circuit. The reality of my 1950's house though is that the bathroom circuit with the GFCI feeds the garage where we have a second refrigerator. I'm trying to figure out a way to switch the circuit for the garage or at least the refrigerator to a non-GFCI circuit but that's easier said than done with the construction of my house.

So having said all that here's my question, we've had two different refrigerator's (not at the same time) on that circuit for almost 4 years and haven't had any nuisance trips of the GFCI. Last night the GFCI immediately before the garage tripped and would not stay set when the refrigerator was plugged in, in addition the GFCI further upstream from there kept tripping.

I can accept a single GFCI going bad but two at the same time? So of course I'm thinking something is wrong with the refrigerator. With the refrigerator unplugged both GFCI's are happy and I even tried putting a big start up load on them with a hair dryer and a table saw and nothing tripped. As a test I'm going to run a long extension cord from the refrigerator to another GFCI protected circuit else wear in the house and see if it trips.

Other than the obvious of putting it on a non-GFCI circuit does anyone have any thoughts?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: GFCI & Garage Refrigerator

New Refrigerator.

I've run electric lawnmowers, treadmill, power tools off of GFCI's and never had a nuisance trip. Your GFCI is just doing its job and taking care of a fault.


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RE: GFCI & Garage Refrigerator

The defrost heater is a common culprit for GFCI tripping.


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