Question about Frigidaire FRT15G4B Top Freezer Refrigerator

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Refrigerator tripping ground fault circuit

I have a refrigerator we are having problems with. It is a Kelvinator brand manufactured by Frigidaire located in our garage as a backup for sodas and such. Approx 7yrs old. The problem started when we moved it to our new home. I plugged it in and it runs for a day or two, then it trips the ground fault circuit at the recepticle and shuts down. It also trips what i believe to be a circuit breaker mounted inside the fridge. I have to reset the one inside the fridge by spinning it with my finger tip until i hear it "click" and then I reset the ground fault at the recepticle and it fires right up and works flawless for another day or two or even a week; Then with no warning it trips again. I checked the circuit and its a 15amp and replaced the ground fault recepticle with no luck. I also tried plugging the frige into a different ciruit and still had the problem. My thoughts are leaning to the circuit breaker inside the fridge or maybe a compressor overheating and tripping the breaker. Any ideas what might be causing this problem?? Thanks for your help.

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  • johnguh Dec 31, 2008

    I have the same problem with my old GE refrigerator. One day it started to trip the GFI... I replaced the GFI and it is till tripping the circuit. Could it be the refrigerator's compressor that is going bad?

  • PjR7 Apr 22, 2009

    Frigidaire Freezer Model MFC05M3BW4, with a Manufacture Date of 6-99, is located in the garage.



    It's plugged into a GFCI. The breaker box is also in the garage.



    The freezer tripped a 15Amp breaker the other day.



    The last time was years ago. What may be the cause?



    Thank you.

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The thing you were "spinning" was the defrost timer, not a circuit breaker. The problem may be you have a shorted defrost heater; It is on a timer that runs it for 30 minutes every 8 hours of compressor use.

Posted on Mar 07, 2011

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You need to plug it into a reg. outlet once for a couple days if this works then replace your gfi with a 20amp..

Posted on Jun 02, 2007

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1 Answer

My fridge keeps tripping the power


Your solution is one of two things.

First is the circuit you have plugged the refrigerator is either over its limit and the breaker is tripping because it is overloaded. In this case you will have to determine what load also share this circuit and eliminate the extra loads or move the cord to another circuit which is not overloaded. Most home circuit are wired with 14 gauge and is rated at 15 amps. When the circuit gets to 15 amp and more, the associated breaker trips to prevent overload.

Second, Your refrigerator may have a short and needs troubleshooting to find the cause. To see if it is a bad circuit try plugging into a circuit via extension cord to circuit in another room receptical. The reason I say another room, when electrical installers wire circuits, you can put several recepticles on the same circuit. If you plug your refrigerator in the same circuit you had it on before then you will get the same problem, your refrigerator tripping again. If your frig trips on a different circuit then troubleshooting the cause will normally require a tech.

Good luck and hope this helps.

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If you're referring to a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) breaker tripping, a refrigerator should not be plugged into a GFCI circuit because of the sudden load it requires to start the compressor, etc when it kicks on. The GFCI breakers are meant to be very sensitive, and over time the sudden energy demands caused by a refrigerator can weaken the breaker's threshold, causing them to trip often. Try connecting the refrigerator to another circuit that isn't on a GFCI breaker. If there are no other circuits nearby, you may wish to replace the GFCI breaker with a standard breaker, and replace the receptacles with GFCI receptacles, except of course, the one the refrigerator is plugged into. Be sure and consult and use a qualified electrician for this. Hope this helps..

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My side by side refrigerator started tripping the ground fault protector on the plug after being in the garage and working well. I have had the refrigerator for 10 years and this is the first problem I...


First question I would have is if the outlet is a dedicated line with nothing else on it. Also, does the GFCI in question have a high enough amperage rating for the refridgerator. Next, make sure the circuit breaker is not also a GFCI circuit breaker. You cannot have a redundant GFCI in the same circuit, one or the other. It can be very tricky to put an appliance like that on a GFCI circuit due to its compressor motor. Motors have a large amperage draw on them when they start so, if your fridge runs at around 10 amps, it can take three times as much to start (30 amps) which would trip a 20 amp GFCI.

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It is possible you have a short. However, the more likely cause is the simple fact the refrigerator is plugged into the GFI outlet. Try this first, take a heavy duty three prong extension cord, NOT a lamp extension cord, plug it into a non GFI outlet, and plug the fridge into the cord. Does it trip your house circuit breaker? If so, then you do have a short. You will need to call a local refrigerator repair company to find the source of the short, and only then will you know if its an easy or cost prohibitive fix. If it does not, and it likely wont, the problem is that a GFI outlet detects a fault to ground. Due to the humidity and moisture inside a refrigerator, and normal water drainage sometimes into the metal base of the refrigerator, it is not uncommon for water to contact metal points inside and outside a refrigerator. Since all / most metal points on a refrigerator are grounded to each other, if water contacts any of them, they can and will trip a GFI outlet breaker, because it is detecting a fault to ground.

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My fridge trips the breaker when you try to turn it on


I have a couple of things for you to check or rule out. Today, a refrigerator is required by electrical code to be connected to a dedicated, 15 amp outlet because the newer fridges are more efficient and use less than 12 amps. Not long ago, a dedicated 20 amp outlet was required because the older fridges were rated to use 12 amps or more (but less than 16 amps) and needed the larger size circuit. A 20 amp circuit breaker or fuse should not open for any standard residential fridge under normal operating conditions. A 15 amp circuit breaker or fuse _MAY_ open if an older fridge (needs 12 amps of more) is connected. Make sure that if a circuit is opening at the fuse or breaker, it is not because there are several appliances or devices in use and on the same circuit as the fridge.

The same holds true for "ground fault" and "arc fault" type circuits. If an older fridge is connected to such a circuit - nuisance tripping may result. Most newer fridges however shouldn't cause a problem on these circuits. Ground fault circuits have a "test" button on the circuit breaker or, "test" and "reset" buttons on an outlet providing this protection. Arc fault circuit protection is available only in circuit breakers (as of this time - but may become available as outlets some time in the future).

If you need to to try to isolate the problem on a 20 amp circuit, disconnect all other appliances on the other 20 amp circuits in the kitchen and dining room, then see if the fridge stays running. Alternatively, you could use a heavy duty extension cord to connect the fridge to a known isolated 20 amp circuit to see if the fridge runs. This is meant only to troubleshoot - the fridge should not be left connected via extension cord for normal operation.

If you still have tripping, you might need to have the fridge professionally serviced, as a ground fault could be a dangerous condition left unchecked.

Please rate this replay id found to be helpful - good luck!

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Either the receptical is wired wrong, or the line safety limit has been exceeded(example If you have a 20 amp breaker and the draw on that breaker exceeds 20 amps the breaker will trip.) You either have to put the refrigerator on a dedicated circuit or trace the circuit that it is on to see if the total load on that circuit is greater than the circuit limit. The simplest being , put the refrigerator on its own circuit.

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  • unless it is a ground fault breaker (usually on the outlet) then this would trip if the flow of electricity is grounded. ground fault breakers do go bad often.
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