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.
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Jul 07, 2010 |