Question about Frigidaire FRS23R4A Side by Side Refrigerator

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Fridge is popping my GFI switch

Out of nowhere my fridge is popping the GFI switch. The weird thing is I can reset it, and it will be OK for hours.....then pop. I've isolated the problem to the fridge by having it as the only electrical compoent plugged into the circuit, then by pluggging it into another kitchen circuit with GFI. POP. I've removed the back cover and cleaned out all the (cough, cough) dust and inspecd the outlets as well.

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  • strok
    strok Jul 05, 2008

    The fridge was not plugged into the GFI outlet directly. It was plugged into a 'normal' outlet with a GFI in its circuit. Also the fridge has now lost its cooling ability, both freezer and fridge are room temp.

  • RTVan Jul 26, 2008

    Same problem - popping gfi after 5 years of normal operation. Works fine when plugged in to 'normal'outlet, but I'm wondering if it is drawing more current than it should?

  • Mr Hytech Nov 17, 2008

    Same problem after years of running OK (popping the GFI circuit breaker). Not a side-by-side, but it IS a Frigidaire. It started the night before Thanksgiving last year. Because we needed the fridge to store extra food for the next day, I had no time to fix it - just find a way to keep the breaker from popping. We normally use it for beverages by the bar, not food. I was lucky to have isolated it to the icemaker right away. I disconnected the icemaker's power plug in back of the fridge to stop the breaker from tripping. A previous comment was that refrigerators are not supposed to be plugeed into GFI cicuits. Not true. With very few exceptions, anything with a grounded plug must be able to work with a GFI circuit. The exceptions include certain items like guitar amplifiers, which have a "grounding" switch to reduce hum, etc (but that's another subject).

    GFI's work by sensing a difference in current flow between hot and neutral. Everything "going out" on the hot line must "return" on the neutral line. If not, that means some of the current is "leaking" to ground, and the GFI circuit senses the imbalance and shuts off the power.

    I suspect that there is a path from the hot side to ground through some water that may be leaking, or ice that was built up where it shoudn't be. If it was a short circuit, the GFI would trip instantly, but it doesn't.

    Off I go to tackle the job...



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Refrigerators are not supposed to be plugged into gfi outlets as they can operate normally and still trip the gfi protector. try plugging the unit into an unprotected outlet and it should work fine. incidentally you'll probably have to replace the gfi outlet as it has probably weakend from being used on the refrig.

Posted on Jul 04, 2008

  • peyton thompson
    peyton thompson Jul 05, 2008

    is the refrig running at all (fan motors running, lights on etc.)? if so pull the rear cover off of the unit exposing the compressor and check to see if its running. its possible that since it kicked the gfi and has since quit cooling that the compressor has gone bad. let me know any other things that you notice such as strange noises or anything out of the ordinary so that i may point you in the correct direction..



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The National Electrical Code (NEC) article 210.8 A (6) says in dwelling units, only those outlets in a kitchen (I'm assuming your fridge is in the kitchen - right?) "where the receptacles are installed to serve the countertop surfaces" must be provide ground fault protection aka "GFI outlet". Unless your town, city, county or state has laws that supersede the NEC, you should have the outlet changed to a standard, grounded outlet to prevent the nuisance tripping you are experiencing when the cooling compressor is trying to start. A refrigerator is not a counter surface appliance, and therefore does not require GFI protection.

The other outlets are fed from this outlet, so when you connect the fridge to another outlet on the circuit, the same GFI plug trips again. When you replace the GFI plug with a "regular one, the GFI plug should be installed in another outlet to provide the GFI protection needed in the kitchen - as described in the NEC above. If you are not familiar with how to do this, please, call a licensed electrician to do this very important job for you. Be safe & be smart.

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