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Old 04-29-2010, 07:00 AM   #1
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Fridge and lights?


I am finishing my basement and have a question about my fridge circuit. I was wanting to run my fridge and 4 can lights off of a 20 amp circuit. I tried to see how much power the fridge draws but couldn't find it. Wattage wise I should be ok. 4x75w = 300W, so that leaves me with over 1600 watts to stay under 80%.

Does a fridge have to be on it's own separate circuit. My house was built in 2006 and the Kitchen fridge isn't on it's own, I just wanted to make sure before I start running wire.

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Old 04-29-2010, 07:24 AM   #2
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Fridge and lights?


To find your data plate for the refrigerator look on or near the door.

Unless called for by the installation instructions a separate circuit is not required.

Loadwise you will be fine. A typical refrigerator draws around 7 amps, but more while starting up. You may notice the lights dim when the refrigerator starts.

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Old 04-29-2010, 08:06 AM   #3
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Fridge and lights?


Thanks. I looked in the manual and it says that a 15 or 20 amp circuit is required. It says "recommended" being on it's own circuit.
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:23 AM   #4
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Fridge and lights?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Abs777 View Post
It says "recommended" being on it's own circuit.
Mike Holmes said the same thing Sunday

Recommended, not required.
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:07 AM   #5
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Fridge and lights?


I put my kitchen fridge on its own 15a circuit w/12g wire (had the breaker)
My old 18cu ft fridge was rated at 4.75a
The new 26 cu ft is supposed to use less power on a yearly basis
BUT, its rated at 11.6a...approx 408w free of the 15a circuit
So in my case I will not add anything to the circuit

If I had installed a 20a breaker I might have added the lights
But since it is using 77% of the 15a circuit I'll leave it
Just not worth it to trip the fridge

You can add 100% possible load to a residential circuit in most cases
I've run my christmas display at 90%+ load on a circuit for over 5 hours
--new wiring, breakers...everything
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:13 AM   #6
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Fridge and lights?


A couple differing schools of thought here...
  • Having a seldom accessed refrigerator or freezer on a separate circuit can be good for reliability - something else tripping the breaker does not take out the refrig/freezer.
  • Having it on a circuit shared with lights can be a good thing as it may be more readily noticeable if the circuit is out because one will notice the lights inop.
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:39 AM   #7
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Fridge and lights?


Good points. I figured that is why they recommend running it on it's own circuit, so nothing else can trip the breaker and possibly ruin your perishables in the fridge.
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:51 PM   #8
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Fridge and lights?


I have my fridge on a dedicated 20 amp circuit. They do use more power at start up. As they get some age on them, the comprssor will use even more at startup. And I hate to see lights blink because a circuit may be close to capacity.
Actually, I thought all kitchen appliances were supposed to be on dedicated circuits. I also ran one for the micro wave. Then the wife moved the dang thing!
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:17 PM   #9
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Fridge and lights?


This is for my bar kitchen. I have the fridge and 4 can lights, Microwave dedicated 20 amp, Stove dedicated 40 amp, and dishwasher on dedicated 20amp (if I add a garbage disposal it will be on this circuit as well.
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:49 PM   #10
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Fridge and lights?


Quote:
Originally Posted by CoconutPete View Post
Mike Holmes said the same thing Sunday

Recommended, not required.
In Ontario Canada where Mike does most of his work it is REQUIRED to have the fridge on a dedicated circuit.
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Old 04-29-2010, 03:02 PM   #11
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Fridge and lights?


If the circuit serves receptacles in an unfinished portion of the basement then the circuit needs GFCI protection. Meanwhile GFCI protection is not desired for a refrigerator as a trip may go unnoticed and the 'fridge left without power for a period of time.
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Old 07-29-2010, 03:46 PM   #12
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Fridge and lights?


I've always ran a dedicated line for a fridge. I would much rather tap into another existing cct containing receptacles that are rarely used instead of cct where u know a voltage will be drawn 2-3 times per hour to run a compressor....just makes more sense to me.

Besides.... I wanna make sure nothing F's with my cold beer and frozen steaks....lol

DONT MESS WITH THE AND HIS OR HE'LL BE

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