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-   -   Outdoor Fridge - Breaker problems (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/outdoor-fridge-breaker-problems-24438/)

Git 07-29-2008 01:01 PM

Outdoor Fridge - Breaker problems
 
I have a built in outdoor BBQ and next to it is small fridge with an ice maker. I ran a dedicated 20 amp circuit to the fridge and am powering it with a 20 amp Murray GFCI breaker. The fridge keeps throwing the breaker and I am wondering - should I have used a GFCI breaker or could there be something else wrong. When I turn the fridge on, it appears fine, but when I go back a couple of hours later, it is off.

Termite 07-29-2008 02:22 PM

You might try a new breaker to rule out the overcurrent device as the problem. That's always a good place to start. Same for the receptacle.

Might also be worth trying a conventional 20A breaker and a GFCI receptacle instead.

Assuming that this receptacle isn't getting moisture somehow?

Git 07-29-2008 03:21 PM

That was my thought - switch out the breaker first. I would have to pull out the fridge to access the outlet behind it. It is pretty well protected under the counter top so I wouldn't think moisture would be a problem.

One of the reasons why I went with the GFCI breaker was access was going to be a problem. Am I correct that it does require some sort of GFCI device?

chris75 07-29-2008 03:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Git (Post 144113)
That was my thought - switch out the breaker first. I would have to pull out the fridge to access the outlet behind it. It is pretty well protected under the counter top so I wouldn't think moisture would be a problem.

One of the reasons why I went with the GFCI breaker was access was going to be a problem. Am I correct that it does require some sort of GFCI device?


If the receptacle is located outside, then it requires GFCI protection.

Yoyizit 07-29-2008 05:34 PM

The trip curve for the breaker should match the normal current vs. time curve for the fridge, plus 10% or so.
Compressors pull a lot of current on startup unless they have "soft start".
The fridge manu can recommend the proper breaker.

If the proper breaker is already in place, maybe the fridge compressor is nearing the end of its life, or a motor starting capacitor is failing.
Diagnosing these problems takes some test equipment.

chris75 07-29-2008 05:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yoyizit (Post 144159)
The trip curve for the breaker should match the normal current vs. time curve for the fridge, plus 10% or so.
Compressors pull a lot of current on startup unless they have "soft start".
The fridge manu can recommend the proper breaker.

If the proper breaker is already in place, maybe the fridge compressor is nearing the end of its life, or a motor starting capacitor is failing.
Diagnosing these problems takes some test equipment.

I always check that before I buy a new fridge... Oh, also, no offense, but this is a DIY forum...

Stubbie 07-29-2008 08:30 PM

My persoanl opinion would be to begin by testing the gfci breaker fpr porper operation. Simply push the test button with fridge unplugged. If it kills power to the receptacle and then resets and restores power consider it working properly.

Now question the load and if moisture is being created from its operation. It is also possible that when the fridge compressor cycles it is at this point that the gfci breaker trips.

My best guess is that in those cramped quarters condensation is forming on the inside of the electrical box and causing a current leak. This is taking some time to build up enough moisture to trip out the gfci breaker...sooooo....Is it possible to relocate the receptacle if moisture proves to be the problem? A location with better ventilation may cure your problem.

Yoyizit 07-29-2008 08:41 PM

My bad. I thought this was a circuit breaker problem and not a GFI problem.

Git 07-30-2008 12:13 AM

1 Attachment(s)
It's a small, under the counter type fridge that is made for outdoors, by U-Line. It is in a pretty sheltered location - I attached a pic, the fridge goes under the counter on the left, by the end.

Tonight, I switched out the GFCI breaker with a regular 20 amp breaker I had on hand, it appears to be working fine. Tomorrow I will see about replacing the GFCI Breaker

BigJimmy 07-30-2008 05:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chris75 (Post 144169)
I always check that before I buy a new fridge...

Yep, always...right before I check the energy star rating and cu. ft. capacity!


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