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Old 04-03-2012, 01:37 PM   #1
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Question about 20amp outlet for my refrigerator


I had some interesting problems with the outlet my refrigerator was plugged into but I found out that it has a 20amp circuit but its not dedicated. The 20amp circuit goes to an outlet above my kitchen countertop, the refrigerator and another wall outlet opposite of my refrigerator.

My questions are:

A.) Is it ok for me to put a 20amp outlet for my refrigerator and 15amp outlets for the other 2 outlets?

B.) I was going to put a 15amp GFI outlet at my kitchen counter and from what I understand I can make it protect multiple outlets or just that one outlet. I'm thinking I would just like it to protect just that one outlet so I should just be able to use a wirenut to tie the hot connections to a pigtail and same with the neutral wires also to a pigtail then connect this to my GFI?

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Old 04-03-2012, 01:59 PM   #2
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Question about 20amp outlet for my refrigerator


In the US, no need to have the 20 amp receptalces, when 15 amps will do.
How old is your house?
It is not a problem to share the fridge and countertop receptacles.

If you want point of use GFCI's, then you pigtail the hots, and then the neutrals and connect them to the line side of the gfci.

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Old 04-03-2012, 02:39 PM   #3
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Question about 20amp outlet for my refrigerator


My house was built in 1971. Thats nice to hear about the sharing of the circuit. I was under the impression that the Fridge, Microwave and Dishwasher had to be on dedicated 20amp circuits. Thanks for answering my question about the GFI's.

So when I go to renovate my kitchen (sometime next year) I will need 20amp circuits to the appliances but I can use 15amp outlets? Sorry I'm just a little fuzzy on this part.

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Old 04-03-2012, 02:48 PM   #4
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Question about 20amp outlet for my refrigerator


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Originally Posted by Penguinfan View Post
My house was built in 1971. Thats nice to hear about the sharing of the circuit. I was under the impression that the Fridge, Microwave and Dishwasher had to be on dedicated 20amp circuits. Thanks for answering my question about the GFI's.

So when I go to renovate my kitchen (sometime next year) I will need 20amp circuits to the appliances but I can use 15amp outlets? Sorry I'm just a little fuzzy on this part.
As long as you are in the US, that is correct.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:23 PM   #5
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Question about 20amp outlet for my refrigerator


I'm a little confused on exactly where your recepticles are but you seem to have it under control.

As I understand per code. You must have two 20amp circuits covering the counter tops. A dedicated 20amp circuit must go to the dishwasher (can have disposal on it) and a dedicated 20amp circuit for an over the range microwave.

I think the exact requirements of a counter top microwave would be denoted by the manufacturer. Some people stick those in a corner thus not necessarily on a 20amp circuit.

A refrigerator doesn't have to be on a 20amp circuit but why would you want to put it on a gfci? You can get some electrical bleeding from electronics that could trip the gfci in which case you could lose everything in the frig...
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:10 PM   #6
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Question about 20amp outlet for my refrigerator


Thanks jbfan and Ralph,

I wasn't wanting to have my fridge on a GFI, it just happened that my fridge was on the same 20amp circuit as my counter outlet. It was the counter outlet that I wanted to be a GFI. But I didn't want my other receptacles to lose power just in case the GFI tripped and they my fridge would be powerless. Thats why I asked about the wiring of the GFI.

Also thanks Ralph for the info about the microwave outlet. Mine died about 2 weeks ago and I really want to get another one. Its amazing how much you miss having one until you dont have it. I'm considering adding a receptacle for the microwave and buying an OTR micro.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:36 AM   #7
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Question about 20amp outlet for my refrigerator


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Originally Posted by Ralph III View Post

A refrigerator doesn't have to be on a 20amp circuit but why would you want to put it on a gfci? You can get some electrical bleeding from electronics that could trip the gfci in which case you could lose everything in the frig...
The NEC is for life safety, not leftover safety. If the GFI trips you need to have the refrigerator repaired.

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