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Old 08-14-2008, 11:23 PM   #16
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Freezer tripping GFCI


The first link at all experts touches on the the subject of why the fridge can and does trip the gfi without their being any problem with the fridge.

Garage door openers are going to have problems with the new GFI code as well.

Anyway I'm of the same opinion as countless others out on the net. Their "nonsense" is far more widespread and pervasive then mine.

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Old 08-15-2008, 03:58 AM   #17
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Freezer tripping GFCI


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Many manufacturers state outright that GFI 's are not to be used.
What manufacturers?? None of those links are makers of refrigerators

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It's all right out there on the internet. Not just the examples I give, but pages and pages of " Do not use GFI with refrigerator " . I don't see any support for the use of the GFI.
You don't see it because your relying on the easy way out and you want to believe the gfci conspiracy theory as I like to call it.

Fixitnow makes a terrible mistatement of why your protected with a 3 wire receptacle for over current and therefore gfci is unnecessary for a refrigerator.

Bob Osgood over on all experts is an excellent electrician however he made a opinion why the gfci tripped and his imbalance theory on compressor start up causing a gfci to trip is not accurate, if you talk to Bob now about that thread you will get a different answer. Did you notice the new gfci that guy installed wouldn't even reset with that fridge plugged into it... as a side you will find that most of the electrical forum moderators no longer support the gfci nuisance trip theory anymore when it comes to large appliance.

That last link to that small electric company is nothing but a laugh. Sorry but that is pitiful writing and grossly inaccurate.

To put this to rest your free to believe what others tell you, I would suggest you get yourself educated on the subject.... And I have never seen a manufacturer discuss gfci in their product literature. There is really no reason to because ul (ul 250) requires them to operate on gfci. In fact ul recently proposed with the NEC being in hand to require integral gfci on refrigerators. You will hear more about this in 2011's code cycle..

Now in your defense as early as 1995 there was a nuisance tripping problem with motor/compressors on gfci branch circuits. And the nec did exclude refrigerators (in the kitchen) from gfci because of this.....no longer. The typical requirements placed on manufactures by UL for minumum current leakage was not compatible with gfci technology of that era. Things have changed since those days but the damage to the reputation of gfci's tripping on refrigerators and freezers is still widespread today.

So I would like you to consider that you may be in error by todays standards or living in a bygone era entertaining old school thoughts about gfci nuisance tripping. There are many thousands of freezers and fridges on gfci protected circuits that are operating just fine.

Last edited by Stubbie; 08-15-2008 at 04:01 AM.
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Old 08-15-2008, 08:29 AM   #18
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Freezer tripping GFCI


Your post is well written. I will eat some crow, but not all of it. In my reply to the posters question I stated that GFI's were known to trip when used with refrigerators. Which is true as far as it goes. I should have qualified the statement further by stating "older refrigerators" of the 1995 vintage. I was not aware the new refrigerator lines
were made more compatible for GFI use.

I called GE and posed the question... GE rep said GFI's are OK with their current refrigerator product line.

Last edited by Docfletcher; 08-15-2008 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:06 AM   #19
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Freezer tripping GFCI


And I will apologize for being so rudely outspoken in the beginning of my replies. Occasionally I get a button pushed that I have difficulty in being quiet... I need to work on that.....

I'm going to provide a link for you to see and read that is from an authority that has the inside scoop on most things electrical...notice the article is dated 1995. Also remember that manufacturers have a personal agenda and ain't real keen to having to spend money to improve the safety of their products. Usually an outside source has to sorta make it a requirement or them to do so.

http://ecmweb.com/mag/electric_think_gfci/

We have been arguing and should have been discussing....

The article (by my choice) was written in 1995 and gives the overall about gfci's as they new them then. About half way through is a section about gfci's and refrigerators and that the NEC does not require them due to older units causing nuisance tripping and to route gfci protection around these types of appliances. This makes sense because they (the NEC) have no control over the age of the unit being used.... no more than they have control of it today.

However as fewer and fewer of these older units leave service it becomes more important to pay closer attention to the real cause when a gfci trips when an appliance is plugged into it.

And I'm also eating a little crow myself for not approaching this subject in a more professional manner...have a good day Doc....

EDIT...And by the way the nuisance tripping by refrigerators and freezers normally occurs during their defrost cycles and is the result of poor motor insulation allowing capacitive current leakage to the frame of the unit. Very typical in older units. The very common belief that motor start up and inrush currents related to that are inaccurate for the actual cause of a gfci tripping. Current in wires stays in wires unless some type of capacitive coupling takes affect with nearby metal.

Last edited by Stubbie; 08-15-2008 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 08-15-2008, 10:18 PM   #20
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Freezer tripping GFCI


Stubie, I read the article pretty much start to finish. It was very informative. Thanks for putting it up.
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Old 08-16-2008, 06:46 PM   #21
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Freezer tripping GFCI


One of the intents behind the removal of some of the GFCI exceptions pertaining to fridges, is to remove the old units from service.
Just because it still gets cold, doesn't mean it is in good shape.
Also, the UL standards have changed.

A fridge or freezer that meets the UL standard will not trip the GFCI, unless/until there is ground leakage. The max permitted is .75 milliamp. It takes 4 to 6 milliamps to trip a GFCI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by National Electric Code
NEC 90.1(A) The purpose of this Code is the practical safeguarding of persons and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity.
The words "if it is convenient" don't appear in the above article.
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Old 08-24-2008, 11:47 PM   #22
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Freezer tripping GFCI


Hello everyone, I have a question about this topic. I bought a small chest freezer today, brand new, it's a Frigidaire. The instructions state "Receptacles protected by Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) are NOT RECOMMENDED." The instructions were printed in 2006 (date on front cover).

I am an electrical novice, so I don't really know how to read this. I have it plugged in to a GFCI outlet in the basement now (I don't currently have an outlet without GFCI). I would hate to spoil food with a tripped GFCI, but I would much rather avoid killing myself or one of my kids by touching an appliance with a ground fault. Why does a new appliance still have this in the instructions? Should I wire a dedicated receptacle (non-GFCI)? I really don't want to run new wire, and I want to have as safe an electrical setup as possible.

Thanks in advance for your replies.
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Old 08-29-2008, 11:10 AM   #23
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Freezer tripping GFCI


Please tell me this thread is still alive.

I've searched high and low for an answer to my problem and this thread seems to be the answer I was looking for.

I have a kegerator manufactured in 1998 that I just bought off of a restaurant replacing it. I plugged into into my garage's GFI receptacle and it tripped it. I ran an extension cord inside to a regular outlet and it ran fine. I did not know it had the possibility to kill me before reading this post so I have touched the kegerator and lived (to this point). My father-in-law is a construction contractor (not an electrician) and he gave the same advice as 1 of the posters of the thread to just replace the outlet with a regular receptacle because "GFI's are notoriously over-sensitive."

After reading this thread I realize I don't want to do this, but I found a different solution and now I want to know if this is also dangerous.

I put a cheap $8 surge protector between the kegerator and the outlet and it no longer trips the GFI. Is this a safe solution?
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:20 PM   #24
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Freezer tripping GFCI


I probably catch flak for this reply. In a perfect world everyone would bring everything up to the latest code. Of all the (who knows how many) homes in our great land very few people are running out to buy GFI's to hook up their refrigerators.

Your used restaurant fridge is older and may not be made to the standards with regard to not tripping GFI devices. As I have been told on this board older 1995 era fridges do trip GFI devices. This could well be the case with your fridge.

I say have the fridge checked out by a licensed electrician. If it gets a clean bill of health hook it up to a standard outlet. Preferably a dedicated one.

Safety is important, but so is common sense. We all want to keep safe. Most people die from causes other than refrigerators. Since yours is used and older as well it would be very prudent to have it checked out.
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Old 10-31-2008, 10:50 PM   #25
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Freezer tripping GFCI


"What ever you wanna believe. just keep it to yourself and stop misleading people into believing GFCI's are not allowed to supply a fridge"

When you talk to any fridg manufacturer the first thing they'll tell you is get the fridg off the GFI. That's why in any new kitchen you'll see a dedicated circuit behind the fridg that is not on a GFI with the rest of the kitchen.
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:15 PM   #26
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Freezer tripping GFCI


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Originally Posted by Macadactyl View Post

I have a kegerator manufactured in 1998 that I just bought off of a restaurant replacing it. I plugged into into my garage's GFI receptacle and it tripped it.
Sounds like a bad unit, I personally would megger it and that will tell you if the unit is good or bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macadactyl View Post
I ran an extension cord inside to a regular outlet and it ran fine.
Of course it will, a normal receptacle will not detect a current imbalance


Quote:
Originally Posted by Macadactyl View Post
I did not know it had the possibility to kill me before reading this post so I have touched the kegerator and lived (to this point). My father-in-law is a construction contractor (not an electrician) and he gave the same advice as 1 of the posters of the thread to just replace the outlet with a regular receptacle because "GFI's are notoriously over-sensitive."
Are you really going to listen to your father-in-law? First off, you cannot by code replace the gfci with a regular receptacle, 2nd, gfci's are NOT notoriously over-sensitive, the average joe just does not understand how they work and why they trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macadactyl View Post
After reading this thread I realize I don't want to do this, but I found a different solution and now I want to know if this is also dangerous.

I put a cheap $8 surge protector between the kegerator and the outlet and it no longer trips the GFI. Is this a safe solution?

So you plugged a surge protector into a gfci receptacle? If so then your good to go.
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:47 AM   #27
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Freezer tripping GFCI


I have no problems with the GFCI that my Garage Door opener is connected to, but then again 99% of the time, only thing hooked to that circuit (20amp with 20amp GCFI) is the opener. Other times during summer it is the XM unit, but the door stays open.
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Old 11-09-2008, 03:35 AM   #28
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Freezer tripping GFCI


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Originally Posted by Docfletcher View Post
Gfi are required in commercial kitchens due to the constant wet environment .
Much more so than a residential setting.

As the GFCI monitors current flowing from hot to neutral it looks for a imbalance in current between the two points. Due to the sensitive nature of GFI's even a slight imbalance (or mismatch) of 4 or 5 milliamps will trip the GFI. The GFI is more suited to locations which can be wet, like counter tops, where your toaster and blender type appliances are located.
I'd be interested to see which states and towns now require GFI's for refrigerators and which are planing to require them.

I'd also like to see the statistics for electrocution by refrigerators.

s
I did a service call in an apartment unit,"get a shock when I touch fridge and water at sink." Fridge compressor leaking to ground.Two wire system, installed g.f.c.i. receptacle,told landlord of my quick fix to protect tentant untill you buy a new appliance.G.f.c.i. tripped ,food thawed out overnight, Guess who is the J.O. ?
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:55 PM   #29
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Freezer tripping GFCI


Don't mind me folks. I just kind of pop in heref rom time to time, and I find this an interesting thread.

For the electricians. Can a surge in power to the start windings in a motor not cause an imbalance and throw the GFCI? I know compressors take a pretty good jolt to start especially when they get a little age on them. What, about 3 times or more the normal amperage required to run the compressor?

What happens with the GFCI if one of the windings are bad. Start or run windings? What about a weak capacitor on some motors. Will it just burn completely, or will it trip a breaker before the it trips the GFCI?

If you ohm a fridge out looking for a leak after discharging the parts that need discharging, to you ohm the compressor then the timer leads, or do you ohm all the stats and defrost heater element, fan motor, etc.?

I haven't given this subject any thought in a long time.
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Old 01-14-2009, 05:32 AM   #30
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Freezer tripping GFCI


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Originally Posted by Docfletcher View Post
One should have it checked out after the GFI trips and if it is then proven there is no electical issue with with the fridge... Remove the GFI and install a standard outlet. Like most people all over these united states have.
I'm MOST PEOPLE and I have my upright freezer plugged into a GFCI rec.

Sure, the NEC does not require GFCI for a receptacle on a dedicated branch circuit located and identified for a cord-and-plug-connected appliance, such as a refrigerator or freezer.

BUT I did not get the feeling that is what the OP was talking about.

BTW, when I moved into my new-old house the previous owner left a fridge in the basement, the door handle was energized. This led to a... wait for it.. shocking situation.

I don't know where I read it, but: "Meat that is already dead needs less protection than Meat that is still alive."

Leah - just call me Live Meat - Frances

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