Happened as follows:
Was leaning on stainless steel countertop with one hand, touched the metal door of refrigerator with the other. Shock. Felt like 9v batteries you put on your tongue as a kid, except in both hands. Not quite injurious, but tingly fingers for a minute.
Checked the back of the fridge (fairly new to this home), and see that the fridge's 3 prong plug is plugged into an adapter/cheater and then into an ungrounded (obviously) two prong socket with no cover. Awesome.
Electrician came out and looked, said voltage is leaking, options are:
1. He can ground the outlet.
2. He can put GFCI outlet in.
From my knowledge, GFCI is fine, only drawback are possible "nuisance trips" that can spoil food if they go unnoticed. But many things I've seen say if your GFCI is tripping, it is for a reason, and should be addressed. Those are my thoughts. Safety of family and kids are without cost, so I would take a fridge of spoiled food for safety in return.
Anywho, he puts in GFCI, no voltage leaking anymore, surmises it was the outlet that was the problem. Plugs fridge back in, this time to the new GFCI outlet, it runs fine, and no longer shocks me if I touch it and the grounded countertop. Great!
About 8hrs later, open fridge, light is off. Check plug, and the GFCI has tripped. Reset GFCI, try plugging fridge in again, and GFCI trips immediately, before plug can be inserted all the way. 3 tries, same result. I plug fridge back into cheater and into GFCI. No trip from the GFCI, and fridge is working (apparently I don't realize that GFCI provides no protection to anything without a 3 prong plug?), as I touch countertop and fridge door, and shocked again, just like before.
So now I am back where I started, except with a GFCI outlet. I unplug fridge, and try other things in the new GFCI outlet, namely, two minifridges that I have kept my food in ever since the original fridge shocked me the first time. Both of those are fridges w 3 prong plugs, and neither of them trip the GFCI, and run fine (so far).
So, my amateur summation is that I have a faulty original fridge (must be short circuiting), and I should replace the fridge.
My questions, should anyone have read this far down and care to help me out are:
-If indeed the (original) fridge is the culprit and needs replacing.
-Or if there is a problem with the outlet. Electrician seemed to think the outlet was the problem, as he didn't tell me to replace fridge. Although fridge was working when he left (and for 8 more hrs), on the new GFCI he installed.
-Why it took 8hrs for the original fridge to initially trip the GFCI (but then subsequently trip the GFCI immediately everytime I try to plug it in thereafter).
Thanks to anyone reading this novel!