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Discussion Starter #1
We just purchased a refrigerator for our garage.

Our current configuration is this:
  • 20A circuit in garage
  • 15A GFCI receptacle near fridge
  • Home alarm system plugged into bottom of GFCI receptacle

With the alarm system plugged in, there is not enough space to plug in the refrigerator power cord.

So my question is this: Given the current setup, can I mount a surge protector/power strip to the wall, plug that into top of the GFCI, then plug the fridge into that? Or, would it be better to plug the fridge and power strip into the GFCI, then the alarm system into the power strip?

I'm mainly worried about the refrigerator...
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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Electrical Contractor
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Do NOT plug in a surge-protected power strip into any GFCI protected outlet, unless you want nuisance tripping of the GFCI.

If you want to use a power strip, be sure to use a non-surge unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
From everything I've read, you're not supposed to plug a refrigerator into a GFCI outlet, but only GFCI outlets are allowed in a garage. Is this right?
 

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Refrigerators should be fine on a GFI. There used to be an exception that allowed single receptacles behind appliances to be non-GFI. It has been removed and all garage receptacles now require GFI protection.
 

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Semi-Pro Electro-Geek
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From everything I've read, you're not supposed to plug a refrigerator into a GFCI outlet, but only GFCI outlets are allowed in a garage. Is this right?
Only a faulty refrigerator will trip a GFCI. It just so happens that many older refrigerators do have moderate ground current leakage, and will do so. This is not a problem with the GFCI, or a good reason to avoid plugging a fridge into a GFCI - it's a good reason to get a new fridge or repair the problem.

Of course, the reason people are concerned about having a fridge on a GFCI is that if it does trip, you may not realize it until the fridge warms up and the food is spoiled. This guy will also have his alarm system plugged into the same GFCI, and it surely has an AC power failure alarm that will go off if the GFCI trips. Problem solved.
 

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Electrical Contractor
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Only a faulty refrigerator will trip a GFCI......
Not so. Lightning storms and power surges can trip out GFCI's quite handily.

Even with nothing plugged into `em.

I don't believe that the CMP's took that into consideration when they mandated the GFCIs in critical locations.
 
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