How to Fix a Tripping GFI Outlet For a Refrigerator or Freezer

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How Can I Fix a Tripping GFCI Outlet for a Refrigerator? Solve the Problem of a Tripping GFCI Refer or Freezer Outlet.

Problem with GFI Outlet for Refrigerator or Freezer

Electrical Question: How Can I Fix a Tripping GFCI Outlet for a Refrigerator?

  • I have a refrigerator that is tripping the GFI outlet.
  • The refrigerator has been plugged in this GFI for 2 years in the garage.
  • Can I just replace the GFI outlet with an regular outlet?

This electrical wiring question came from: Joe, from Oxford, Florida.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your Electrical Repair question Joe.

How to Fix a Tripping GFI for a Refrigerator or Freezer

Application: Rewiring a GFCI Outlet Circuit.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced, best if wired by a licensed electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and the GFI outlet circuit that will be rewired.
Precaution: Identify the GFI outlet circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional GFCI Outlet wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

Solve the Problem of  a Tripping GFCI Refer or Freezer Outlet

  • Refrigerators and Freezers just don’t get along well with GFI Outlets, and the fact is they are not required to be protected by GFCI if they are on a circuit all by themselves and the circuit is not shared with other outlets in the garage or similar area.
  • Because the refrigerator has worked fine with a GFI before, then my first recommendation is to replace the existing GFI outlet with a new one and see if that solves the problem, because just like an old electrician,  GFI outlets can get old and tired and plum worn out.
  • The problem is that most garages do no have a dedicated circuit and receptacle just for the refrigerator, but there is a way to solve this problem, however it will take a little rewiring and maybe one or more GFI Outlets to make this work.
  • The point is to still have all the other outlets protected by GFI but not the refrigerator or freezer, so the outlet circuit that will need to be identified where it will be known where the power source enters the circuit, where the refrigerator or freezer outlet is in relationship to the other outlets and any additional outlets may be after the refrigerator or freezer.
  • If there are any outlets before the refrigerator then they need to be wired as single protected GFI outlet and not wired with a Feed Through configuration.
  • For outlets that are after the refrigerator they can be wired with a GFI outlet that is configured to provide Feed-Through protection to all of the following outlets. The links below will take you to a complete series of photos showing how to wire GFI outlets with the Single and Feed-Through methods.

More about Wiring GFI and GFCI Outlets

Electrical Outlet Wiring

  • Wiring Electrical Outlets for the Home

  • Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.
  • Wiring GFI Outlets
  • GFCI and GFI Wiring Diagrams
  • The features and benefits of GFCI outlets and receptacles will give you a clear understanding of the importance why these safety devices are required by code to help protect you and your family against accidental electrical shock hazards.

GFCI Wiring

  • GFCI Wiring
  • This list of articles will help you learn about the features and benefits provided by GFI and GFCI Receptacles and how they are wired.

How to Install Garage Electrical Wiring

  • Garage Electrical Wiring

  • Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Garage Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.

Learn How to Wire it Right with my
Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring
Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handywomen, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electrical Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
Electrical Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

» Click here to learn more about Home Electrical Wiring «
  repair electrical wiring  

Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.


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