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How to Fix a Tripping GFCI Outlet for a Freezer or Refrigerator

My freezer lost power, do I have a bad GFCI receptacle? Problems with GFCI Outlets for Freezers and How to Fix Them.

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Guide to Residential Electrical Wiring guide to electrical wiring

GFCI Outlet for a Freezer or Refrigerator
Electrical Question #1: My freezer lost power, do I have a bad GFCI receptacle?

Thanks in advance for your help.

This electrical wiring question came from Bill, in Slagle, Missouri.

Electrical Question #2:

This electrical wiring question came from in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Dave’s Reply:
Thank you for your electrical wiring questions.

Repairing a GFCI Problem for a Freezer or Refrigerator

Application: GFCI Outlet for a Freezer or Refrigerator.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Best if performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
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 number of GFI outlets that will be installed.
Precaution: Identify the affected outlet circuits at the electric panel, turn them OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the outlet wiring.
Materials: Make sure to use materials of the same amperage and voltage rating as the electrical circuit.
Notice: Installing additional GFCI Outlet Wiring should be done according to local and national electrical GFCI Codes with a permit and be inspected.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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This article looks at common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.
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A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.


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Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handywomen, and Electricians
Includes:
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
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
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.





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

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!

The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.

Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!

The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..

The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

2 Responses to “How to Fix a Tripping GFCI Outlet for a Freezer or Refrigerator”
  1. Thomas G says:

    I have heard from electricians about a readily accessible exception for GFCI protection. Exception to (3) Receptacles that are not readily accessible and are supplied by a dedicated branch circuit for electric snow-melting or deicing equipment shall be permitted to be installed in accordance with 426.28.
    I think the statement is only being read halfway through as it does not state receptacles that are not readily accessible OR are supplied by a dedicated branch circuit…
    Is there another exception in the NEC which allows dedicated circuits or receptacle outlets that are not readily accessible to be installed without ground fault protection?

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Thomas,
      Please note that NEC Article 426.28 has reference to ‘fixed outdoor electric deicing and snow melting equipment’.

      With reference to the main article about Tripping GFCI Outlets please note the following update: In the past the National Electrical Code allowed an exception to the problem of a tripping GFCI outlet at a freezer or refrigerator, however GFCI outlets are now required in these areas without exception. If there is a nuisance tripping problem with an older GFCI then the solution would be to replace it with a new GFCI outlet.

      Thank you for your observation!
      I hope this helps,
      Dave

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