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.
GFCI Outlet for a Freezer or Refrigerator
Electrical Question #1: My freezer lost power, do I have a bad GFCI receptacle?
- I have a home built in 1995. The receptacles in the kitchen are GFCI protected, though 2 of them lack the test buttons.
- Tripping GFCI Problem I have had issues with the circuit “tripping” without anything being used, with the exception of a Whirlpool freezer, model#EH101FXRQ00 LO, Date-200711. The specs for the freezer are 4.5oz,128g,R134a,115V, 60Hz,3.0A.
- GFCI Outlet I will note that the last time I found the circuit tripped it was a receptacle that has never had anything plugged into it, but I had a lightning storm through the night which may have caused it to trip off. I reset the test button and all was well.
- Tripped Circuit The first time this circuit tripped I was gone for a few days and was alerted to the fact that it was tripped by the digital readout on the microwave, Sharp model#R-309YW,120V,60Hz,1.5KW,serial#D250077880, manufactured May 2012 was not on.
- Freezer Outlet The freezer had been off for a few days and everything inside was thawed. Is their a solution for this problem? Have I got a bad GFCI receptacle, and if so how do I identify it.
Thanks in advance for your help.
This electrical wiring question came from Bill, in Slagle, Missouri.
Electrical Question #2:
- I have a Kenmore 11 cu. ft. freezer in my basement. It is about 18 years old. The basement had been unfinished until last fall (2017) and the freezer was plugged into a dedicated 15 amp circuit with no GFCI. After finishing the basement, the freezer is now plugged into a dedicated 20 amp circuit with a GFCI. All electrical work was completed by a licensed electrician and passed inspection. In Dec 2017, we found the freezer off and it had tripped the GFCI. I reset it and it worked fine. Last week (March 2018), we found the freezer off again. It had been off for some time and all food was ruined. I reset the outlet and the freezer started right up and runs fine. My basement contractor suggested replacing the GFCI with a standard outlet. Is this safe to do. Will the circuit breaker at the electrical panel provide protection if there is a problem with the freezer.
This electrical wiring question came from in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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.
Problems with Old GFCI Outlets for Freezers and How to Fix Them
- GFCI Outlets for Freezers and Refrigerators
There has been a history of problems where a refrigerator or freezer will trip a GFCI off without warning. For most locations, a freezer or refrigerator does not need to be protected by GFCI unless the location requires.
Electrical Code: In the past the national electrical code allowed an exception to this problem of a tripping GFCI outlet at a freezer or refrigerator, however due to greater reliability of the newer GFCI outlets the following is suggested:
- If you have an older GFCI that is tripping, then replace it with a new GFCI outlet.
- GFCI outlets should be tested regularly to ensure normal operation.
- Provide GFCI Protection Where Required
The concern is to make sure that outlets are protected by GFCI where the protection is required.
- It is best to install the GFCI outlet in a location that is accessible which will allow regular testing.
- NOTE: If this is not a dedicated circuit intended for one device only, and the circuit is being shared with other outlets that require GFCI protection then the circuit will need to be evaluated to know where to install the main GFCI outlet, or a separate GFCI outlet should be installed into the locations where required.
- Electrical Outlet Definitions for Clarification
- A standard Duplex Receptacle has two plug-in outlet openings, typically one on the top and one at the bottom.
- A Single Outlet has only one plug-in outlet available.
More about Wiring GFCI 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.
This list of articles will help you learn about the features and benefits provided by GFI and GFCI Receptacles and how they are wired.
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.
Electrical Circuit Wiring
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.
Home Electrical Circuit Breakers
Home Electrical Circuit Breakers
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.
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wiring!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, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard 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.
|« Wiring a Photocell for an Outdoor Light Fixture||How To Wire a Thermostat »|