Fridge pops GFI
#11
  
My fridge shares the circuit with 1 countertop GFI outlet. Sometime yesterday the fridge started tripping the GFI.  I thought (was hoping) that is had something to do with the ice maker so i turned the ice maker off but it just tripped the GFI again.   When i reset the GFI the compressor immediately turned on.  I'd like to get a couple of more years out of this 16 year old fridge, if possible.  Any insight on what the issue could be before I pull it out from the wall in an attempt to troubleshoot it?  I have to go out for a couple of hours but I'll be working on this by about 2 o'clock.
BTW -  My wife has already decided to go appliance shopping!  
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#12
  Re: Fridge pops GFI by carwashguy (My fridge shares the...)
(03-17-2019, 11:24 AM)carwashguy Wrote: My fridge shares the circuit with 1 countertop GFI outlet. Sometime yesterday the fridge started tripping the GFI.  I thought (was hoping) that is had something to do with the ice maker so i turned the ice maker off but it just tripped the GFI again.   When i reset the GFI the compressor immediately turned on.  I'd like to get a couple of more years out of this 16 year old fridge, if possible.  Any insight on what the issue could be before I pull it out from the wall in an attempt to troubleshoot it?  I have to go out for a couple of hours but I'll be working on this by about 2 o'clock.
BTW -  My wife has already decided to go appliance shopping!  

Can you run extension cord to another gfci and see if it trips that one ?   If so probably it is the fridge, if it doesn't probably it is the gfci.  Roly
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#13
  Re: Fridge pops GFI by carwashguy (My fridge shares the...)
I'd change the GFCI first. They are known to fail. If you have another, just swap them.
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#14
  Re: Fridge pops GFI by carwashguy (My fridge shares the...)
Older house?  I thought current code called for the fridge to be on a dedicated circuit?
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#15
  Re: Fridge pops GFI by carwashguy (My fridge shares the...)
Ref and cooler are known to trip GFCI The newer ones are suppose to address this. If the GFCI is old then replace it with a new one or take the fridge off that circuit . It is these water dispensers that brought that on.
John T.
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#16
  Re: RE: Fridge pops GFI by KC (Older house?  I thou...)
(03-17-2019, 06:53 PM)KC Wrote: Older house?  I thought current code called for the fridge to be on a dedicated circuit?

AFAIK, unless something has changed recently (I don't really keep up any more), the refrigerator is permitted to be on its own 15A or 20A circuit [210.52(b)(1) exception 2], or be on one of the two or more 20A small appliance branch circuits (SABC) which by definition serve the kitchen counter tops and all wall receptacles in the kitchen, pantry, breakfast room, and dining room. 

Years ago, the code specifically called for the refrigerator to be on one of the two or more SABCs [1990 NEC], and in later years that was 'relaxed' to allow it on one of the two or more SABCs or on it's own circuit.  The fridge on its own circuit is, of course, more conservative, but the code was oddly written to sound like the fridge had to be on one of those two.  Back then, outdoor receptacles were also permitted to be on a SABC, and usually were, presumably because those were both required to be 20A.

In every house I've owned I've rewired to put the fridge on its own circuit.  Had a bad experience in my first house where someone extended the SABC to power a ton of recessed lights in an expanded family room, with 150W bulbs in them yet, and someone ran the vacuum cleaner, blew the breaker, and didn't reset it.  By the time I got home, stuff was dripping out of the freezer.  Kitchen remodel that soon followed, in large part to correct a lot of really poor work*, was the opportunity to put things right, which of course I did.

But to the best of my knowledge, it's not longer required to be on a SABC, though that's still allowed, but can be on its own 15A or 20A circuit, dedicated to that equipment only.  I use a single receptacle in case someone else down the road is tempted to plug a microwave in behind the fridge (which I've actually seen), though there's no need if the spacing (no more than 24" from the end of the counter or sink, and no more than 48" between them, on counters more than 12" wide) is adhered to.  Which many old kitchens don't, but if redoing a kitchen, they should.



*Cleanout hole drilled in a vent line behind a base cabinet with duck tape over it that leaked all over the room when the drain line clogged and came out from under the tape, for instance. Upset
Tom

“This place smells like that odd combo of flop sweat, hopelessness, aaaand feet.”







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#17
  Re: Fridge pops GFI by carwashguy (My fridge shares the...)
Fridges aren't really supposed to be on a GFCI. For that matter, anything with a motor shouldn't be in a GFCI circuit unless it's required because the receptacle is over a kitchen countertop.
 
"My mortgage self-identifies as a student loan."
... Kizar Sozay


Neil Summers Home Inspections
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#18
  Re: RE: Fridge pops GFI by Snipe Hunter (Fridges aren't reall...)
(03-18-2019, 11:24 AM)Snipe Hunter Wrote: Fridges aren't really supposed to be on a GFCI. For that matter, anything with a motor shouldn't be in a GFCI circuit unless it's required because the receptacle is over a kitchen countertop.

Except it has been working that way for years, something changed to cause it to trip.  Bad gfci or bad refrigerator ?   Check the NEC about anything with a motor should not be on gfci, it is required in many cases.    But a refrigerator in a kitchen is not, take the same refrigerator and put it in the garage and it is now required (for now).   Roly
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#19
  Re: Fridge pops GFI by carwashguy (My fridge shares the...)
(03-18-2019, 12:22 PM)Roly Wrote: Except it has been working that way for years, something changed to cause it to trip.  Bad gfci or bad refrigerator ?   .   Roly
I bought the fridge new when I bought the house and has been working without issue for all of this time.  Fridge is dated 5-2002.  House was built 1962.  
I have intended to put the fridge on it's own circuit for a long time, just haven't got around to it yet.  I think that may be my project for tonight!
I'm going to pug the fridge into an extension cord into a non GFI outlet for now just to see if it pops the breaker.

My wife is still searching the internet for the perfect fridge to replace this one..."It's 17 years old, I don't know why you want to fix it."
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#20
  Re: RE: Fridge pops GFI by Roly ([quote='Snipe Hunter...)
(03-18-2019, 12:22 PM)Roly Wrote: Except it has been working that way for years, something changed to cause it to trip.  Bad gfci or bad refrigerator ?   Check the NEC about anything with a motor should not be on gfci, it is required in many cases.    But a refrigerator in a kitchen is not, take the same refrigerator and put it in the garage and it is now required (for now).   Roly

Indeed, GFCI's are required in garages. They're also required above countertops in the Kitchen. As far as I know, there's no NEC issues with plugging anything into GFCI circuits. There's technical issues with motors and GFCIs. GFCI's don't always play well with motors. My guess is that the GFCI is done, or at least that would be the 1st place I check by swapping it out with a 15amp receptacle. You can have a 15amp receptacle on a 20 amp circuit in a kitchen. It doesn't matter if it's a 15amp or a 20 amp circuit. 15 amp receptacles are allowed on a 20amp circuit in the kitchen. The new homes I inspect are wired this way. GFCIs do go bad. I see bad ones all the time. Usually in bathrooms where the exhaust fan is on the same circuit.
 
"My mortgage self-identifies as a student loan."
... Kizar Sozay


Neil Summers Home Inspections
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