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  1. #1
    S Shah's Avatar
    S Shah Guest

    Default old fridge in garage and existing gfci

    Have one gfci in garage to which sprinklersystem is currently connected. There are 4 (2 pair) other outlets in the garage that are connected through this gfci. I want to put a full size fridge in the garage. Concern is have seen gfci trip sometime and have to reset it - with no other load in other outlets. Happens maybe once or twice a year. It does reset. Dont know the reason for tripping. Only see it because sprinlker system shows "pr off" sign. Any thoughts on tripping?

    If I put the fridge in the garage and the gfci trips, it would stop working. food may go bad.

    Any suggestions on how to solve this problem, before I put the fridge in the garage.

    Thanks in advance

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: old fridge in garage and existing gfci

    GFCI's trip for a variety of reasons. To be on the safe side, you should not have a refrigerator on a GFCI protected outlet for that very reason, the power may go off unnoticed and your food may spoil.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: old fridge in garage and existing gfci

    In addition to what Jack said, many factors can cause the tripping. Try replacing the GFCI with a new one. If the tripping continues, you have a problem with a device or the circuit itself.

    Dom.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: old fridge in garage and existing gfci

    Put the fridge on a dedicated GFCI outlet so that faults elsewhere on the circuit do not affect the fridge. At battery operated temperature alarm could be installed at a nominal cost.

    Amazon.com: Temperature Alert/Alarm for Freezer & Refrigerators: Automotive

    Although older versions of the code allowed for an appliance outlet in the garage to be exempt from GFCI requirements, this is no longer allowed in the newest versions.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  5. #5
    Guy W Opie's Avatar
    Guy W Opie Guest

    Default Re: old fridge in garage and existing gfci

    The other option is to change gfi outlet to a single outlet and put gfic on the next one in line.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: old fridge in garage and existing gfci

    I use the power off alarm in my rental, where the fridge is plugged into a GFCI. It works great, although the GFCI has not tripped since I put it in. Figures.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  7. #7
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    Default Re: old fridge in garage and existing gfci

    All of those receptacles in the garage MUST remain GFCI protected.

    You must investigate the reason why the GFCI receptacle in the garage is tripping.

    Contact an electrician to diagnose this for you, you can explain the conditions and circumstances you find this tripped.

    First suspects are other equipment/devices plugged in - battery chargers for cordless tools are primary suspects, even if there isn't a battery in the charger to be charged. Unattended not-in-use equipment/appliances, etc. shouldn't be left plugged in, especially "battery chargers" and other such devices.

    He/She can review the wiring, check continuity, connections, and perhaps find the cause of the intermittant fault.

    Modern refrigerators do not trip GFCIs when they run unless there is a problem (sometimes the case ground connection).

    The alarm is a good idea.

    Leaving an 125v 15 or 20 amp outlet (receptacle) unprotected for ground fault circuit interruption is not an option, in the garage. No compromises.

    I assume the "sprinklers" are landscaping irrigation, and not a fire protection system (the later shouldn't be on a GFCI).

    P.S. if the temperature in the garage gets too cool the refrigerator won't work properly either, and the food will still go bad.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: old fridge in garage and existing gfci

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy W Opie View Post
    The other option is to change gfi outlet to a single outlet and put gfic on the next one in line.
    Does not matter that the receptacle is a single receptacle or a duplex receptacle - if the receptacle is a 125-volt, single phase, 15 or 20 amp receptacle it REQUIRES GFCI protection.

    If the GFCI is tripping, there are two choices: (both of the following are in posts by others above)
    - 1) replace the GFCI and see if the old GFCI device is bad
    - 2) if the new GFCI still trips contact an electrician and have them find out the problem
    - 3) (what ... I thought there were two options?) If the refrigerator or freezer is tripping the GFCI ... DO NOT bypass the GFCI and plug it in someplace else - THERE IS A PROBLEM with the refrigerator or freezer and you either need to find the problem or replace the appliance.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: old fridge in garage and existing gfci

    Quote Originally Posted by S Shah View Post
    Have one gfci in garage to which sprinklersystem is currently connected. There are 4 (2 pair) other outlets in the garage that are connected through this gfci. I want to put a full size fridge in the garage. Concern is have seen gfci trip sometime and have to reset it - with no other load in other outlets. Happens maybe once or twice a year. It does reset. Dont know the reason for tripping. Only see it because sprinlker system shows "pr off" sign. Any thoughts on tripping?

    If I put the fridge in the garage and the gfci trips, it would stop working. food may go bad.

    Any suggestions on how to solve this problem, before I put the fridge in the garage.

    Thanks in advance

    Besides what I would inspect for and have to write up .... If it were my freezer or frig in the garage I would (or, you should) have the freezer/frig tested electrically to find out if there are any electric concerns with the unit and then If all is well I would park the refrig in front of a particular receptacle that I no longer had a GFCI protecting it.

    It's your home and you have to make the call. Personally I would hate to see a small fortune in meat go bad if a GFCI tripped. If you were to move I would definitely have the GFCI hooked back up. After all you live in the home and would know the receptacle behind the frig is not GFCI. Anyone moving in would not know to watch out for or correct it.

    As a professional I would never suggest such a thing. Those are all wild ideas of the what could


  10. #10
    S Shah's Avatar
    S Shah Guest

    Default Re: old fridge in garage and existing gfci

    Thanks all for the inputs. I had figured that the code and safety would restrict me to gfci in garage.

    Yes the outside landscaping sprinkler system is connected on the current GFCI. The tripping is very rare as have been using several tools for wood work without tripping, its just that I do recall it tripping and its potential impact on a newly attached fridge, not knowing when it tripped. There is no identifiable pattern.

    To be safe and potentially have less headache, I like the idea of dedicated gfci line for fridge and the temp alarms.

    Will get an electrician to figure out if the current lines can be seperated or pull in new dedicated line from the circuit breaker box which is closeby anyway.

    Thanks again.


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