Fridge keeps blowing GFCI outlet


  #1  
Old 02-20-22, 02:09 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 17
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Fridge keeps blowing GFI outlet

Fridge wasn't working. I traced it to the GFI outlet and reset it. It blew again and again. Here's what I've done so far. Any help is appreciated.
  1. Ran an extension cord to another GFI outlet and it blew too, Then another, same result.
  2. Ran an extension cord to non-GFI outlet and it runs fine and does not trip the circuit breaker.
  3. Read all I could on the web, and it suggested
    1. Inspect plug - looks brand new
    2. Inspect power cable - ditto.
Web articles suggest it might be a blown compressor that's working overtime. But, I put a meter on the plug that measures KwH and it seems just fine and consuming about 2.25 KwH/day,

Any thoughts?

Whirlpool fridge, 14-yrs old, side-by side Model GS6NHAXVB01
 

Last edited by BobInNH; 02-20-22 at 03:45 PM. Reason: Typo
  #2  
Old 02-20-22, 05:03 PM
Bob14525's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 1,744
Received 51 Likes on 44 Posts
Since it's tripping the GFCI, it means that you have current leakage between the ground terminal on the plug and either the hot or neutral. If you have a multimeter, for starters, you could check resistance between the ground terminal on the plug and both of the other terminals. Set your ohmeter on the highest scale. If nothing is wrong, it should show infinite resistance. Of course, even if it reads infinite resistance, there are other things that can cause this. If it does show resistance, it might be a little easier to troubleshoot, since you can check it with the meter to see if you've corrected the problem rather than tripping your GFCI to test it.
 
The following users liked this post:
  #3  
Old 02-20-22, 05:30 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 70,979
Received 3,175 Likes on 2,851 Posts
It's pretty rare for a fridge compressor to leak to ground. I've found that problem one is the defrost thermostat cracks and water leaks in and problem two is the defrost element leaks to ground. You could check across the power plug but if the fridge is not in defrost mode you may not see the problem.

Personal opinion:
Unfortunately I feel the code people have over stepped their bounds and I will not install a GFI receptacle or GFI circuit for a fridge or freezer. This is MY policy for personal use as well as customers. I've been working on appliances for over forty years and I have never come across anyone injured from a refrigerator ground fault.
 
  #4  
Old 02-21-22, 04:39 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 17
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
re: Bob14525, I pulled out my voltmeter to check resistance. Turning it onto Ohms it reads 1, and it went to zero when I touched the leads which I think means it's working ok. When I touched one lead and the other to the ground, it read 1, same with the other one.

I always get Ohms backward, if it reads 1, does it mean it's good or bad?
 
  #5  
Old 02-21-22, 09:49 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 70,979
Received 3,175 Likes on 2,851 Posts
0 ohms means a dead short. When you short your meter leads you should see somewhere near 0.
1 means open circuit. Some meters show OL (over limit)

Since you're using a digital meter and measuring between each prong and ground and seeing no meter change.... the leakage is currently not there.

If your fridge runs ok and trips the GFI randomly.... that would indicate a defrost leakage issue that is only present when the fridge is defrosting. Depending on the fridge... it could be once a day or once every several days.
 
  #6  
Old 02-24-22, 08:29 AM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 17
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Compressor is dead

An update:

Just after posting here, I noticed that some food in the freezer was not hard. The temp on both sides was much higher than normal. I called an appliance repair guy and gave him all the information and he quickly said "You're compressor is gone, that's like a heart replacement and at 12-yrs old you're better off replacing it."

So, yesterday I ordered a new one. It'll be here in nine days. In the meantime I've cranked the temps down as far as they can go and am holding at 32 on the freezer side and 40 on the fridge side.

Thanks for all your help. You guys are the best.

bob
 
  #7  
Old 02-24-22, 09:30 AM
M
Member
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,940
Received 238 Likes on 215 Posts
Unless you gave him a lot more info than you have given here I do not know how a tech could diagnose a bad compressor over the phone.
At least I could not !!!
I would need info on the ice pattern or lack of on the condenser coils.
Also what is running and what is not.

Also I am not sure from you post if you are replacing the fridge or just the compressor.
Hopefully it is the fridge.
 
  #8  
Old 02-24-22, 12:04 PM
B
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 17
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Replacing the fridge

Sorry to be ambiguous, yes, it's the fridge that's being replaced.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: