Refrigerator, GFCI & Kitchen circuit


Old 07-17-04, 01:08 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 59
Refrigerator, GFCI & Kitchen circuit

Is it recommended that an outlet for a refrigerator in the kitchen be GFCI protected?

I live in an older house that currently has 1 20 amp circuit (currently not GFCI protected) for all accessible kitchen outlets plus the frig. I want to put a GFCI outlet for the 1st outlet in the circuit to protect everything else "downstream". That 1st outlet is used for most small kitchen appliances (coffee grinder, blender, toaster, etc.) so we are putting in & pulling out plugs all of the time. My concern is that we may accidently trip the circuit and not realize it, resulting in the frig losing power and food spoiling - particularly if I'm gone for a long weekend.

Is my concern unreasonable? I'm going to GFCI protect the circuit regardless. I'll probably use on with a indicator light so it will be more apparent if the circuit is tripped.

Should I put the frig on its own separate circuit - 15 or 20 amp? & GFCI or not?

A separate circuit handles the dishwasher & garbage disposal. All of the lights are on still another circuit.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-17-04, 01:26 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Do not put your refrigerator on GFCI circuit. Refirgerators and other such appliances can inadvertently trip the GFCI, or something up stream may trip the GFCI and you could lose everything in the refrigerator.

Yes, put your refrigerator on a separate circuit. Make it a 20 amp circuit. The only differenence between a 15 and 20 amp circuit is the cost of the wire. It is not worth the avings to go with a 15 amp circuit.

If you do leave the refirgerator on the sem circuit, then install GFCI outlets everywhere else, but do not provide GFCI feed through protection.

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