Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Electrical, AC & DC. Electronic Equipment and Computers > Electrical - AC & DC
Reload this Page >

Can a fridge and water cooler be on the same outlet? What if it's split?

Can a fridge and water cooler be on the same outlet? What if it's split?

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-29-11, 10:40 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 58
Can a fridge and water cooler be on the same outlet? What if it's split?

Can a fridge and water cooler be on the same outlet (both on full power are quite less than 15 amps)? What if it's a split receptacle so each is on their own circuit?

Thanks
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-30-11, 03:46 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
You can run them on the same circuit, but in the off chance they both power up at the same time, the 20 amp breaker won't handle it. And I wouldn't want to chance my food to that chance. Refrigerators should be on their own dedicated circuit. You are talking about splitting the receptacle. It can be done, but why? You go to all the trouble to run another circuit, why not leave the refrigerator on it's circuit and place another receptacle at normal "floor" level (12" or so) for the water cooler. That way, if you ever do away with the cooler, the receptacle will be viable for something else without having to reach behind the refrigerator to plug or unplug.
 
  #3  
Old 01-30-11, 10:33 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 58
I've tested 15 amp breakers with 3000 watts on them (25 amps) for about 2 minutes before I stopped the test as I got too worried of overheating the wires (the breaker never tripped). Then I read a breaker overloaded at twice it's current will take about 3-5 minutes before it trips, so I doubt a fraction of a second overload will trip it.

In any case I'll ask to have 2 outlets placed. Could a 14/3... that makes me realize, does a fridge really need a 20 amp circuit? Anyway could he run a 14/3 or 12/3 cable and put one outlet on one phase and the other outlet on the other phase?
 
  #4  
Old 01-30-11, 03:08 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,064
You are correct that a 20A breaker won't trip at 20.1A for quite a while. Still, it's not up to code (and not particularly safe) to knowingly overload a circuit.

In my opinion, a 15A dedicated circuit for the fridge is fine. This is of course unless you have a Sub Zero or other "commercial-style" fridge going in. On the other hand, many will recommend a 20A circuit since the price difference is negligible.

You can do what's called a Multi-Wire Branch Circuit (MWBC) which runs two circuits off a 12/ or 14/3 cable. It's code compliant, but needs to be terminated to a dual-pole breaker (as of NEC 2007 I believe), so if someone plugs a coffee maker into the water cooler receptacle and trips the circuit, the fridge will be without power too. Since you're likely only talking about a 40-80' run to the fridge, two separate wires aren't that much more expensive.
 
  #5  
Old 01-30-11, 04:59 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,221
You can do what's called a Multi-Wire Branch Circuit (MWBC) which runs two circuits off a 12/ or 14/3 cable. It's code compliant, but needs to be terminated to a dual-pole breaker (as of NEC 2007 I believe), so if someone plugs a coffee maker into the water cooler receptacle and trips the circuit, the fridge will be without power too. Since you're likely only talking about a 40-80' run to the fridge, two separate wires aren't that much more expensive.
That's correct except that the 2 pole breaker was required as of the 2008 NEC, but whether he is required to use a 2 pole breaker is dependent on what code cycle and amendments the local municipality has adopted. Many are on 2002 and 2005 cycles yet and a few are still on 1999 cycle.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'