Refrigerator on GFI Circuit


Old 05-21-02, 09:06 AM
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Question Refrigerator on GFI Circuit

In my kitchen, there are at least 3 outlets on the same circuit. Call them A, B, and C.

Outlet B is at the sink, and is a GFI outlet as dictated by code. When I plug the refrigerator into outlet C, the GFI on B pops and the fridge won't work. When I plug the fridge into outlet A (on the same circuit) it works fine. So it seems to me the current travels Box > A > B > C, and as long as I have the fridge plugged in before the GFI outlet, I'm fine.

Here's my question: Is it normal for a refrigerator to trip a GFI outlet? Its the GFI that pops, the circuit breaker is still OK.

Is there a way to re-route the circuit, so it travels A > C > B?

Any other solutions? Plugging the fridge into a different outlet isn't really practical...

Thanks so much,
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Old 05-21-02, 11:23 AM
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Some refrigerators trip GFCIs, some don't. You obviously have one that does.

If outlet C is directly after outlet B, and if there are no further outlets downstream from C, it is a simple matter to rewire outlet B to not provide downstream protection. Use pigtails to attach both incoming and outgoing wires to the "line" side and leave the "load" side disconnected.

However, if there are other outlets downstream from B other than C, this will have the undesirable side-effect of removing GFCI protection from those too. To check this, disconnect the load side of B and turn the breaker back on. If only C loses power, then you're in good shape for my proposed modification.

If more than C loses power when you disconnect the load side of B, then you can fix this by adding another GFCI receptacles in the stream directly after C. You might also need one or more additional line-side-only GFCI receptacles between B and C.
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