LESLIE: Richard in Tennessee is on the line and has an interesting question about how to why her refrigerator shuts off. Tell us about it.
RICHARD: Well, I bought an antique soda machine that actually worked. And I wanted to put the old quarter in and slide the bottle out. But I took it and put it in the garage, plugged it in. And as soon as the compressor kicked on, it tripped the GFCI breaker or the GFCI circuit on the plug. So, I reset it and it wouldn’t stay reset.
TOM: Well, that is totally expected because refrigerators, when they kick on, have a very big draw of current. And that’s necessary to get them going and then it kind of goes down after that. But refrigerators are not supposed to be installed on ground-fault circuits. And as a result, yours is going to keep tripping as it has.
So, your proper solution to electrically install refrigerator would be to run a circuit just for that machine. And if it’s just for that machine, it does not have to be ground-fault protected. The reason it’s ground-fault protected – the circuit in the garage is ground-fault protected – is because it’s a wet location. But for a dedicated service to one machine, it would not have to be. You’ll have to have an electrician do that.
I would not, you know, disconnect the current ground fault, because that covers the rest of the outlets in the garage. It could even cover outside outlets or bathroom outlets. Sometimes, that circuit can wind its way through the house. But I would put it in a dedicated outlet just for that machine and then your problem should go away.
RICHARD: Thank you very much.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project.
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