Are you worrying about whether or not to plug your mini-fridge into an outlet? You should know the power and safety considerations before you make your decision. In this article, we will discuss the risks of sharing an outlet and provide some tips on how to do it safely. So let’s explore what it takes to share a power outlet with your mini-fridge!
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When you need a small refrigerator, it can be tempting to share an outlet with other electronics or appliances. Most people don’t think twice about plugging in a mini-fridge, but sharing the same outlet with another device can cause safety issues. When planning the placement of your mini-fridge, you should take a few key measures to protect yourself and your home from hazards associated with sharing an outlet.
In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about safely sharing an outlet with a mini fridge – including power requirements and safety concerns – so that you can make an informed decision for your home:
- Power Requirements
- Safety Concerns
What is a Mini Fridge?
A mini fridge is a small refrigerator or freezer used by individuals or small families. Typically these fridges are produced in sizes ranging from 5 to 7 cubic feet, making them much smaller than traditional full-sized refrigerators.
They’re typically used to store extra food and drinks for convenience, such as keeping cold snacks and beverages nearby. Mini fridges use energy more efficiently than large models by using fewer linear inches of electricity. They also take up less space, making them ideal for dorm rooms and small apartments.
Can a Mini Fridge Share an Outlet?
It is possible to share an outlet with a mini fridge. But before proceeding, there are a few important things to consider:
- First, check the voltage mark on both appliances. Both should be compatible otherwise, plugging them together could lead to electrical overload and damage your devices as well as place people and property at risk of fire or shock hazards.
- Additionally, make sure the combined wattage does not exceed either the rating of the plug or that of the circuit breaker – if it does, overload will occur.
For an additional measure of safety in sharing an outlet with a mini fridge, use a power strip that is rated for both devices. This way, even if the combined wattage does not pose an issue, you still have protection from a power surge or malfunctioning device or appliance. Furthermore you can use multiple outlets in order to divide and spread out electrical current needs between multiple plugs.
Finally be aware that some extension cords do not support high wattage – such as air conditioners or refrigerators – so check first and then proceed only if all these safety considerations are met before connecting your appliance sharing an outlet.
Potential Safety Risks
When powering a mini fridge on an outlet, there are potential safety risks to consider. Outlets in many homes these days can be overloaded due to the amount of electrical devices that are using it. The outlet must have the right amperage and wattage to safely handle a mini fridge and the other appliances drawing power from it. If too much is being drawn from the outlet, it will overheat or fail, which could create a fire hazard.
It is important to read the manual for your mini fridge and confirm what type of outlet you need for safe usage. This manual should list any safety considerations as well as electrical requirements for powering the mini fridge, like how many amps (amperage) it requires and what level of voltage is best for your appliance. Be sure to check for any surge protection needs listed in the manual – in some cases, you may need this when plugging in multiple devices on one outlet.
If you are unsure about the electricity requirements or safe practices when powering your mini fridge, contact a qualified electrician to ensure proper installation and usage guidelines are being met.
An important consideration for sharing a single power outlet with a mini fridge is the total power that each appliance draws. Overloading the outlet can damage the wiring and may even result in a fire hazard. It is important to make sure that each appliance is drawing no more than the maximum wattage rating of the outlet to avoid this from happening. To determine how much wattage your mini fridge draws, you should check its rating label or owner’s manual. If you are still unsure about how much wattage each appliance is drawing, you may wish to have an electrician inspect your setup and make sure all is safe and compliant with electrical codes.
When sharing a single power outlet with multiple appliances, it is also important to be aware of any ground fault interrupters or other safety features associated with that outlet to prevent fires or shocks resulting from improper wiring. It’s always best to contact an experienced electrician if you have any doubts about whether your setup has been wired safely and properly.
Electrical Outlet Types
Mini fridges are relatively low power appliances, operating on between 65 and 85 watts of electricity. Depending upon what type of outlet the mini fridge is connected to, the necessary wiring can differ. The most important safety consideration to keep in mind is that a fridge draws a relatively large amount of current and must not be run from an extension cord or a power strip.
Standard 110v wall outlets are designed for devices such as lamps, small kitchen appliances, and electronic items. Mini fridges may work with these standard outlets but can draw more than the maximum 15 amps or 1700 watts allowed by these outlets.
Smart mini fridge/freezer combos with built-in sensors will only connect to outlets rated at 15 amps or higher, so ensure these sockets are installed if you plan to use such a device in your home. Additionally, surge protectors must plug directly into wall outlets and should not be connected prior to plugging the mini fridge into the same outlet. This can help prevent power outages due to overloads or voltage spikes caused by weather conditions or brownouts (lowered voltage).
Additional Safety Precautions
When sharing an outlet with a mini fridge, there are additional safety precautions that should be considered. First, check the power requirements for both the mini fridge and the device that will be plugged into the same outlet. The wattage or amperage rating of each device should not exceed 15 amp total. It is also important to make sure that only one device is running at a time to avoid overloading the circuit.
If any cords or power strips have been used in combination with your mini fridge, examine them carefully for frayed wiring or exposed metal parts. Worn cords can create a potential hazard and risk electrocution when used near water sources, such as sinks and bathtubs. Check with an electrician if you are unsure of the safety precautions associated with your electrical system.
It is also important to remember not to plug any refrigeration device into an extension cord as this could cause a power surge, leading to damage to both appliances and potentially resulting in a fire hazard. If additional wall outlets are needed, be sure to consult an electrician for installation as improper wiring could create more risks than benefits.
It is possible to use a mini fridge on the same outlet as another appliance. However, it is important to consider the total wattage load on the outlet and that other appliances, such as a microwave or a hairdryer, should be unplugged or shut off while running a mini fridge. Make sure that all cords used are in good condition and that they are plugged into an appropriate wall socket with sufficient power capacity for reliable, safe operation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Is it safe to plug a mini fridge into a shared outlet?
A1: Generally speaking, it is safe to plug a mini fridge into a shared outlet. However, you should check the power rating of the outlet and the power rating of the fridge to ensure that the power requirements of the fridge are not too high for the outlet. Additionally, you should make sure to not overload the outlet with other appliances or devices that require power.
Q2: What type of outlet is best for a mini fridge?
A2: A dedicated outlet, such as a 120-volt outlet, should be used for a mini fridge. However, if a dedicated outlet is not available, then a shared outlet should be used instead. Again, you should check the power rating of the outlet and the power rating of the fridge to ensure that the power requirements of the fridge are not too high for the outlet.
Q3: How many watts can a shared outlet provide?
A3: The amount of watts an outlet can provide depends on the type of outlet. Generally, a 120-volt outlet can provide up to 15 amps, which is equivalent to 1,800 watts. However, you should check the power rating of the outlet before plugging in any appliances or devices.
You can and it will work. Some people discourage it because if you trip the circuit breaker and aren't aware of it, you can spoil a refrigerator/freezer full of food worth hundreds of dollars. They prefer that the refrigerator has its own circuit.Can a mini fridge be plugged into a regular outlet? ›
You can, but I would recommend checking the amperage draw of everything plugged into the power strip beforehand. If, say, you have a 2 amp minifridge plugged into a 10 amp power strip with nothing else, it should be completely fine.Can a mini fridge share an outlet with a microwave into the same outlet? ›
Yes you can do that and as well the other way round, mini fridge on top of microwave and plug them into same socket.Does mini fridge need dedicated outlet? ›
You should have refrigerators and freezers installed on a 15-20 amp dedicated 120 volt circuit. This will avoid an electrical overload due to your current wiring not being capable of handling the additional power.Does a fridge need to be on its own circuit? ›
A modern refrigerator requires a dedicated 20-amp circuit. You may currently have a smaller refrigerator plugged into a general lighting circuit, but during any major remodeling, install a dedicated circuit (120/125-volts) for the refrigerator.Can 2 appliances be plugged into the same outlet? ›
A standard rule of thumb is that you can plug in two to three devices at a time into a single socket. To begin with, there are a few things you need to think about before adopting this rule. The most important factor is the amperage of the circuit breaker.What size breaker do I need for a mini fridge? ›
Yes, you can run a mini fridge on a 15-amp circuit. Most mini fridges use less than 2 amps of electrical power, which is less than the stipulated 80% threshold of 15 amps, that is, 12 amps.What are the electrical requirements for a mini fridge? ›
How Many Watts Does a Mini-Fridge Use? Mini-fridge wattages vary based on cooling capabilities and manufacturer, but most products require somewhere between 50 and 100 watts of power.Is it OK to plug a mini fridge into an extension cord? ›
Can you run a mini fridge on an extension cord? Yes, but you should be aware of possible issues. If the extension cord is longer than 20 meters, it should have more capacity than a 14 AWG cord. Longer extension cords deliver lower voltage, which can eventually damage the motor running the compressor.How many amps does a mini fridge use? ›
On average, mini-fridges use 55 to 85 watts per hour. But in some cases, they can run up to 240 watts. So to determine refrigerator amps, we need to divide the number of watts by voltage, which we know is 120 on average. That means an average mini fridge uses no more than 2-amps, although they can use less.
If you put a microwave and fridge in the same electric circuit on the wall, it could overload the circuit and cause a fire. So it's best to keep them on separate circuits.Does mini fridge need GFCI? ›
Our understanding of the NEC is that both freezers and refrigerators must have GFCI protection in every situation other than in a kitchen of a dwelling unit.Does a mini fridge have to be GFCI protected? ›
A GFCI is not needed for a refrigerator in a kitchen so long as that refrigerator is not plugged into one of the general usage wall outlets, like what's above the counter. Some people may feel it's nice to have that protection, but it is not required.Does a mini fridge need ventilation? ›
Without proper ventilation, heat will build up around the unit, leading to decreased performance and eventual failure. A fridge works by pumping heat from inside the unit, to cooling elements on the back of the unit. This heat must be able to dissipate so that the fridge can operate efficiently.Does each appliance need its own circuit? ›
The National Electrical Code requires that every large appliance be served by a separate, dedicated circuit, not shared with any other appliance. Breakers that are constantly tripping are a good indication of appliances in need of a dedicated circuit. If it has a motor, it typically requires its own circuit.Can a refrigerator trip a circuit breaker? ›
There are a lot of different ways that a refrigerator can cause a circuit breaker to trip. A tripped breaker isn't a bad thing (unless it leads to everything in your fridge spoiling). Breakers are designed to trip to make sure surges and overloads don't damage your appliances.Does a mini freezer need its own circuit? ›
The freezer should be on a dedicated circuit. This is recommended for best performance and to prevent the overloading of house wiring circuits.What is the 6 12 rule for outlets? ›
NEC 210-52 states the following (abbreviated for easier digestion): Receptacles are needed in every room of a home such that no point on a wall is over 6′ from an outlet. This means that you need an outlet within 6′ of a doorway or fireplace. A long wall, however, may have up to 12′ between outlets.Is it safe to piggyback an outlet? ›
Piggybacking is common when dealing with electrical outlets, especially where multiple outlets are required. This wiring technique involves jumping from one junction box to another. The technique is safe as long as the maximum amperage per circuit and overall electrical safety at home is maintained.How do I know if my outlet is overloaded? ›
- Circuit breaker trips frequently.
- Outlet or switch covers that are warm to the touch.
- Scorched plugs or outlets.
- Flickering or dimming lights (especially after you plug in a particular appliance)
- Burning smell from outlet.
- Lack of power in appliances.
A 12 volt fridge uses between 30 and 55 Ah (amp hours) per day on average.Do mini fridges need 15 or 20 amp outlet? ›
The 20A rating on the circuit is a max limit. The 15A is what the mini fridge needs.How much space should be between mini fridge and wall? ›
Side Clearance – Plan for between one-half inch to one-inch of clearance on both sides of the unit. Rear Clearance – Allow between one to two inches of space at the rear of the refrigerator for proper airflow. Top Clearance – Ensure there is a minimum of one-half inch to one-inch of clearance on top of the unit.Why do you have to wait to plug in a mini fridge? ›
This is to allow any oil that may have flowed into the coolant lines to have enough time to return to the compressor and clear the coolant lines. For example, if the unit was on its side for two hours, it must sit upright for at least two hours before you plug it into the wall outlet.How much does a mini fridge cost a month in electricity? ›
|Size||Volume (in cubic feet)||Cost / month*|
|Small Fridge||7 to 15||$3.74|
|Medium Fridge||15 to 18||$4.68|
|Large Fridge||18 - 23||$5.32|
In reality your mini fridge is at most a 12 amp draw or designed for a 15 amp circuit. A 14 gauge cord will be fine in this case.How much does a mini fridge affect electricity? ›
This consumes more energy, leading to higher operating costs. For example, it takes less energy to run a mini fridge than a standard-sized refrigerator. A mini fridge uses between 233 and 310 kWh, while a full-size fridge consumes about 404 to 613 kWh.How long will a 100 amp hour battery run a mini fridge? ›
If you're using a 12V 100Ah lead acid battery, you can expect the fridge to run for about 30-50 hours because lead acid batteries can only be discharged to 50%. Keep reading for my full test results.What appliances can be plugged into the same circuit at the same time? ›
Large appliances such as dishwashers, air conditioners and ovens typically exceed 1,000 watts on their own. Therefore, these appliances should have their own dedicated circuit, and you should avoid plugging anything else into the same outlet.What will happen if we connect two mini appliances in one socket? ›
When all these electrical appliances connected to the single socket are switched on at the same time, the electric fuse of circuit blows off.
Iron vs. microwave oven.
|Device||Wattage per hour|
This is usually caused by multiple appliances being plugged into the same circuit. To avoid this happening, make sure that your refrigerator has a dedicated circuit, which you can do by plugging your refrigerator into an alternative power outlet and seeing if it still trips.What should not be plugged into a GFCI outlet? ›
But don't plug big appliances such as refrigerators, freezers and sump pumps into a a GFCI outlet or circuit. It's also not a good idea to put lights on GFCI circuit – you don't want to be left in the dark if the circuit trips.Why did my fridge just start tripping the GFCI? ›
Water Has Pooled Around the Fridge
If there's a pool of water under your refrigerator, it's likely the GFCI will trip to prevent a surge. Clean up the water and then see if the device still trips. If it does, you need to identify where the moisture is coming from and address this problem.
Refrigerator – Most refrigerators work with a standard 100-120 volt electrical plug and outlet. You will notice that the electrical plug is made up of three prongs; this means you will need an electrical outlet that has three inserts.Can a refrigerator be on the same circuit as the outlets? ›
You can and it will work. Some people discourage it because if you trip the circuit breaker and aren't aware of it, you can spoil a refrigerator/freezer full of food worth hundreds of dollars. They prefer that the refrigerator has its own circuit.Can refrigerator be on same circuit as kitchen outlets? ›
Refrigerators are considered noncontinuous duty loads. Loads that draw current for less than three hours at a time are allowed to be on the same circuit with other noncontinuous loads, as long as the total load does not exceed the circuit breaker rating.What should you not do with a mini fridge? ›
Don't use the mini fridge outdoors or anywhere it is likely to come into contact with the elements. Don't place a mini fridge near cookers, radiators, or in direct sunlight, as this will result in it having to work harder to maintain the required internal temperature.Should I plug my mini fridge into the wall? ›
These appliances have a higher power capacity and must be plugged directly into a wall outlet. How many amps does a mini fridge use? A mini fridge typically uses between 50 and 100 watts of power. So, the rated current is about two amps.Can a washing machine and refrigerator be plugged into the same outlet? ›
Can a fridge and washing machine be on the same circuit? No. Each is supposed to be on a dedicated circuit.
As long as that circuit is rated for the combined amperage of both, and the circuit breaker's trip point is above the combined current draw, you should be fine. Otherwise, you're likely to trip a breaker (best, and most common case), or start a fire due to overheating the wires (worst, and least common case).Is it OK to use an extension cord to plug in a refrigerator? ›
We strongly recommend that an extension cord not be used with any refrigeration appliances (refrigerator, freezer, compact refrigerator, ice machine, beverage center, etc.) due to the potential safety hazards under certain conditions.Can the fridge be installed on the same circuit as an outside outlet? ›
Generally you should not. Indeed, it's wise to have your fridge on a dedicated circuit so that a failure of some other device does not shut off the power to the fridge.What are the requirements for a refrigerator outlet? ›
A 115-volt or 120-volt, individual, properly grounded branch circuit with a 3-prong grounding type receptacle, protected by a 15 or 20 amp circuit breaker or time-delay fuse. Should be on a dedicated circuit. This is recommended for best performance and to prevent overloading house wiring circuits.What is the 6 foot rule for electrical outlets? ›
The primary rule is what's known as the 6'/12′ rule. NEC 210-52 states the following (abbreviated for easier digestion): Receptacles are needed in every room of a home such that no point on a wall is over 6′ from an outlet. This means that you need an outlet within 6′ of a doorway or fireplace.What not to plug into a surge protector? ›
Portable heaters, refrigerators or large electrical draw appliances should never be plugged into the power strip, but rather a dedicated electrical wall outlet.Does a refrigerator need GFCI protection? ›
All commercial buildings/kitchens are required to have GFCI for refrigerators. See NEC 210.8(B)(2). In a Dwelling Unit (house or apartment) refrigerators located inside the kitchen do NOT have to have a GFCI.Why do some appliances say not to use an extension cord? ›
Extension cords can overheat and cause fires when used improperly. Overheating is usually caused by overloading or connecting appliances that consume more watts than the cord can handle.Is it safe to plug a mini freezer into an extension cord? ›
GE strongly recommends that an extension cord not be used with a freezer due to the potential safety hazards under certain conditions.What would cause a fridge to trip a breaker? ›
If your refrigerator trips often, then it is likely due to the compressor. Every time your compressor turns on to run the cooling cycle, it will trip the breaker. When this happens, it is typically due to a grounding issue with the compressor that is causing the part to essentially become overloaded with electricity.
Different mini fridge models use different amounts of power, but most compact fridges require less than 2 amps when connected to a 120-volt outlet. The wattage rating usually runs from 50 to 100 watts, although some models may need up to 240 watts.Why does my new fridge keep tripping the GFCI outlet? ›
This is usually caused by multiple appliances being plugged into the same circuit. To avoid this happening, make sure that your refrigerator has a dedicated circuit, which you can do by plugging your refrigerator into an alternative power outlet and seeing if it still trips.Can you plug two mini fridges into one outlet? ›
Probably yes - A freezer typically draws less than 5 amps. So 2 freezers on a 15 or 20 amp circuit is not a problem. The question is what other loads are plugged into different outlets on that same circuit. If the total comes out less than the breaker's rating, you are fine.