Refrigerator Tripping GFCI (2023)

If your GFCI trips, don’t worry — it’s just doing its job. Let's find the source of the trip.

First Steps

Regular Maintenance

It's important to perform regular fridge maintenance before trying these fixes. Your appliance should last for at least 10-15 years before needing replacement, so keep it running well with these tips.

Safety Note: Power Down Fridge

Before removing and replacing or continuity testingelectrical components, power down the fridge. This will prevent damage to the components and prevent you from being electrocuted. Still, some electrical components — like capacitors — will store their charge and should not be tampered with.

  • If the fridge is pulled away from the wall, or if the power switch is easily accessible, remove the plug.
  • Otherwise, find the fridge’s circuit breaker in your breaker box and turn the circuit off.
    • Verify your fridge has lost power by opening the doors and seeing if the fridge lights turn on.

Safety Note: Sharp Sheet Metal

When working underneath the fridge, consider wearing gloves to avoid cuts from the sharp sheet metal. The sheet metal is the thin structural metal where components mount. While wearing gloves may make working more challenging, it’s worth protecting yourself.

Reset Power

When refrigerators experience temporary power outages, they may enter a safe mode. The safe mode protects the fridge's internal components from electrical overloading. You'll have to reset power to your fridge.

  • Unplug your refrigerator. If the plug is too hard to reach, switch the circuit breaker off.
  • Wait 5 minutes before returning power to the fridge.
  • Once power is back, open your freezer and push the light switch 3 times to trigger a cooling cycle.
  • Monitor temperature over the next 24 hours.

Reset GFCI

GFCIs are sensitive to environmental changes and may result in nuisance trips. You may see more nuisance trips during hot-weather months.

Faulty Power Cord

One common source of trouble with fridges is the power cord.

  • Unplug the cord and give it a thorough inspection.
  • Damage to the cord looks like worn-out insulation, kinks, or bite marks. If you notice any of these problems, replace your current power cord with a brand new one.
  • Next, look at the power prongs.
  • If they are bent or rusted, replace the cord. If they seem fine, plug the appliance into the outlet and turn it on.
  • Plug in another device, like a lamp or clock, to test the outlet.

Faulty Power Outlet

If your refrigerator is plugged into a power strip, unplug it and remove the cover on the power strip.

(Video) Fridge Outlet Tripping-Learn how to fix it-Don’t power a fridge from a GFCI, especially older ones

  • Look for any blackened or burned spots on the wires, and replace if found.

Ice Maker Malfunctioning

The ice maker draws power upon startup, but not normally enough to cause a trip. However, if your water line to the fridge is disconnected and the fridge attempts to start an ice cycle, the GFCI may trip.

  • If there's no water supplied to the fridge, disable the ice maker.
  • If you regularly make ice, verify that your water line is not blocked or frozen, as this could also be the cause of a trip.

Standards and Codes

While it's a common problem for a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI and GFI) outlets to trip when using older refrigerators, newer fridges seem to have more sophisticated internals that prevent trips. New wiring standards are based on NEC Article 210.8 and 210.52 and are as follows:

  • All commercial buildings/kitchens are required to have GFCI for refrigerators.
  • In a Dwelling Unit (house or apartment) refrigerators located inside the kitchen do NOT have to have a GFCI.
  • If the circuit feeding the refrigerator outlet is branched to any other outlet, it must be a 20-A circuit. If the circuit feeding the refrigerator outlet is a dedicated individual circuit, then it can be either 15-A or 20-A.
  • In a garage or an unfinished basement of a Dwelling unit, the refrigerator must have a GFCI circuit.

Not Running a Dedicated Circuit

This means that while a residential kitchen refrigerator does not need to be on a dedicated circuit, using a dedicated circuit is certainly a good idea. Check your breaker panel with — or without — a circuit finder, or consult an electrician to inspect your home's wiring.

Snubber Not Installed

A snubber can be installed to reduce turn-on/turn-off voltage spikes. If nuisance tripping is the only issue, then adding a snubber may fix this issue. Consult an electrician.

Faulty GFCI Outlet

GFCI outlets generally have lives of about 7-10 years and may fail in 5 years. Test your outlet monthly.

  • In the event of continuous tripping, replace the GFCI outlet.
  • Call an electrician, or cut power to the circuit, then test that the circuit is dead.
  • Transfer wires from one unit to the other.

Faulty Circuit Breaker

The circuit breaker is responsible for regulating electrical current in your home. When your refrigerator is tripping a GFCI outlet, the corresponding breaker or outlet might be at fault.

  • Try replacing the breaker in the box with one that’s rated for GFCI.
  • If you have a dedicated circuit that operates the refrigerator only, removing the GFCI outlet and replacing it with a standard outlet will solve it.
  • Consult an electrician if you are unsure about the electrical testing procedures.

GFCI Wired Incorrectly

Older fridges might not get along with GFCIs as well as newer fridges. If your fridge's receptacle is wired to the load side of the outlet instead of the line side, you may be experiencing nuisance trips.

Overloading Circuit

If your GFCI is tripping often, it’s possible that you’re plugged into an overloaded circuit. If unchecked, this circuit could lead to a fire.

  • If you’ve got any other major home appliances or electronics plugged into the same circuit as your fridge, relocate them to another outlet before calling an electrician.
  • If your home refrigerator is tripping your circuit breaker, can't run a new outlet, then move fridge to an alternative power outlet.
  • Verify that the breaker isn't tripping.
  • If it trips in the alternative power outlet, call an electrician. They will help you run a new dedicated circuit for the fridge.

Neutral-Ground Short

(Video) Defective Refrigerator Trips GFCI Outlet

A short is usually what causes the GFCI to trip, and if there is a neutral-ground short, the GFCI is doing its job.

  • If your fridge trips once, and then constantly, test the plug to see if there's continuity between ground and hot or neutral.
  • If there is a short, follow the circuit with a multimeter and figure out what component is responsible. Test each component for continuity to ground. A short looks like 0Ω to ground.
  • This will most likely be the compressor, but may be the defrost heater or any other component.

Ground Fault

A ground fault occurs when electricity is sent through a different path than intended. Some causes for faults are:

  • bare or frayed wires and insulation
  • water leaks near electrical
  • Pest damage to electrical systems
  • miswired electrical units

Ground faults damage your electrical system can be extremely dangerous.

  • Test you outlet with a receptacle tester. Ground faults should be inspected and corrected by an electrician.
  • Simply replacing the GFCI will not solve the issue of the fault.

Faulty Refrigerator Wiring

Your fridge's internal wiring could be causing you GFCI to trip.

  • Unplug and remove the lower back panel of your refrigerator.
  • Inspect for damaged wires. If any are found, replace them with new wires and tape them securely in place.

Faulty Defrost Heater

The defrost heater is a safety device that prevents the formation of ice inside the refrigerator. This heater removes heat from the air surrounding the refrigerator coils to keep moisture from settling on them and freezing. Over time, this heater can develop cracks and bubbles, and may remove enough heat. When the heater kicks on, it draws a lot of power.

  • Reset the timer so that the defrost cycle begins.
  • Monitor the GFCI outlet closely as the defrost cycle starts.
  • If the GFCI trips in under five minutes, this is a warning sign that your refrigerator’s defrost heater has failed.

In other cases, the heater will run for around 8 to 10 hours and then trip the GFCI outlet. In this case, it's likely that either the heater element or wiring gets just damp enough that it causes the GFCI to trip.

  • Inspect your heater element for cracks and bubbles, and check continuity.
  • Check the ends of the wires for signs of moisture.
  • Replace rusted wire, and create new water proof connections.

Defrost Timer

Fridges with defrost timers will likely trip the breaker each time they kick on, especially if the fridge is already in a cooling cycle. This means that the appliance is drawing the maximum amount of power. The switch itself may be at fault.

Faulty Start Capacitor

Sometimes if the refrigerator isn't cold enough, the compressor might be having difficulty starting up. The start capacitor serves as a battery to give the compressor a boost of power during startup. If the start capacitor is burned out —and smells burnt — the compressor might not be able to start and run as often as it should.

Refrigerator Tripping GFCI (1)

  • Safely remove the capacitor and discharge with a discharge tool.
    • On smaller capacitors, you can use a screwdriver to discharge. But be careful as capacitors increase in size.
  • Test the start capacitor first with a capacitance meter; they don't fail often. If it's faulty, replace it.

Faulty Overload Relay

The overload relay is a protection device in the compressor circuit and is often combined with the start relay. You can find it plugged directly into the side of the compressor. If the fans are running and your compressor won’t start, or if you hear a clicking sound from the unit follow troubleshooting below.

Refrigerator Tripping GFCI (2)

Refrigerator Tripping GFCI (3)

  • Check the overload relay for signs of overheating or arcing.
    • This may be a hot module, burnt, or rattles when shaken.
  • Check for continuity with a multimeter.

Faulty Start Relay

(Video) Dometic Fridge Tripping GFCI Switch -- My RV Works

The start relay is a small device mounted to the side of the compressor. It provides power to the run winding, along with the start winding, for a split second at startup to help get the compressor going. If the start relay is defective, the compressor may run intermittently or not at all, and the refrigerator will not get cold enough. The start relay should be replaced if defective.

  • Test Start Relay with a multimeter. View the video above and verify if your start relay is functioning.
  • Replace relay if it fails the testing or has a burnt odor. Depending on your start relay, you may have to test the start capacitor and overload relay first and use a process of elimination. If the other two components pass continuity tests, and your compressor isn't starting, try replacing your start relay.

Faulty Compressor

The compressor — also called the condenser — is the workhorse of your fridge. By pressurizing the refrigerant, the evaporator is able to create cold air. If the compressor is very noisy when you start it up, it may have been damaged in transit, or you could just have a faulty compressor.

If the overload relay, start relay and start capacitor pass continuity testing, then you may have a defective compressor.

  • Test the compressor for continuity by following the video above.
  • Resistance values vary based on compressor.
  • Values outside of the range or a short to ground will mean replacing the compressor, which is a costly repair.
  • If your fridge is more than a few years old, you may be better off replacing the fridge instead of the compressor.

Compressor Inverter Board Failure

Modern refrigerator compressor technology has shifted from single phase DC motors to 3-phase DC-controlled AC motors.

What this means is that instead of the start relay assembly normally attached to the compressor pins — the start relay, overload relay, and overload capacitor — there is now a sealed motherboard and a lot of wires. The inverter board modulates the power supplied to the compressor and allows for more efficient operation.

Refrigerator Tripping GFCI (4)

This new technology is harder to test, so follow this helpful video.

The inverter board must be tested by process of elimination.

  • First, test the input voltages. The inverter board will have both a 120V AC main power supply voltage, and a 4-6V DC voltage from the main control board. Remember to make all voltage measurements with everything connected.
  • If one of these voltages is missing, the inverter board will not work.
    • Backtrack to find the issue. You could have a faulty wire harness connector, a bad motherboard, or another issue.
  • Second, follow the compressor continuity testing from above to verify your compressor isn't shorted and is okay.
    • If the compressor is fine, and the board input voltages are fine, then your inverter board has failed and needs replacing.

Refrigerant Leaks

If there is a refrigerant leak, the fridge won't be able to maintain a proper temperature. Your compressor is likely running non-stop.

  • Contact a service technician to inspect your compressor.
  • This may result in refilling or replacing your refrigerant, or replacing the entire fridge.

Main Control Board Failure

Finally, if the refrigerator won’t get cold enough, the main control board might be defective. This is not common.

(Video) How to repair a refrigerator which is tripping the main switch

  • Check and test the defrost system, cooling fans, and cooling controls first.
  • If none of the other components are defective, consider replacing the main control board.

Related Pages

Refrigerator Maintenance

Freezer Not Freezing

Freezer Ice Building Up

Refrigerator Light Flickering

Refrigerator Not Cooling

Fridge Not Cooling But Freezer Works

Refrigerator Won't Dispense Water

Refrigerator Leaking Water

Refrigerator Door Not Closing

Freezer Not Freezing Ice Cream

Refrigerator Makes Humming Noise

Refrigerator Making Knocking Noise

Additional Resources

Testing Fridge Compressor Relays

Testing Appliance Capacitors


Why does my new refrigerator 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.

Is it OK to plug a refrigerator into a GFCI outlet? ›

There is no doubt that your family is safer with a GFCI on their refrigerator, than they are without it. The National Electrical Code requires that GFCI systems be grounded to ensure that a low-impedance fault path exists back to the OCPD.

How do you fix a fridge that keeps tripping the breaker? ›

Short Circuits

Troubleshooting this sort of problem is relatively simple. If the breaker tripped immediately after plugging in the fridge, then you should consider unplugging it, resetting the breaker, and plugging in a second appliance. If the second appliance works, the short circuit is inside the refrigerator.

Why does my appliance trip the GFCI when plugged in? ›

Circuit overload occurs when more amperage flows through an electric wire or circuit than it can handle. This may happen if you connect malfunctioning or defective appliances. Loose, corroded wires or connections may also be to blame. Once the GFCI outlet senses an overload, it trips or "breaks" the circuit.

Can a faulty appliance trip a GFCI? ›

Most often, when a GFCI “trips” it is the result of a faulty appliance plugged into the outlet or an outlet down circuit.

Will a surge protector stop a GFCI from tripping? ›

Will a surge protector stop breakers from tripping? No, tripping breakers are usually caused by current (amperage) overloads. Surge protectors protect against voltage surges and spikes.

Do you need a 15 or 20 amp GFCI for a refrigerator? ›

A modern refrigerator requires a dedicated 20-amp circuit.

Does refrigerator need AFCI or GFCI? ›

If the fridge is in any other room, it will need AFCI protection. GFCI's, on the other hand, monitor the current coming and going. If it detects a change in the current between four to six milliamps, then you may have a potentially hazardous situation on your hands.

What is the proper outlet for a refrigerator? ›

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.

Should a fridge be on a 15 amp breaker? ›

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.

What to do if an appliance keeps tripping? ›

Unplug all appliances on that problem circuit and switch off any immersion heaters (if you have one), boilers, outside lights etc. Switch the tripped switch to the ON position and plug in the appliances one by one until the trip goes again. If it does trip again then you will require a new appliance.

What size breaker should a refrigerator be on? ›

Most refrigerators use between 3 and 6 amps, but peak draw can spike up to 15 amps. For this reason, refrigerators and freezers should be connected to a 15-20 amp dedicated 120-volt circuit.

Why does my GFCI have power but keep tripping? ›

The usual suspects for ground-faults include worn insulation, conductive dusts, water, or other "soft grounds." Ground faults account for more than 80% of equipment short circuits and in 90% of those cases it is caused by insulation deterioration on wires and cables.

How do I know if my GFCI outlet is bad? ›

Rest your GFCI outlet by using the test and reset button. First off, if the test button doesn't pop back out after you press it, the GFCI outlet could be bad, or there could be no power to the GFCI. Make sure to push the reset button on all of your GFCI outlets, to verify all are working.

Why is my GFCI outlet tripping without load? ›

If your insulation is worn out, old, or damaged, it could cause your GFCI to trip. The insulation is in the wall is meant to help prevent such leaks from occurring. So if your insulation is worn, this can cause more leaks. Sometimes having too much equipment or appliances plugged in can also cause your GFCI to trip.

What is the life expectancy of GFCI breakers? ›

Most GFCI outlets will last for about 15 to 25 years, but in certain circumstances, they can fail after 5 years.

What to do when GFCI outlet trips? ›

If there's an obvious cause for the trip, you should unplug the device as it may be faulty and causing the GFCI to trip. If the GFCI continues to trip, or if the reason for the trip is not obvious, it's time to contact an electrician.

Can a power surge cause a GFCI to trip? ›

A GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet monitors electric current flow and may trip when it detects a power surge. A GFCI outlet won't trip for all power surges so it's not the most reliable solution for protecting appliances from power surge damage.

Can one bad outlet affect others? ›

While one bad outlet doesn't always affect other outlets, a bad outlet can sometimes cause circuit breakers to trip, resulting in the other outlets not working as well.

Can you replace a 20 amp GFCI with a 15 amp GFCI? ›

According to National Electrical Code, only a 15-amp or 20-amp electrical receptacle can be installed to a 20-amp circuit. A 15-amp receptacle may also be installed on a 15-amp circuit. However, a 20-amp GFCI outlet may not be installed to a 15-amp circuit.

Should a refrigerator be on a surge protector? ›

We do not recommend connecting a refrigerator or freezer to a surge protector. The reason we do not recommend this is explained below: The compressor is sensitive to temperature and current overloads and will shut itself down with a power surge. It will also restart itself.

Does code require a GFCI for a fridge? ›

But as far as the National Electric Code (NEC) is concerned, there's no explicit mention of refrigerators needing GFCIs to function properly and safely. That being said, the NEC specifically states that GFCIs should be used in locations where appliances can be exposed to water.

Should a freezer be plugged into a GFCI outlet? ›

However, GFCI's are prone to a phenomenon called "phantom tripping," meaning that they sometimes activate -shutting power off to the circuit - under normal, everyday voltage fluctuations. So freezers and refrigerators should never be plugged into GFCI's.

Should microwave be on GFCI? ›

In the 2023 NEC, most dishwashers, electric ranges, wall-mounted ovens, microwave ovens, and counter-mounted cooking units will require GFCI protection.

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.

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 fridge be plugged into any outlet? ›

A refrigerator should be plugged into the kind of outlet that the cord is designed to plug into. If it has two prongs a standard outlet is sufficient. If it has the three prong, 2 flat and one round, you can't plug it into any other kind of outlet, etc. And refrigerators are not the only appliance made like that.

Is a fridge 5 amp or 15 amp? ›

If your fridge is below 6 amps, then a 15-amp circuit will suffice. As for big refrigerators used for heavy chilling, they need their dedicated 30-amp dedicated circuit.

How much is too much on a 15 amp breaker? ›

Technically, you can have as many outlets on a 15 amp circuit breaker as you want. However, a good rule of thumb is 1 outlet per 1.5 amps, up to 80% of the capacity of the circuit breaker. Therefore, we would suggest a maximum of 8 outlets for a 15 amp circuit.

Do I need a 20 amp or 15 amp outlet? ›

If you're wiring a residential space to plug in lights and other everyday electronics that don't exceed 15 amps, install a 15A outlet. If you're working on a kitchen or laundry room and have a 20A circuit breaker, put in a 20A outlet.

What are three warning signs of an overloaded electrical circuit? ›

Signs of Overloaded Circuits
  • Dimming lights, especially if lights dim when you turn on appliances or more lights.
  • Buzzing outlets or switches.
  • Outlet or switch covers that are warm to the touch.
  • Burning odors from outlets or switches.
  • Scorched plugs or outlets.
Nov 17, 2022

How many times can a breaker trip? ›

An electrician is coming to replace the cutoff (containing fuses) with a simple lever cutoff. In discussing this he said that a circuit breaker should not be allowed to trip more than 4 or 5 times before being replaced.

What are 3 reasons your circuit breaker keeps tripping? ›

Common reasons your breaker keeps tripping include circuit overload, a short circuit, or a ground fault. The following information will help you understand the differences between these three reasons so that you can better resolve your circuit breaker and electrical system issues.

How close can a fridge be to an electrical panel? ›

A: According to NFPA 70-2011, article 110.26, a minimum of 36 inches clearance is required in front of all electrical equipment, including controls and panels, extending from the floor to a height of 6 foot 6 inches or the height of the equipment whichever is higher.

Can I run two refrigerators on a 20 amp circuit? ›

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. You can check whether the two items together on a circuit would overload it by adding the currents in amperes that are required by each.

What amp fuse does a fridge use? ›

Some appliances, such as lamps, televisions, computers, fridges and freezers generally require a 3 amp fuse. However washing machines, dishwashers, microwaves, kettles, toasters and irons usually require 13 amp fuses. Check out our Electrical Socket Calculator to see if you're overloading electrical sockets at home.

What's the difference between GFCI and GFI? ›

Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) and ground fault interrupters (GFI) are the exact same device under slightly different names. Though GFCI is more commonly used than GFI, the terms are interchangeable.

How do you test a GFCI breaker that keeps tripping? ›

Look at the face of a quality GFCI outlet: Between the two sets of slots where you plug in cords, there are two rectangular buttons, labeled "TEST" and "RESET." To test your GFCI, simply press the test button with your finger.

How often should you replace a GFCI outlet? ›

GFCI outlets last between 7-10 years but can sometimes fail after only 5 years. Since GFCIs are one of the most important safety features in your home, it's important to check your GFCIs monthly and every home should have its GFCIs tested and replaced if necessary every 7-10 years.

Can a GFCI outlet go bad but still work? ›

The outlet may have dust or moisture inside, you have a bad electrical connection, or there is an improper connection. If there is no power supply to the outlet, your GFCI will not reset. While 99% of outlets not resetting are due to ground faults and wrong connection problems, GFCI outlets can still go bad.

Can a bad breaker cause a GFCI to trip? ›

Faulty Breaker – Another very common possibility that will initiate a GFCI breaker tripping is a faulty breaker.

Can a bad outlet trip a GFCI? ›

Most often, when a GFCI “trips” it is the result of a faulty appliance plugged into the outlet or an outlet down circuit.

Will a GFCI outlet trip if not grounded? ›

What Happens If a GFCI Is Not Grounded? If a GFCI outlet is not grounded, the electrical current could travel to the ground and cause a fire or even shock a person or animal.

How many amps does a refrigerator use? ›

Ratings of commonly used household appliances
Domestic Portable ApplianceAmps UsedWatts Used
Fridge (under counter type)0.75100
Mini Fridge0.5100
Fridge Freezer (Standard)1.5150
44 more rows

Does a refrigerator receptacle located next to the kitchen sink need to be GFCI protected? ›

In kitchens, all outlets that serve countertop surfaces should be equipped with GFCI outlet protection. That would include any outlets on walls, behind wet areas (sinks, etc.)

What kitchen appliance is required to be GFCI protected? ›

In the 2023 NEC, most dishwashers, electric ranges, wall-mounted ovens, microwave ovens, and counter-mounted cooking units will require GFCI protection.

Should I use 15 amp or 20 amp for refrigerator? ›

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.

Is 15 amps enough for a refrigerator? ›

Most refrigerators run between 3 to 6 amps, with that said, a refrigerator can spike at peak usage up to 15 amps. It's best to take into consideration worst case scenarios. You should have refrigerators and freezers installed on a 15-20 amp dedicated 120 volt circuit.

Is the refrigerator allowed to be put on its own 15 amp circuit? ›

Refrigerator or Freezer – Running a refrigerator via a dedicated circuit is the recommended best practice for homeowners. Most refrigerators use between 3 and 6 amps, but peak draw can spike up to 15 amps. For this reason, refrigerators and freezers should be connected to a 15-20 amp dedicated 120-volt circuit.

Do refrigerator receptacles do not need GFCI protection if they are more than 6 from a sink? ›

A refrigerator is not a countertop appliance; thus, GFCI protection is not required unless the receptacle is located 6 ft or less from the top inside edge of the bowl of the kitchen sink [Sec. 210.8(A)(7)] (Fig. 2). Outlets supplying dishwashers require GFCI protection [Sec.

Does a fridge need to be AFCI and GFCI protected? ›

It's important to note that fridges in other living spaces, like a basement, are not exempted. If the fridge is in any other room, it will need AFCI protection. GFCI's, on the other hand, monitor the current coming and going.

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.

Should a washing machine be on a GFCI? ›

There is no specific requirement in the NEC for the washing machine itself to have GFCI protection. Section 210.52(F) requires a receptacle outlet to be installed for the laundry area and it must be supplied by a 20-ampere branch circuit in accordance with 210.11(C)(2).

Do all countertop outlets need to be GFCI protected? ›

Not all your kitchen outlets need to be the GFCIs, but they are required to be if they're within six feet of a kitchen sink or if they serve a countertop. Near laundry room sinks. Any receptacles within 6 feet of a sink or washing machine should be GFCIs.

Does one GFCI outlet protect entire circuit? ›

The entire circuit is protected by GFCI circuit breakers and these are fairly simple. If you install one breaker in the service panel, the entire circuit receives GFCI protection. This includes the wiring, appliances and all devices connected to the circuit.

What is the downside to GFCI? ›

There are too many appliances being protected by the GFCI.

Sometimes tripping occurs when a GFCI circuit breaker is protecting multiple downstream receptacles. If several appliances are connected to the GFCI device, the cumulative effect of the appliance leakage currents may trip the GFCI.

How do you know if your GFCI outlet is bad? ›

If the GFCI won't reset or the button doesn't pop out when you press the “test” button, there may be no power to the GFCI or you may have a bad GFCI. Pro tip: If the “reset” button trips again every time you press it, there may be a dangerous current leak somewhere on the circuit.

How many outlets can one GFCI protect? ›

There's no limit. A standard GFCI will protect up to 20 amps, drawn from any combination of receptacles, either the built-in one or any number of additional ones connected to its load terminals.


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