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Rifleman
Premium
join:2004-02-09
p1a
reply to yahtzee

Re: GFI outlet/refrigerator question

Weird---unless code has changed up here in ontario there is no need for GFIs in the garage as long as receptacles are 36" off the floor.
I'd be nervous having a fridge or freezer on a GFI just for the fact they may trip and lose the contents.
If something major went wrong with the fridge and someone gets electrocuted I'd be concerned about liability, but chances of that are remote.
To the OP---I'd get the fridge looked at but wouldn't worry overmuch about replacing that receptacle with a normal one. I realise I'll get flack here but what the hell.



whizkid3
Premium,MVM
join:2002-02-21
Queens, NY
kudos:9

1 recommendation

Apparently, you don't need GFCIs in garages in North Korea either. However, the OP is in Virginia.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to whizkid3

said by whizkid3:

said by Mr Matt:

The insurance industry is out of control

I agree with that. However,I am sure you have absolutely no data nor any reason to infer that the 'insurance industry' is making such changes to the electrical code; aside from pure speculation on your part.

Having GFCI receptacles in garages has been in the national electric code since at least 1999. (I just checked my 1999 edition.) Its not anything new. GFCI receptacles in wet and damp places are meant to save lives and they clearly do. If one is concerned about losing the contents of some old fridge in the garage; they can easily connect plug a power failure alarm into the receptacle.

The OP has taken the cheap and easy way out and chosen to violate the law; which according to his post, he has done. While building & fire codes are not felonies; they are indeed laws. God forbid someone gets killed - it will be on his conscience if not his wallet as well. That the refrigerator has clearly shown have a faulty electrical system, and the OP feels there is nothing wrong with it, is dangerous. He's putting himself and family/friends at risk. But at least he saved money.

You chide Mr Matt poster about data and you make a statement that GFCI's save lives but give no data or numbers so I assume it's conjecture on your part.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

2 edits

1 recommendation

reply to Rifleman

said by Rifleman:

Weird---unless code has changed up here in ontario there is no need for GFIs in the garage as long as receptacles are 36" off the floor.
I'd be nervous having a fridge or freezer on a GFI just for the fact they may trip and lose the contents.
If something major went wrong with the fridge and someone gets electrocuted I'd be concerned about liability, but chances of that are remote.
To the OP---I'd get the fridge looked at but wouldn't worry overmuch about replacing that receptacle with a normal one. I realise I'll get flack here but what the hell.

Be glad you don't have the nannys dictating policy in Canada like we've allowed to happen in the U.S. plus the special interest groups. The code making panels consist of radical activists who want to be on them in order to control and dictate to others. It's not money but power unless the manufacturers and others are slipping them some money under the table. They may or may not be overly proficient or educated in the field but only have managed to get on the panel. It's political like most every thing else has become here. The U.S. is choking on "panels", groups, non-profit organizations all geared to force their beliefs on everyone else.

Be wary if the movement spreads north of the border.

I have a freezer and Refrigerator in my garage and neither are on GFCI's and never will be. I live in Virginia also, not North Korea.
Expand your moderator at work


boogi man

join:2001-11-13
Jacksonville, FL
kudos:1
reply to yahtzee

Re: GFI outlet/refrigerator question

im curious to the OP if the FIOS equipment is on a strip/surge protector. I have a fridge in the garage and have come home to the breaker being tripped a few times. fridge is around same age 7-8yrs. i had a strip not surge protector just a strip with misc other small devices plugged in. the GFCI is in the breaker in my case vs the outlet itself. unplugged strip just fridge....just fine no more trips.
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yahtzee
Premium
join:2000-12-03
Richmond, VA

said by boogi man:

im curious to the OP if the FIOS equipment is on a strip/surge protector. I have a fridge in the garage and have come home to the breaker being tripped a few times. fridge is around same age 7-8yrs. i had a strip not surge protector just a strip with misc other small devices plugged in. the GFCI is in the breaker in my case vs the outlet itself. unplugged strip just fridge....just fine no more trips.

It's actually the wall mounted power supply for FiOS...it is plugged directly into the same outlet as the fridge...I was about to pick up a new fridge but now you have me thinking.
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nonymous
Premium
join:2003-09-08
Glendale, AZ
reply to boogi man

said by boogi man:

im curious to the OP if the FIOS equipment is on a strip/surge protector. I have a fridge in the garage and have come home to the breaker being tripped a few times. fridge is around same age 7-8yrs. i had a strip not surge protector just a strip with misc other small devices plugged in. the GFCI is in the breaker in my case vs the outlet itself. unplugged strip just fridge....just fine no more trips.

I believe most newer fridges and freezers tend to play nicely with GFCI. Maybe not perfect but nicely so less risk of losing food.
Older freezers and fridges even new might sometimes have issues with GFCI and trip them losing food. Not necessarily needing repair just do not play nicely with GFCI. Google has many topics on it. Not saying they all just do not need to be junked, repaired or class action lawsuit against the manufacturers. Just some older models and brands tended not to play nice and just trip fairly regularly.


yahtzee
Premium
join:2000-12-03
Richmond, VA

By older, do you mean 20yrs or 6-7? I dont mind paying to replace the fridge but I dont want to get the fridge home, change the outlet back to GFCI and then it trip every couple of days or weeks. Given that the FiOS control unit is mounted beside the fridge and on the same outlet I am curious if moving that whole unit to another outlet would make sense to try first?
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If ever offered a breath mint - take it.


Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink
reply to yahtzee

There is one other thing you might try. Temporarily use an extension cord to power the FiOS unit and see if the GFI still trips when the refrigerator is plugged in. A GFI normally trips if the total leakage exceeds 5 MA. If the sum of the leakage between the FiOS unit and refrigerator exceeds 5 MA the GFI will trip. If the total leakage caused by each unit is less than 5 MA then the GFI will not trip unless it is not calibrated properly. If the GFI does not trip when the FiOS unit or the Refrigerator is plugged in but trips when the FiOS and the Refrigerator is plugged in together you could install a separate GFI for the refrigerator and meet code.



yahtzee
Premium
join:2000-12-03
Richmond, VA

I also found out that my washing machine in the mud room is on that same circuit...that said, it trips even when the washing machine isn't running. I am going to swap it back to GFCI and see what I can come up with.
--
If ever offered a breath mint - take it.


nonymous
Premium
join:2003-09-08
Glendale, AZ

2 edits
reply to yahtzee

said by yahtzee:

By older, do you mean 20yrs or 6-7? I dont mind paying to replace the fridge but I dont want to get the fridge home, change the outlet back to GFCI and then it trip every couple of days or weeks. Given that the FiOS control unit is mounted beside the fridge and on the same outlet I am curious if moving that whole unit to another outlet would make sense to try first?

Did find this in a Frigidaire manual:
"• The freezer must be plugged into its own
dedicated 115 Volt, 60 Hz., 15 Amp, AC only
electrical outlet. The power cord of the appliance
is equipped with a three-prong grounding plug for
your protection against electrical shock hazards. It
must be plugged directly into a properly grounded
three prong receptacle. The receptacle must
be installed in accordance with local codes and
ordinances. Consult a qualified electrician. Avoid
connecting freezer to a Ground Fault Interrupter
(GFI) circuit.
Do not use an extension cord or
adapter plug. " P/N 297079200 (Feb 2006) .

I believe I bought a Kenmore manufactured by Frigidaire back then. Still works on a GFCI today no trips yet. Why I did a little reading back then.
Bolding is mine.
Newer Frigidaire model says GFCI not recommended. One newer Whirlpool no mention of.
of course do testing first to make sure it is the freezer.


whizkid3
Premium,MVM
join:2002-02-21
Queens, NY
kudos:9
reply to Jack_in_VA

said by Jack_in_VA:

You chide Mr Matt poster about data and you make a statement that GFCI's save lives but give no data or numbers so I assume it's conjecture on your part.

I know of someone personally who would still be alive if the circuit that electrocuted them were on a GFCI. I have also seen the statistics; they are available on line; I am not going to look them up. Matt can believe my conjecture or not. I really don't care.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to Jack_in_VA

said by Jack_in_VA:

You chide Mr Matt poster about data and you make a statement that GFCI's save lives but give no data or numbers so I assume it's conjecture on your part.

Considering the price of a GFCI receptacle and the fact that such receptacle can protect several other receptacles downstream, I don't see the downside. In this thread, several people including myself admitted getting shocked through a receptacle in the past. We didn't die, but we could have died. A GFCI receptacle makes sure we COULDN'T have died instead of COULD have died.

GFCI's can be inconvenient but they are not tripping falsely, and it's not like the code forces us to plug our fridges in it. There's even an exception in the CEC about not needing a GFCI (Where a GFCI would normally be required) if it is serving and located behind a large non portable appliance (Fridge, freezer, whatever). It's not the case in the NEC, but there probably was a reason why they changed it, and I doubt it's because of corruption or laziness.

Yahtzee simply put a fridge where a fridge isn't normally located. A garage is a great location for a 2nd fridge or freezer, I admit that. I will myself place a freezer in my garage. However I am partitioning my garage so that the freezer will actually no longer be in what is considered a "garage".


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT

said by alkizmo:

A GFCI receptacle makes sure we COULDN'T have died instead of COULD have died.

There is no "making sure". GFCI outlets are subject to failure - and they *DO* fail.
said by alkizmo:

GFCI's can be inconvenient but they are not tripping falsely,

Yes, they are sometimes. I have one that I can trip on demand - even if no load is connected to it, just by switching on and of a fan few times (fan on the same circuit, but not controlled by the GFCI).

AVonGauss
Premium
join:2007-11-01
Boynton Beach, FL

Is the fan in front of the GFCI or behind the GFCI outlet in the circuit?



cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT

said by AVonGauss:

Is the fan in front of the GFCI or behind the GFCI outlet in the circuit?

Before. That GFCI is at the end of the branch.

garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus
reply to yahtzee

GFCI's reduce the probability of a shock but they're not perfect, they can fail. They are sensitive to surges and can false trip or die, or (I suppose) fail in a way that they don't trip.

For this application I'd be really reluctant to toss out a reasonably new fridge. I'd most likely double-check the ground, put a non-conductive mat on the floor in front of it, maybe check the current in the ground wire and use it.



fcisler
Premium
join:2004-06-14
Riverhead, NY

said by garys_2k:

GFCI's reduce the probability of a shock but they're not perfect, they can fail. They are sensitive to surges and can false trip or die, or (I suppose) fail in a way that they don't trip.

About 2 years ago a buddy was rehabbing a house.

Not one circuit in the house had a ground. It was all stripped out. Poco disconnected the drop and pulled the meter.

I wired up a new meter base, new 200a panel and stubbed out 4 circuits - 2 upstairs and two downstairs. The two downstairs were GFCI. Other two were not.

Crew is there doing drywall. All of a sudden BOOM - lighting goes off, drills stop working.

Lost a neutral at the pole (my measurements verified that, the lineman also verified that). Poco replaces the drop to the house. Why they didn't (initially) on an already cut drop was a mystery...

Power comes back up in the house. First floor, no GFCI: Both the drywall drill and two 500w halogen lights are fried.

The GFCI's in the basement were both fried. They let out the magic smoke. Both the 500w halogen and drywall drill in the basement are fine. Both upstairs and downstairs were MWBC. Both (drywall guns/lights) were on the same respective legs.

Not that I think a GFCI will replace a surge suppressor - but it was interesting that in one case I lost $15 worth of outlets (much less, the GFCI date of manufacture was around 1985) vs much more of electronics.

Oh...and the whole house passed electrical inspection. The AHJ was impressed.


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3

said by fcisler:

the GFCI date of manufacture was around 1985

1985 seems to have been a bad year for home wiring devices.

sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon FiOS

said by DarkLogix:

said by fcisler:

the GFCI date of manufacture was around 1985

1985 seems to have been a bad year for home wiring devices.

There wasn't a whole lot out of the 80's that were good for anything frankly (other than computers).

garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI

U2's Joshua Tree came out in '87, that's a good album.

To me, the nadir of popular culture was the 70's. Leisure suits, Nehru jackets, Maremeko wall prints, bell bottom jeans for men, shag carpet, ORANGE shag carpet and disco.



yahtzee
Premium
join:2000-12-03
Richmond, VA
reply to yahtzee

I replaced the GFCI outlet and it has been working fine for 5 days. Thanks to all that responded.
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If ever offered a breath mint - take it.

Expand your moderator at work