·Embarq Now Centu..
|reply to yahtzee |
Re: GFI outlet/refrigerator question
First of all installing a non GFI protected outlet in the garage after 2008 is not against the law it is against code. If your house was built before 2008 and you already had an non GFI outlet for the refrigerator you would not have noticed that there was leakage because there was nothing to trip. If your house was built before 2008 and you add a non GFI outlet for the refrigerator, I do not think any home inspector would question it. As long as the ground prong on the refrigerator power plug is connected to the protective ground through the outlet, any leakage current will be directed to the protective ground. If the leakage exceeded the rating of the circuit breaker protecting the outlet the breaker would trip.
In order to determine whether the tripping is caused by current leakage from the hot conductor (Black) to the protective ground (Green) or shunt leakage between the neutral (White) and protective ground (Green) I recommend purchasing one of those three prong outlet to two prong plug adapter with green pigtail for test purposes only.
Plug the refrigerator into the adapter and the adapter into the GFI outlet. Use a multimeter in the AC Voltage Mode to determine the voltage between the refrigerator cabinet (Green pigtail) and protective ground screw on the outlet. If it is 120 Volts then the leakage is between the hot side of the refrigerator internal wiring and the cabinet. If the voltage is very low between the pigtail and ground screw on the outlet then the problem is probably a shunt leak between the neutral and cabinet. A shunt leak is insignificant because the tripping is caused by excessive current bypassing the neutral winding of the sensing transformer in the GFI.
The next step is to measure the AC current flow (leakage) between the protective ground Green Pigtail and ground screw on the outlet. You might have to plug the adapter into a non GFI outlet as the leakage current flow through the meter might trip the GFI. If it is in the low milliamp range I would not worry to much about installing a dedicated non GFI outlet for the refrigerator. Just make sure it is inaccessible by placing it directly behind the refrigerator.