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

Re: GFI outlet/refrigerator question

No need to wonder. The OP was not looking for the right or safe solution; rather he was looking for someone to justify his solving it improperly and unlawfully and as cheap as possible regardless of the risks. There will always be some buffoon that will come along and propose a stupid and dangerous, but cheap and easy, solution.

In this case, its unlawful and dangerous. But there are people in this world who think they are smarter than everyone else, and will actually put the lives of their family and friends on the line to prove it. Disabling a GFCI receptacle because an appliance is failing and actually beginning to short to ground is as stupid as it gets. God forbid someone gets electrocuted; or dies in an ensuing fire. But to some people saving a few bucks - in this case unlawfully - via stupidity is worth if if they don't have to spend money on having an appliance repaired. I can understand if one really doesn't have the funds. Then unplug it and scrap it.


yahtzee
Premium
join:2000-12-03
Richmond, VA
I have a feeling that you think what I did is unlawful. Love how it starts to get borderline personal with folks on forums. Name-calling, armchair building inspectors, psychics, etc.

I will call an electrician today to see what he recommends. Thanks.
--
If ever offered a breath mint - take it.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
said by yahtzee:

I have a feeling that you think what I did is unlawful. Love how it starts to get borderline personal with folks on forums. Name-calling, armchair building inspectors, psychics, etc.

I will call an electrician today to see what he recommends. Thanks.

What he's saying is you're ignoring a real problem.
What you're doing (replacing with non GFCI) is simply silencing the "alarm".

The reason it became "personal" is because you made a thread asking for advice when you weren't willing to follow a professional's advice if it wasn't convenient for you.


yahtzee
Premium
join:2000-12-03
Richmond, VA
I have spoken to numerous other homeowners in my neighborhood that had non-GFCI outlets installed in their garage specifically for a refrigerator. I understand that it's against code. What I gather from the advice on here is that I dont even need to check with anyone - just go pick up a new refrigerator, right? I can do that - it just seemed odd that a 6-7 yr old refrigerator would go bad. Also, if I bought a new refrigerator and put it on the same outlet how am I supposed to know if the fridge gets to the point that this one is supposedly at (faulty)?
--
If ever offered a breath mint - take it.


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
You said your very self that you plugged the fridge into 2 different GFCI outlets, and they both tripped.
So did they or not?
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.

Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
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reply to yahtzee
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.


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
said by Mr Matt:

First of all installing a non GFI protected outlet in the garage after 2008 is not against the law it is against code.

Code IS the law in this state. We adopted the NEC as our electrical subcode, with modifications.