How to stop a refrigerator from tripping a gfci outlet?

How to stop a refrigerator from tripping a gfci outlet?


Refrigerators are essential appliances in our homes, keeping our food fresh and beverages cold. However, it can be frustrating when a refrigerator trips a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet, causing it to shut off unexpectedly. This article will explore the reasons why a refrigerator may trip a GFCI outlet and provide some practical solutions to prevent this from happening.

Possible Causes of a Refrigerator Tripping a GFCI Outlet

There are several reasons why a refrigerator might trip a GFCI outlet. Understanding these causes can help you troubleshoot the issue effectively. Here are some possible causes to consider:

1. Ground fault in the refrigerator: A ground fault within the refrigerator itself can cause the GFCI outlet to trip. This can occur due to damaged wiring, a faulty compressor, or a short circuit within the appliance.

2. Overloaded circuit: If the refrigerator is connected to a circuit that is already overloaded with other appliances or devices, it can cause the GFCI outlet to trip. This happens when the total electrical load exceeds the capacity of the circuit.

3. Faulty GFCI outlet: Sometimes, the GFCI outlet itself may be faulty or worn out, leading to frequent tripping. Over time, these outlets can become less sensitive or develop internal issues that cause them to trip unnecessarily.

Solutions to Prevent a Refrigerator from Tripping a GFCI Outlet

Now that we understand the possible causes, let’s explore some solutions to prevent a refrigerator from tripping a GFCI outlet:

1. Check the refrigerator’s electrical components: Start by inspecting the refrigerator’s electrical components, such as the power cord and plug. Look for any signs of damage or fraying. If you notice any issues, replace the power cord or have a professional repair the appliance.

2. Disconnect other appliances on the same circuit: If the circuit is overloaded, try disconnecting other appliances or devices that share the same circuit as the refrigerator. This will reduce the electrical load on the circuit and prevent it from tripping the GFCI outlet.

3. Test the GFCI outlet: Use a GFCI tester or plug a different appliance into the GFCI outlet to determine if the outlet itself is faulty. If the outlet trips with other appliances as well, consider replacing the GFCI outlet.

4. Install a dedicated circuit: If the refrigerator consistently trips the GFCI outlet, consider installing a dedicated circuit specifically for the appliance. This will ensure that the refrigerator is the only device connected to that circuit, eliminating the possibility of overload from other appliances.

5. Consult a professional electrician: If you have tried the above solutions and the problem persists, it is best to consult a professional electrician. They will have the expertise to diagnose and resolve any electrical issues related to your refrigerator and GFCI outlet.


In conclusion, a refrigerator tripping a GFCI outlet can be caused by a ground fault within the appliance, an overloaded circuit, or a faulty GFCI outlet. By checking the refrigerator’s electrical components, disconnecting other appliances on the same circuit, testing the GFCI outlet, installing a dedicated circuit, or seeking professional help, you can prevent your refrigerator from tripping the GFCI outlet and ensure uninterrupted cooling for your food.