Tips On How To Stop A Refrigerator From Tripping A GFCI Outlet

Are you experiencing your refrigerator tripping a GFCI outlet often? You must not ignore the problem if it happens since tripping the GFCI outlet can be more problematic than you may expect. When the refrigerator trips the GFCI outlet too frequently, it will shut off randomly. As a result, your stored food items will spoil and spread a foul odor.

Thus, you must find a way to stop the refrigerator from tripping the GFCI. But, do you know how to stop a refrigerator from tipping a GFCI frequently? 

You may try resetting the GFCI outlet, checking and replacing the power cord, observing for circuit overloading, and finding any defects in the power outlet and plug. Finally, you must also check and repair the refrigerator’s compressor if need be.

How To Stop A Refrigerator From Tripping A GFCI Outlet

How to Stop a Refrigerator from Tripping A GFCI Outlet

The ground-fault circuit interrupter or GFCI is used to monitor the current flow and voltage of the connected appliance. When the GFCI outlet observes any irregularity in the current or voltage, it will trip over and shut off the appliance to save it from damage. That’s why it has become an integral part of the refrigerators at home.

However, it can be annoying when the refrigerator keeps tripping the GFCI outlet too frequently. At the first point, it will spoil the food items. Secondly, continuous tripping over the GFCI outlet might damage the refrigerator even.

Try resetting the GFCI outlet:

Since GFCI outlets are highly sensitive, they may even shut off when they shouldn’t. It will trip over even with the slightest irregularities in the current flow through the wiring. Thus, it will trip over, often referred to as “nuisance tripping.”

When it happens, reset the GFCI outlet. Then, try observing the refrigerator to see if it happens again. In most cases, the refrigerator won’t trip the GFCI outlet anymore. Nonetheless, if the appliance trips over even after resetting the GFCI outlet, you need to go deeper to find the solution.

Check and replace the power cord and plug:

At times, the power cord or the plug’s prongs may be damaged or defective. When the power cord is defective, the current flow will be irregular. Similarly, defective prongs of the power cord may be responsible for voltage up and down into the wiring. As a result, the GFCI outlet will trip over since it will sense the voltage and current flow irregularities.

When you see any damage or defects in the power cord and plug prongs, you must fix it ASAP. If you can’t fix it, you better replace the cord or the plug.

Connect the refrigerator with a dedicated circuit:

In rare cases, the circuit of your refrigerator connection may overload. When you see the GFCI outlet tripping over frequently, the circuit overloading might be the primary reason. Multiple connections on the same circuit cause it.

When multiple home appliances connect with a similar circuit, the voltage will have trouble flowing properly. Thus, the current flow will be irregular to force the GFCI to trip over frequently. The solution is to use a dedicated circuit and outlet for the refrigerator. When you connect the refrigerator with a single circuit and outlet, the voltage will be regular, and the appliance won’t trip the GFCI randomly.

Reconfigure the circuit:

Nonetheless, if the refrigerator still trips over the GFCI, the problem is deeper. In most cases, the circuit you are using for the refrigerator is inappropriate. The circuit and outlet will fail to load the voltage the machine needs to operate properly. So, it would be best if you reconfigured the circuit to use it properly with the refrigerator.

In the refrigerator’s user manual, you will find the voltage and current output required for the circuit. Ensure that the dedicated circuit you use for the appliance has the suggested voltage and current rating.

Use the right outlet and circuit breaker:

Like the right circuit for the refrigerator, a proper outlet is also essential. You need to check that the outlet you use to connect the refrigerator is right and working properly. The checking process of the outlet follows these steps:

  1. Turn off the power of your corresponding circuit breaker for the refrigerator.
  2. Remove the circuit breaker cover to look inside it.
  3. Carefully check the wiring and connections of the outlet. Sometimes the connection or wiring may get burnt due to the overflow of the current. If you find the wiring or connections burnt out, you need to replace the outlet wiring immediately.
  4. When you have found the wiring and connections in proper condition, you need to test the outlet. For this, connect the multimeter with the outlet and test its continuity.
  5. You need to replace the outlet if you find any discontinuity in it. However, you shouldn’t replace the outlet unless you are skilled in handling electric wiring. Otherwise, call for a professional electrician.

Similarly, you must check the circuit breaker. If it is defected or damaged, you must also replace it.

Read: Best Outdoor GFCI Outlet for Electric Hazard Safety

Check and repair the refrigerator wiring and compressor:

Sometimes the problem might not be with the electrical wiring and connection but with the refrigerator itself. So, you need to check the wiring of the appliance. You will have to access the wiring by removing the lower back panel of the refrigerator. If the wiring seems damaged or defective, you need to take the refrigerator for servicing. The center will replace the wiring.

Finally, a problematic compressor or defrost heater can also force the device to trip down the GFCI outlet. You can reset the defrost cycle of the heater to check it. Also, if any of the suggestions above don’t work, the compressor is the reason the machine trips overdue to GFCI.

Therefore, you have to take the refrigerator to repair the defrost heater or compressor to the service center. If you still have the warranty for the refrigerator, the service will be free of cost. Or, you will need to pay for it.


A GFCI outlet connects with the refrigerator to safeguard it from voltage irregularities. However, when the GFCI outlet of the device trips over too frequently, there must be something wrong. At that moment, you must check the entire system.

You can follow our guidelines on stopping a refrigerator from tripping a GFCI outlet to check the system. Once you have found the problem, fix it to stop the appliance from tripping the GFCI to spoil the food.

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