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Must 20-amp garage receptacle for refrigerator and a freezer have GFCI?

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  • Must 20-amp garage receptacle for refrigerator and a freezer have GFCI?

    Refrigerator 7.7 amps. Freezer 2.1 amps.
    Plugged into their own dedicated receptacle in the garage.

    Must the receptacle also be a minimum height above the garage cement floor?

    Since total amperage is 9.8 amps, may I use a 15-amp-rated GFCI outlet? (I already have an extra one.)
    (But I am also concerned about the appliances tripping the GFCI and ruining food.)

    Thank you.
    Last edited by Robert Gift; 10-05-2012, 07:02 PM.
    I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
    It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
    "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

  • #2
    Re: Must 20-amp garage receptacle for refrigerator and a freezer have GFCI?

    Originally posted by Robert Gift View Post
    Refrigerator 7.7 amps. Freezer 2.1 amps.
    Plugged into their own dedicated receptacle in the garage.

    Must the receptacle also be a minimum height above the garage cement floor?

    Since total amperage is 9.8 amps, may I use a 15-amp-rated GFCI outlet? (I already have an extra one.)
    (But I am also concerned about the appliances tripping the GFCI and ruining food.)

    Thank you.
    Technically all outlets for convience should be gfci protected but what you say is true, a false trip can ruin your food. SO, use a single outlet, not a duplex for each and that satisfies code and you don't have to gfci it. Outlet heights in a garage should be higher than in the house to get above the vapor line. Usually 4' above floor is plenty but could be lower. I forgot what the vapor line level is, but I use 4 feet.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Must 20-amp garage receptacle for refrigerator and a freezer have GFCI?

      Originally posted by QROKING View Post
      Technically all outlets for convience should be gfci protected but what you say is true, a false trip can ruin your food. SO, use a single outlet, not a duplex for each and that satisfies code and you don't have to gfci it.
      WRONG.
      ALL 120V-15/20A receptacles in a garage must be GFI protected.


      A 15A circuit is fine for this, but I would not share it with anything else.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Must 20-amp garage receptacle for refrigerator and a freezer have GFCI?

        Thank you, both.

        I forgot about the "vapor height". 18 inches?
        Does that still apply with the refrigerator and freezer compressor switches just inches above the floor?
        Or are we NOT to have such appliances in the garage?

        I did not realize that both totalled less than 10 amps. Nonetheles, I ran a #12 AWG dedicated cable from the 20-amp circuit breaker.
        Still worried about a GFCI. Maybe I should try it. It may work fine until both appliance happen to switch on at the same instant.
        Last edited by Robert Gift; 10-06-2012, 09:05 AM.
        I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
        It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
        "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Must 20-amp garage receptacle for refrigerator and a freezer have GFCI?

          Originally posted by Speedy Petey View Post
          WRONG.
          ALL 120V-15/20A receptacles in a garage must be GFI protected.


          A 15A circuit is fine for this, but I would not share it with anything else.
          even if it's for a definite purpose such as a sump pump?

          any time i see a submersible pump plugged into a gfi, it's a problem down the road.

          90% of the time a 120 volt pump is not plugged into a gfi both new construction and old school construction.

          rick.
          phoebe it is

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Must 20-amp garage receptacle for refrigerator and a freezer have GFCI?

            Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
            even if it's for a definite purpose such as a sump pump?
            rick.
            Yes, absolutely. Unfinished basement, crawl space or garage.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Must 20-amp garage receptacle for refrigerator and a freezer have GFCI?

              According to the electrical code
              Refrigerators and freezers that are permanently located in the garage and are not movable are not required to be protected by GFI.
              The outlet may be a single outlet or the outlet may not be readily accessible.

              As always feel free to confirm this with your local jurisdiction as to thier requirements
              Last edited by Lee H; 10-07-2012, 12:09 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Must 20-amp garage receptacle for refrigerator and a freezer have GFCI?

                Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                even if it's for a definite purpose such as a sump pump?

                any time i see a submersible pump plugged into a gfi, it's a problem down the road.

                90% of the time a 120 volt pump is not plugged into a gfi both new construction and old school construction.

                rick.
                Under the 08 NEC the receptacle for the sump pump would require GFI protection if it is in a crawlspace or an unfinished basement. The exemption for a single receptacle has been removed.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Must 20-amp garage receptacle for refrigerator and a freezer have GFCI?

                  Originally posted by Lee H View Post
                  According to the electrical code
                  Refrigerators and freezers that are permanently located in the garage and are not movable are not required to be protected by GFI.
                  The outlet may be a single outlet or the outlet may not be readily accessible.

                  As always feel free to confirm this with your local jurisdiction as to thier requirements
                  I can confirm this right here. This is WRONG.

                  This exception was removed in the 2008 NEC, just like your post above about the sump pump. Even the GDO now requires a GFI protected receptacle.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Must 20-amp garage receptacle for refrigerator and a freezer have GFCI?

                    Ok then thanks, missed it

                    I will never do it as Rick mentions it causes other problems

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Installed a duplex GFCI outlet. Rated 20-amps! Hasn't tripped!

                      Placed the outlet 30 inches above the garage floor.
                      So far, the refrigerator and freezer have not tripped the GFI.
                      I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
                      It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
                      "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Installed a duplex GFCI outlet. Rated 20-amps! Hasn't tripped!

                        GFCI tripping usually happens in defrost modes, especially units that have resistance heaters.
                        Also worn compressors and timers that have windings starting to short to ground.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Installed a duplex GFCI outlet. Rated 20-amps! Hasn't tripped!

                          Originally posted by Robert Gift View Post
                          Placed the outlet 30 inches above the garage floor.
                          So far, the refrigerator and freezer have not tripped the GFI.
                          If you are putting a fridge or freezer on a gfi circuit that you do not use on a regular basis I would put an alarm on the circuit. I think they sell a battery operated alarm that senses the loss of AC power on the line and the alarm sounds using the battery. Hopefully you will hear it to reset it. If not, you can lose the contents in about 24 hours or so. I have also seen gfi's shut off in a lightning storm.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Anyone know of a NO POWER alarm?

                            I may make one from an old railroad relay.
                            When no power, the armature drops by gravity and spring pull closing the contacts.

                            The refrigerator and freezer are kept FULL so that if there is a power failure, the thermal mass will keep things colder, longer.
                            Bottles of beer are excellent for creating thermal mass!
                            Last edited by Robert Gift; 10-10-2012, 06:52 AM.
                            I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
                            It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
                            "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Anyone know of a NO POWER alarm?

                              They sell gfci outlets that have audable alarms, when they trip (kind of pricy)

                              Hats off to speedypete for setting the record straight about proper gfci requirements.

                              BTW, the receptacle height does not matter in residential, only comercial or classified areas.

                              Comment

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