I have a Gibson/Frigidaire through the wall AC unit plugged into a dedicated 3-prong outlet in my a room of my apartment. I'd like to put a chest freezer in my office for homebrewed beer. Is it safe to put a splitter on this outlet and plug both the AC and freezer into it? Or do I need to use separate outlets or have another outlet installed?

The AC unit is a GAH085Q1T, 8000 BTU 115v 8.0 amp.

The freezer I'm looking at getting is a GE 5 cu. ft. model., which would be running through a digital thermostat controller. Because of the thermostat, it won't be running all the time, as the thermostat will turn it on/off to maintain the desired temp of about 45°F, which is higher than the highest temp you can set the freezer at.

Here's a picture of the outlet

  • Nice- none of the manuals say how much Watts the fridge is(it will cost you 26$ pa based on 2007 stats..) means nothing to men. Basically the aircon will peak at 900Watts and the fridge i suspect will peak at 200Watts MAX? (A keetle peaks at 1900wats) I think it will be safe to run it on there. PEAK = Turning on
    – Piotr Kula
    Commented Jun 22, 2012 at 14:42

3 Answers 3


This is a 20amp outlet, but before you go drawing 16amps/80% of that, you should verify that there is a 20amp breaker/fuse on the other end as well as 12 gauge wiring (thicker than the standard 14 gauge you find on most 15amp circuits). If there is only a 15amp breaker, then the max you can draw from that outlet is 12amp (80% of 15amps).

You mentioned your one device pulls 8amps - that leaves at minimum, 4 amps available for your freezer - what is the current draw of that device? If its 4 or under and the breaker is 15amps then you are OK. If it is over 4 then you have to ensure you have a 20amp breaker in which case the max you'd want to pull is about 16amps combined.

If it is a 20amp breaker, then you will need to find a power bar that is rated for 20amp - I think most of the time they are rated for 15 but if you look hard enough you will probably find one for 20. You could also replace that one outlet with a 2 recepticle outlet which would eliminate the need for a power bar.

  • Not only does the breaker have to be rated for 20A, but the wire does too.
    – Tester101
    Commented Jun 21, 2012 at 20:42
  • That's helpful. I checked the breaker and it says 20 on it, looks like the landlord put 20amp breakers on almost all the outlets. I didn't buy the freezer yet and it's hard to find out how much it draws online. On the homedepot.com Q&A a GE rep said it needs a 15amp outlet and googling around I see 15 amps, but it's not clear if that's what they recommend for the outlet or if that's what it draws. It looks like I can get a 20amp strip for around $50, which is more than I figured - amzn.com/B000L4D3UO. 20amp GFCI would be cheaper, though it is a rented apartment...
    – paul
    Commented Jun 21, 2012 at 21:59
  • 1
    Pull the outlet off and check the wiring. There's a chance you're running a 20A circuit on 14 ga. wire, which means you have a fire hazard. Or, just ask the landlord if he used 12 ga. (Remember, the smaller the gauge, the bigger the wire.) Commented Jun 22, 2012 at 12:34
  • I've updated my answer to include checking for 12ga wire. Thanks folks!
    – Steven
    Commented Jun 22, 2012 at 13:26

There's a chance NEC has a provision that doesn't allow fixed air conditioner to share an outlet. However, given the fact that this is a 20a outlet and ac and freezer combined won't exceed that, I think it's safe to share this outlet.

  • Thanks, I'll see if I can find out about that provision.
    – paul
    Commented Jun 21, 2012 at 22:00

I would opt for the GFCI dual outlet. It has a first line of defense shut-off, eliminating power strip(fire hazard). It has the highest fail-safe and the lowest potential for human error/intervention. Your three prong already has a ground and a neutral. I would check to verify true ground.

  • Why do you recommend GFCI in this situation?
    – Tester101
    Commented Jun 22, 2012 at 11:47

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