I move my Samsung unit to the garage and plugged it into a receptacle. It has been there for a year with no problem. Two days ago it started tripping the circuit every couple hours. I plugged it into another outlet and it tripped that circuit as well. So I plugged the unit into a surge protector and plug the protector into the original plug outlet. Now it works fine. So what’s the problem - the refrigerator or the outlet or the circuit breaker???? And help or advice would be appreciated

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    Do the circuit breakers in question have TEST buttons on them? What model is the fridge, and what make/model is the breaker panel? Commented Sep 21, 2019 at 2:45
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    I i am especially interested in the "test" buttons. Commented Sep 21, 2019 at 4:25

2 Answers 2


With current code garages are required to have all 120v receptacles GFCI protected. This has been code for a few cycles. I have seen several things in fridges and freezers cause gfci’s to trip from fan motors to crankcase heaters and the motor winding insulation being etched from acidic refrigerant in the system ( moisture causes the oil to become acidic this eats the varnish off the motor windings causing leakage to ground thus causing a GFCI breaker to trip). If it is a standard non GFCI or AFCI breaker the crank case heater if it has one would be my first check, then I would use a meter called a megger a high voltage ohm meter on the compressor and fan motors to check their insulation. One additional part that can cause problems is the starting capacitor , it when bad will usually trip on start up of the compressor. If you look at the capacitor and it is bulging at the ends that are usually square could be the cause also. A bit more information would be helpful like the comments above ask for but there are problems including those I mention and a possible breaker going bad could be the issue.


The BIG question is: What kind of "trip" are you getting?

My guess is that it is not an overcurrent trip, but rather a GFCI or AFCI. If it is GFCI or AFCI, then you generally reset with a RESET button, not by "flipping the breaker". Assuming that is the case, there is a bit of a difference between GFCI and AFCI.

GFCI trips based on Ground Faults. That is an imbalance in current flow between hot and neutral. I don't see how a surge protector would make a difference on this. However, a refrigerator might have motors, compressor, etc. that could cause ever so slight a problem that periodically (every few hours) could trigger a GFCI.

AFCI trips based on sensing an Arc Fault. This more closely aligns with the possibility of a surge protector filtering out noise. This is designed for incoming power to the devices being protected, but can also have an effect in the opposite direction - keeping noise/spikes/etc. from the devices from affecting the rest of the circuit.

I generally do NOT recommend putting a refrigerator or any other large motors (e.g., power tools, vacuum cleaners) or large current draw (heater, toaster, blow dryer, etc.) on a surge protector. Those devices generally don't need the surge protection and are likely to cause problems, especially if there are other devices (e.g., computer, TV) on the same surge protector.

Depending on code and local approved practices, it may be possible to have a dedicated refrigerator receptacle (likely not a dual receptacle) without GFCI (and possibly without AFCI) protection. That will likely solve your problem. However, doing that can be a bit tricky depending on where the protection is provided (breaker panel vs. receptacle) and what other devices/receptacles are on the same circuit.

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