I have a default outlet that a small freezer is connected to. Everytime there is an electrial outage, my freezer defrosts. Is it possible to change to a regular outlet?

  • 4
    Please edit to clarify. "default outlet" is not a meaningful term. Do you mean Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI?) if so, the location of your freezer matters
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 26 '21 at 16:10

In my state having a freezer or refrigerator without a GFCI is acceptable in some states it is not.

There were some GFCI devices that required a reset with a power loss. This is likely the problem. A replacement GFCI receptacle would fix the problem (they were very unpopular for your exact problem). A new GFCI usually only requires a reset when first powered up.

If you are in a state like Oregon that has an exception to the GFCI requirement for such cases I would install a non GFCI receptacle.

Make sure to turn the breaker off before replacing however you do it.


There is no requirement to have a mini-freezer on a GFCI as far as I know in any state or municipality. I mean I have done a lot of basement work and never a requirement.

Same time - just in the past year - several cities have made us GFCI protect EVERYTHING in unfinished space. So this would include your basement storage room, basement laundry, attic, and garage. I mention this because well... that's where mini-freezers usually are.

I hate giving product recommendations and I would love to hear our local electricians comment but I have been install this Leviton self-resetting GFCI lately - and I have been extremely extremely happy compared to models I have installed in the past.

  • The NEC requires them in unfinished spaces, and garages , that’s why I mention my state specifically exempts fridges and freezers or items not easily moved/ in a dedicated space from GFCI requirements (almost everything had a GFCI or AFCI circuit with the 2020 code.
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 26 '21 at 17:31
  • @EdBeal - the problem I run into is that most of the cities around me are still on 2017 but they require the GFCIs in unfinished space and have 10 other requirements per 2020... So you don't really understand what you can do or what you need to do until someone tells you, you need this before you can sell.
    – DMoore
    Apr 26 '21 at 17:39
  • I download the local requirements and add them to my code book this year only 17 pages of changes. But I do this full time and am responsible for all electrical work done under my license, but I understand I got bit awhile back because the structural code changed for efficiency and not the electrical code we had to go back and add timers in the bathrooms that kept the exhaust fan running if it had one (I always add one even if not required because of a window) so the next house we built I wired a fan but did not install it because that inspector is a jerk and he had to pass it without a fan.
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 26 '21 at 17:48
  • @EdBeal - I am dealing with 6-7 sets of rules around me and most/all issues I have weren't from guts but from remodels. If I am to the studs I futureproof everything to the extent I can. I would hope any "new" basement that I do is good until 2030... But there are lots of parts of the houses I do that I don't touch except for basic cosmetics. Well that's where I deal with random code variations... there are some cities going off 2020 for new construction and 2017 for old construction with 2019 addendums (at their choosing).
    – DMoore
    Apr 26 '21 at 18:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.