My refrigerator is tripping the GFCI on the socket into which it is plugged. Searching about this topic seems to indicate that this is a reasonably common complaint. However, I can't find any concrete information about general causes or potential solutions other than suggestions to replace everything and hope for the best; this seems unsatisfying.
This is a new fridge and all new electrical work by licensed professionals. I believe that the electrical is installed correctly and grounded, and that there is no damage to the fridge. I believe this is a dedicated circuit from the breaker panel to the outlet for the fridge. Nothing else is on this circuit and nothing else is plugged into the other socket. Low humidity. Kitchen installation. No water, no ice-maker. This has never happened before, but now it trips the GFCI immediately after reset.
I've done the following things:
- Reset the GFCI, then re-plugged the fridge; GFCI tripped again.
- Plugged other things (alone) into the fridge's GFCI outlet: they work fine and GFCI does not trip.
- Plugged refrigerator into other GFCI-protected outlet with nothing else on it; this GFCI outlet also tripped.
- Plugged refrigerator into other non-GFCI outlet; works and doesn't trip the breaker.
- Tested the socket wiring (using 3-lamp receptacle tester) -- it's correct.
- Measured resistance between prongs on the refrigerator's electrical cord; ~300 kOhms between hot and neutral; no continuity to ground from either. This all seems reasonable.
EDIT: per comment below, I should also note that I called the service line for the manufacturer: they said only that, if the appliance works when plugged into a non-GFCI outlet, that there's nothing more they can do.
To me, this seems to suggest the fridge is broken -- but it's brand new! Why would my fridge be tripping the GFCI? Is this to be expected for a refrigerator? Should I just plug it into non-GFCI and ignore it "like any normal person"? ;-)
Several other questions on this site suggest solutions for other GFCI issues, but I don't see any about refrigerators and GFCI. This answer seems to suggest that refrigerators shouldn't be on GFCI in the first place. However, my electrician said it's now code to have refrigerator's on GFCI (at least locally), but there seems to be disagreement about The Rules.
Other discussions quickly devolve to inaccurate and imprecise citing of NEC, or straying from erudite matters:
- This one that suggests it's common for older refrigerators;
- This one that suggests certain components of the fridge that could be causing it.
Other topics about humidity, garages, other stuff, wiring, etc. don't seem to apply here.