I have been troubleshooting this problem and I have narrowed it down to the ground in the unit. When I disconnect the ground from the frame, it runs fine, and has no problems. When I reconnect the ground, it trips the breaker. We recently cleaned and defrosted the unit. and thats when the problem started. It ran fine before that. I ohm'ed out the ground to the temp control, and that is fine also. I ohm'ed out that same wire to the frame and that was all over the place. I can only assume that wire is causing the problem. Is it possible I got something wet and that is causing it?

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    Are you tripping a breaker or a GFCI (RCD)? – Ariel Jan 8 '15 at 19:21
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    I do not have any idea what your issue is, but I would not operate the refrigerator without the ground wire. If the refrigerator has developed an electrical fault (e.g. by a hot wire coming loose or otherwise electrifying the chassis), then the ground wire and breaker are doing exactly what they are supposed to do i.e. the ground wire is sucking up the fault current and subsequently causing the breaker to trip. If you operate without a ground wire, then the fault current will have to find another path.... possibly through you! – bobfandango Jan 9 '15 at 0:42
  • Bob is correct. The ground wire is there to complete the circuit and facilitate the operation of the breaker in case of a ground fault. A ground fault means the equipment is shorted to the metal frame. Without the ground wire the metal frame is energized and looking for a way to get to ground. Like you touching the fridge and the kitchen sink at the same time or the frame of the range. Get it fixed! – ArchonOSX Dec 12 '15 at 2:45

The path of least resistance.

When the ground is removed, the current is forced to go through the compressor, and fridge works.

When you replace the ground, there is a path from hot to ground, that avoids the compressor.

  • So your problem is somewhere between the 'hot' wire on the plug and the compressor.

Possibly a problem in the receptacle where the hot wire will short when the ground pin is inserted, but unlikely. If you want to test for this, plug in something else with a ground pin, wiggle the cord, and if it works, the fridge is the problem.

  • My vote would be for someplace where a wire was pinched while working on it.

The wire should be loose - long and had too much room to move around and got pinched, or it should be really tight, because it did not have enough room to move.

There does not have to be much damage to the insulation for this to happen, but running your fingers along the wires should be enough to find it.

Best of luck to you

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Your problem indicates a ground fault because the GFCI keeps flipping before the breaker and that's what a Ground Fault Circuit Interruptor does, it protects home owners against ground faults, potentially moist or wet locations that can disrupt the voltage between 5 - 7 mA

Your specific problem is caused by the oxidization of the defrost heating element, the elements are Nichrome to withstand the heat, when the elements power up for the first time they form this chromium like strucure around the element protecting it from water and moisture

what's flipping the breaker is the moisture sitting on the oxodized Nichrome, when it kicks on every couple of hours it detects that water and flips the GFCI by raising the voltage up 5 to 7 mA.

With that being said, you might think that your defrost heating element is bad, it isn't, it's just getting old. You may notice discoloration.

If your fridge isn't on the circuit that's on the sink wall or in the garage then you don't need a GFCI, but some people like the GFCI on the fridge just incase the fridge develops a leak and gets into the drywall and insulation

If your fridge is flipping the Breaker in the Breaker box or sub panel then there's a more serious issue, obviously there's a short or reverse polarity.

A bare wire could be touching another or could be exposed to water

when working on any electrical around moist or wet conditions, always use waterproof connectors and a piece of wire shrink wrap.

Sorry im late

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    Actually, a GFCI is only needed in a kitchen if the receptacle outlet is within six feet of a sink or if it serves countertop space. Contractors usually try to locate the refrigerator receptacle more than six feet away from the edge of a sink to avoid having to put a refrigerator on a GFCI and potentially spoil a lot of food if it ever nuisance trips while the occupants are away. – Nicknamednick Sep 24 '18 at 1:42
  • I think it's over kill to have a gfci at the beginning of every circuit, but I still think it should be raised none the less, water damage can happen anywhere, spilt drink, kids water toys, and especially wintery conditions where you may overlook something so simple, the counter is implemented due to the sink, so NEC says everything else is alright for the fact that there's not a faucet nearby. – user70085 Sep 24 '18 at 2:02

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