My refrigerator is plugged into an outlet that is on the end of a series of three GFCI protected outlets that uses the first outlet to protect all three. The refrigerator manual says it should not be plugged into a GFCI outlet. Can I remove the GFCI protection from that last outlet?

  • 1
    The only way to do this is to replace outlet 2 and 3 with a GFCI. You would then re-wire outlet #1 to only protect itself. (PS - not sure if the fridge is outlet 3 or is a fourth outlet. If the fridge is outlet 3, then you only need a new GFCI at outlet 2)
    – Tyson
    Sep 7, 2016 at 15:20
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    @Tyson Sounds like an answer.
    – bib
    Sep 7, 2016 at 15:53
  • It should not be plugged into a GFCI outlet brcause if another load trips the GFCI, your food will spoil. Worse, whoever finds the GFCI tripped may reset it, not realizing it also tripped the refrigerator. The fridge will re-chill and subsequent family members will find cold food in the fridge as expected, unbeknownst that it has spoiled, and eat it, getting sick. Sep 7, 2016 at 19:12
  • @Tyson oops, I failed to read all comments and wrote an answer which largely replicates your comment-that-would-make-a-good-answer without realising I was doing so. I encourage you to make an answer out of it even if it duplicates mine. Sep 7, 2016 at 19:31
  • Personal preference - a refrigerator (or freezer) is best put on its very own circuit breaker with nothing else sharing the circuit. But that will involve rewiring.
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 8, 2016 at 3:12

2 Answers 2


Yes, it can be done.

The way it currently is: On the GFCI, power comes into the line terminals. There are two load terminals which let you use the GFCI's protection on downstream outlets. That is exactly how your downstream outlets are connected.

What to do: defeat this protection by moving the downstream outlets' wires to the line terminals. Except you can't put 2 wires on one terminal screw, and don't use backstabs, so pigtail this connection.

Ok, now the middle and refrigerator outlets are not protected. The law requires the middle outlet be protected. You'll need to buy another GFCI outlet and hook it up in same fashion so the refrigerator outlet is still not protected.

Lastly I would look at the refrigerator's outlet. Where is it? If it's a duplex outlet (the usual 2 outlets) in an accessible location, that's a problem, because it will be tempting for someone to use the other outlet. They could get a real shock when they discover it's not GFCI protected.

It might be possible to get a fancydancy split GFCI that only protects one outlet. But rather than fool around with that, I'd just get a single outlet for that location, so there's simply not room for anything but the fridge.


No. You'd need to branch it earlier in the circuit or pull from another circuit. However, the manual probably mentions that only to avoid nuisance trips. If your refrigerator runs fine on the outlet, I wouldn't worry about it. Read more

  • 2
    It trips the GFCI occasionally. I don't want to have that happen when I'm gone and ruin all the food in the frig.
    – kim
    Sep 7, 2016 at 15:02

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