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Does a kitchen refridgerator require a seperate breaker?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Re-doing my kitchen. Part of this will entail buying a new fridge and putting it in a new location. Someone mentioned that they "thought" that I would need a seperate breaker for the fridge. Anyone know if that is true? If so, should it be GFI? I don't believe it has its own breaker right now. House is 11 years old. Thanks.
post #2 of 19
Am certainly not an electrician, per se, but not necessarily, depending on what else might be run off that circuit.

But it is probably a good idea, as compressor motors have quite an amperage spike when they first turn on, and if something else should be drawing power at the same time, it could cause you headaches with the breaker tripping. And if you are re-doing the kithcen anyway, now woud be a good time to run the new circuit without too many headaches.

As to the GFI, I think that is a little extraneous for a fridge, but others may disagree with me......if you do go with a GFI, I would think you would want it at the breaker, not at the outlet, as outlets for a fridge are usually behind it, and would be a hassle to get at to test or reset if it should trip.
post #3 of 19
it would be a very good idea to make sure you don't have things like toasters, toaster ovens, coffee makers, irons, air conditioners, etc. plugged into the same circuit....lights and such should be no problem at all

but i don't think you need a separate one
post #4 of 19
AFAIK the fridge should be a home run on it's own circuit. It should be a #12 wire and a 20 amp breaker.
post #5 of 19
I'm pretty sure you need a 20amp dedicated service for the fridge. I would not make it a GFI outlet because it's a PIA when it trips inadvertently
....maybe a GFI breaker, but who wants to go away for the weekend and come back to a tripped, because of a surge or whatever.
post #6 of 19

Originally Posted by canyondiver View Post
AFAIK the fridge should be a home run on it's own circuit. It should be a #12 wire and a 20 amp breaker.
post #7 of 19
Fridge and microwave are always dedicated.
post #8 of 19
yes not gfi
post #9 of 19
If your municipality follows the National Electrical Code (more than likely), you need a minimum of two 15 or 20-ampere small appliance receptacle circuits in your kitchen. Technically, you don't need to provide a separate circuit for your refrig, but it wouldn't hurt especially if you have lots of small appliances. If all of your small appliances are stuck in one corner of your kitchen, I would highly recommend two separate circuits in that area.

GFCI protection is required for receptacles in the following areas:

In the kitchen where serving countertops (this includes receptacles installed in the end walls of fixed islands).
Within 6 feet of any laundry, utility room or wet bar sink.
Exterior locations.
Unfinished basements.
At or below grade crawl spaces.

If the receptacle you are installing for your refrigerator is down low (not serving the countertop), you technically don't need a GFCI. If you are going to install a new circuit, I would suggest a 20-ampere circuit (#12 wire). Also, if you are going thru the trouble of installing a new circuit, it won't cost that much more to install a second one for the counter next to the refrigerator.
post #10 of 19
Gfi breaker Gfi out let 12 guage wire . why take a chance ... I live that i have a basement .. I have at least made 12 new home runs in the last 2 years . I have 90% of the old wire out ,, with the old bathrrom the last of the old BX ........ I am not an electrician but can do home runs in my sleep ......

My hhouse is 107 years old and the stuff i had to do is amazing .... I will post pics of my disaster ...
post #11 of 19
Originally Posted by go_speedracer_go View Post
Fridge and microwave are always dedicated.

Is the microwave on a dedicated in the electrical code? Just curious. I think I remember reading the fridge needed a dedicated line. I had extra slots in the panel and gave a line to the microwave anyway since I wanted all my GFCI outlets to be on two dedicated circuits (one 20 amp breaker each for each counter space).

I should get work to order the NEC electrical code book so I have something to reference.
post #12 of 19
Kitchen needs the 2 20a circuits on gfi for the counters. Micro and fridge on dedicated circuits, also dishwasher.

Reading the NEC is a project because everything seems footnoted to 8 others sections of the code but you can learn a lot. Which NEC each muni adheres to is another question, may not be most current.
post #13 of 19
New code now calls for dining room recpts be on "arc-fault" circuit breakers.

Refig, micro, dishwasher, disposal are all seperate circuits. The rest of the kitchen splits 2 20A circuits with gfci around the sink.

Do not put the refig on a gfci, it will trip when you leave for a weekend, count on it.

The clock doesn't count against any circuit load calculation, neither do smoke detectors.
post #14 of 19
All kitchen outlets are to be 20 amp on a #12 wire. The counters can be split up or run in pairs with the second outlet, downstream of the GFCI. Fridge, stove and dish washer should all be home runs on 20 amp breakers and #12 wire. Any outlet within 6' of a water source shall be GFCI and all bathroom outlets shall be 20 amp #12 wire. (hair dryers and curling irons!!).
post #15 of 19
the #12 wire is the important part #14 wire with a 20amp breaker is not a 20amp circuit.this is the mistake people make all the time you cant just change the breaker.good luck.
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