Why Does My Fridge Keep Tripping the Circuit Breaker?
A refrigerator can keep tripping the circuit breaker because of a overloaded circuit, a short circuit or too much current being passed through.
To understand why your refrigerator might cause your circuit breaker to trip time and again, you must first understand what goes on in the electric circuit.
A circuit breaker trips to stop an upsurge of power or electricity and restricts it. It is indicative of something wrong in the entire circuitry.
Figuring out the root cause of the problem and fixing it can help you save the essentials in your life as the underlying problem may lead to even bigger problems like fires or electrocution.
Some of these causes are as follows:
- Overloaded circuit
When there is a too high demand for power placed on the circuit, the circuit can face overloading. It implies an overload of amps traveling through the same route. Depending upon your residential code, you may need to fix the amps running through the same route.
If more than recommended amps flow or try to flow within the circuitry, it can lead to the circuit becoming overheated and damaged by power surges. Fire damage can also be inflicted upon the wiring and connected appliances.
- Short circuit
In precise terms, when a wire that has current flowing through it comes in contact with the wire that is neutral and serves as a return conductor in the circuit, a short circuit can happen. When the two wires come in contact, there is an upsurge of electricity that can again generate heat, as mentioned above. A burning odor or charred ends of wiring or outlets etc. usually accompanies a short circuit.
- Ground fault surge
When the path of the current that is running via the hot wire gets unrestricted access to the ground, enormous amounts of current can prompt a ground fault surge. This leads to overheating and can even discolor the area around the outlet.
Causes of a circuit breaker tripping in a refrigerator
A refrigerator can cause the circuit breaker to trip several times. However, you must know that a tripped circuit is not bad. It implies many things.
For example, it could mean prevention, like the circuit breaker stopping problems like fire or electrocution from developing.
Finding out the cause behind the refrigerator tripping the circuit breaker becomes important as it could mean that there is an underlying issue that needs resolving.
Some of these underlying reasons why it might keep tripping the circuit breaker are as follows:
An overloaded circuit can cause the circuit breaker to trip often. As the word overloaded indicates, it means that the circuit has to deliver a large amount of electricity and is unable to do so efficiently. Simply put, it means the electricity demand is greater than what the circuit can supply.
To prevent your refrigerator from tripping the circuit breaker, you might need to check the circuit that it is on.
Unplug everything else from the circuit and see if the circuit breaker trips again. This will tell you if the refrigerator is the problem or not.
The only thing that you might have to do is unplug all the high demand sources from the circuit.
However, if the circuit breaker continues tripping with only the refrigerator plugged in, you might have to do something further. For safety reasons, it is better if you seek professional help.
A short circuit might also cause the circuit breaker to trip.
To put it simply, a short circuit happens when two wires inside either an outlet or appliance touch one another. As the wires touch each other, a massive surge of power gets generated. This mass electricity leads to the circuit breaker tripping.
To fix the issue of tripping, you can unplug the appliance. Furthermore, if you plugged in the refrigerator immediately before the circuit breaker tripping, then unplug it and plug some other appliance.
If the second appliance is up and running, then it means that the refrigerator is the source of tripping and the short circuit. If, however, upon plugging into an outlet, nothing works, then do the following:
- Remove the receptacle cover on the wall.
- Inspect the wires visually to see if there is a problem. Remember to just look.
- You may find that there is a problem in the wall or the breaker box itself.
- If you notice any problem, call a professional.
- Depreciation Overtime
The most common cause of a refrigerator leading to a circuit breaker to trip is depreciation over time.
Like everything else in the world, an electrical system in a house that includes basic components like wires, switches, etc. can become worn out. This gradual deterioration can cause the protective insulation around them to thin out and lose their protective and preventative abilities.
This can lead to a short circuit, which leads to the circuit breaker to trip often.
Check to see if the prongs on your refrigerator cord are in normal working conditions. The opposite effect will consist of the refrigerator cord looking bent or rusty. Also, they might work themselves loose within the power cord and lead to problems like tripping.
Furthermore, the circuit breaker box with all its metal and plastic components may become loose and cause problems over time.
How to Troubleshoot Refrigerator Circuit Breaker Problems
To begin with, whenever you try to fix anything remotely related to electricity and power, remember to take all safety precautions possible.
First, if you are comfortable with basic electrical troubleshooting, you can go ahead and do certain fixer-uppers before calling an electrician.
An electrician will do a more thorough and professional inspection. He/she will be able to find the problem and resolve it better.
Furthermore, the refrigerator does not necessarily have to cause the circuit breaker to trip.
While you may think that it may cause that, in reality, something else may cause it to happen.
The time needed to troubleshoot the circuit breaker problems will ultimately depend on the problem you discover plaguing the circuit.
Some of the basic troubleshooting methods for refrigerator circuit breaker problems are as follows:
Method 1: Inspect the power cord
Begin with this simple and basic step towards discovering the problem. A damaged refrigerator cord can lead to power surges leading to short circuits, which in turn lead to circuit breakers to trip. Disconnect the cord and thoroughly inspect it visually. Look at the entire power cord to see if there is any of the following:
- Worn out wires
- Worn out protective insulation covering
- Crushed wiring
- Visibility of animal inflicted damage, etc.
If any of the indicators mentioned above come into play, you should replace the power cord. You may find recommendations for fixing the wiring using a tape safe for electrical uses. However, using electrical tape is not a viable fix, so replacing the wire is the best option.
Method 2: Inspect the power cord’s prongs
Inspect the prongs of your refrigerator power cord carefully. Check to see if the power cord’s prongs are rusty, loose, and/or damaged. If this is the case, you could face circuitry connections that frequently undergo power surges in ground fault situations.
When the hot wire comes in contact with the ground wire, a ground fault surge can occur. Both cases can cause overheating, fires, etc. To fix this, you might have to replace the entire wiring or just the ends.
How to Fix a Refrigerator that is Tripping the Circuit Breaker
It is easy to fix a refrigerator that is tripping the circuit breaker. However, if the problem is beyond your expertise, you might have to approach a professional electrician for help.
Furthermore, here are some of the ways you can fix this problem. They are as follows:
Method 1: Check to see if circuit overloading is the problem
An overloaded circuit can create a problem and lead to the circuit breaker tripping.
If you use the same circuit for in-demand appliances, an overloaded circuit can cause the circuit breaker to trip. This becomes an even bigger problem when the compressor kickstarts.
To fix this, keep the refrigerator on a different outlet altogether, preferably so that it becomes part of another circuitry.
Unplug all high demand appliances from the circuit. Plugging it in another room to ensure that becomes part of another circuit might fix the issue.
If it runs smoothly without tripping on the new circuit and there is still a problem of circuit breakers tripping, you need to find out which problem appliance is at fault. Eliminate these appliances from that particular circuitry.
Method 2: A dedicated circuit for the refrigerator
Furthermore, refrigerators should, without a doubt, have a circuit to themselves. This will prevent the chances of an overloaded circuit and prevent any mishaps and electrical fires.
Why Samsung Fridge is tripping the circuit breaker
First things first, you need to begin with the troubleshooting methods mentioned above.
Begin like this:
- Inspect the power cord.
- Inspect the prongs of the power cord.
- Check to see if overloading or overheating is the problem.
- Install a dedicated circuit if overloading is the case and see if the problem persists.
After you have done all of the steps mentioned above and the problem persists, try out the following. Ensure disconnected power while you undertake the following on your to-do list.
Method 1: Examine the outlet for anything out of the ordinary
Moving forth, while checking for overloading in a circuitry, do check the power outlet to see if there is any damage. It is where you manually plug in the refrigerator power cord.
Detach the receptacle cover. See if there’s any damage, unfastened or charred ends or any discoloration, etc.
Faulty wiring can create a lot of predicaments like ground faults, overheating, short circuits, etc. Therefore, if there is any visible damage, replace the outlet.
You can even test the wires with the help of an ammeter. However, take the help of a professional electrician if you are not sure about electrical troubleshooting.
Method 2: Examine the breaker box
However, if you discover no damage in and around the outlet, then you must check to see if there’s any problem with the box enclosing the circuit breaker.
Even circuit breakers can fall prey to damage and depreciation over time. They can lose their quality because of water and pests.
If there is anything that looks even slightly loose, burnt, discolored, or corroded, then you will have to replace the circuit breaker. Call the electrician for the same.
Why LG refrigerator is tripping the circuit breaker
In the case of the LG refrigerator tripping the circuit breaker, check for an overloaded circuit, inspect the power cord and its prongs, examine the circuit breaker box, and the outlet as mentioned above.
If none of these solutions work for you, then check out the following methods to fix it.
Method 1: Check the wiring connecting the refrigerator
Disconnect the power cord and distance the refrigerator away from the wall. Unfasten the paneling on the rear end carefully.
Examine the back for any damage or loose wires and/or out-of-order connections. If you don’t notice anything, try the next method.
Method 2: Test the refrigerator’s defrost heater
Often, the internal component’s failure may cause the circuit breaker to trip.
Defrost heaters are one of the most common parts prompting circuit breakers to trip. Replacing it won’t even create a burden on your pocket. It is relatively inexpensive, so you can easily replace it.
To fix it, restart the defrost timer. This will prompt the beginning of a new defrost cycle.
If you face the circuit breaker tripping shortly after the beginning of the defrost cycle, then there is a problem with it.
The problems can be the following:
- Water inflicted damage
- Ground fault
- Short circuit
- Insulation damage
To fix this, just buy a new defrost heater.
Westinghouse refrigerator is tripping the circuit breaker
If none of the methods mentioned above work for you, then take a look at the compressor.
As the compressor window fails, the power surge load required to start the winding doesn’t end even after some time.
The extra current causes an overload and forces the circuit breaker to trip as a result.
These are relatively expensive internal parts in a refrigerator. They range from 50$ to 300$.
The price ultimately depends on the make and model of the appliance. Get it fixed by an electrician or appliance mechanic of your choice.
GE refrigerator is tripping the circuit breaker
Just repair the defrost heater or the compressor if the two are at fault. Besides this, you can check the back end for any loose or faulty connections.