We just had a kitchen fridge breaker trip. We eventually figured out it has something to do with a GFCI outlet in the kitchen. I don't know what the relation is between the breaker and the outlet. And before writing out the whole question here, would it be on topic?

It's not home "improvement", but if something is busted, I'll have to fix it. So I figured this might be the best stack to figure things out...?


You may want to take a look at the Home Improvement Help Page. To summarize what you can read there:

  1. It is considered on-topic to ask questions regarding the repair and maintenance of major appliances.
  2. Questions regarding the operation of major appliances are considered off-topic.

So your question generally seems to apply to the second item above. In some cases there is a gray area between repair/maintenance and usage/application. My guess is that your refrigerator is just not broken or in need of maintenance/repair. Sometimes you have to make a choice to post and let the community decide via their votes.

Getting to your actual question....it is often not recommended to plug a refrigerator into a GFCI protected circuit due to the fact that the compressor is a "motor" load which can cause problems with GFCI. That said I am sure that there are conflicts between that recommendation and the up to date electrical codes regarding various electrical receptacles in your kitchen.

It is possible that I did not fully comprehend your situation and that more discussion is required.

  • The fridge isn't on the GFCI, but that circuit it was on was getting tripped. When we hit "test" on a nearby GFCI in the kitchen, the fridge circuit stopped tripping. I think it counts under your section 1. I'll post my question with the details, and see
    – CDspace
    May 28 '20 at 13:53
  • What's most likely happening is only indirectly related to the GFCI. Something in your circuit DOWNSTREAM of the GFCI is overloaded, so it is causing the breaker to trip on OVERLOAD, as it should. When you "test" the GFCI receptacle, it is opening up the entire circuit downstream of the GFCI receptacle, so whatever is causing the overload condition is disconnected too and your refrigerator can continue to run. The good news is, you know where to look; DOWNSTREAM of the GFCI.
    – JRaef
    Jun 1 '20 at 21:28

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