Refrigerator Tripping GFCI on Generator – Why?

Last Updated: August 8, 2022
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A couple of the most common reasons your portable generator will trip is because the power cord or extension cord is long or because the cord is not the correct size for the amount of amperage your generator is putting out.

Refrigerators and other household appliances sometimes have a tendency to “leak” and can cause your GFCI to trip. A long cord or extension cord may drop voltage and your GFCI will think there is a “leak”. This can cause your breaker to trip and interrupt your power.

The GFCI may need to be bypassed for it to work correctly. This is a common problem with older refrigerators on long cords or on extension cords. Here are some good size generator for refrigerator & freezer you may like.

What Is a GFCI and Why Are They Used?

There are two basic kinds of safety switches, GFCI receptacles and circuit breakers. Both are protection devices, but they have different purposes and will trip on different problems.

The GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) is an electrical safety device that protects you from contact with electrical currents. They sense leakage, which is usually caused by water, dust, worn insulation, a defective electrical appliance, or n faulty wiring. When a GFCI senses a problem, it trips and shuts off power in order to prevent you from getting an electric shock, electrocution, burns, and/or fire.

Reasons Why Your Refrigerator Tripping GFCI on Generator

1. Electrical Leak

Electrical leak detection is designed to prevent electrical shock from occurring. If there is an electric leak, it can lead to a fire. The outlet will trip if the current escapes the device and travels a different route to the ground. Dust, electrical appliances, water and worn insulation are some of the causes of leaks.

2. Ground Fault

Every time there is a ground fault in your refrigerator, it will trip the GFCI on your generator. If you want to stop this from happening, you need to locate the faulty part inside the fridge or freezer and replace it.

3. Faulty Generator

It is a good idea to exchange your current generator for a new one if you are still under warranty. Many people have this problem, and in the end, it’s usually the generator itself.

4. Ground Jumper Issue

A neutral ground jumper wire is used in almost all generators. This ground jumper will need to be unplugged if you’re connecting the generator to your home to minimize annoyance tripping. The wire is unnecessary because your house is already linked to the earth. You’ll have to reconnect the ground jumper if you ever unplug the generator from the home and use it for something else.

Other Things To Consider

  • To begin, refrigerators and GCFI outlets do not get along and they’re not required to be attached to one.
  • If your refrigerator is always plugged to a GFCI outlet and it has always worked, you really should verify whether the GFCI has just worn out or not. The likelihood of tripping the GFCI is considerably increased when several connections and extension cables are used.
  • Multi-outlet strips should not be linked to one another. It is not safe.
  • Make sure all of your cord connections are dry and can lead to electrical leakage and GFCI tripping.

Safety Concerns

  • Always read and comprehend the warning and safety sections of the handbook to minimize the risk of injury.
  • Do not make any modifications to the generator until the engine has been stopped and the spark plug wire has been disconnected.
  • Allow the engine to cool completely before touching any hot parts to avoid burns.
    When working with gasoline, exercise caution to avoid a fire or explosion.
  • Keep any fuel-related components away from cigarettes, sparks, and fires.

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I am a mechanical engineer with years of experience working on Internal combustion engine and fixing electrical and mechanical systems, generators, transfer switches, and equipment related to storm water and sewage pumping stations.