As professionals in the refrigerator business, we’re always learning something new. Sometimes the lessons come when we least expect them. Last week, we learned a really important lesson that is going to help us give our customers better service. We thought we should pass it on to you so you can avoid an unnecessary service call.
We’re buying a new home. We are so excited! We’ve been eagerly watching each step in the construction process, and of course we wanted to know how the house was going to be wired so we could make sure our appliances all worked as best as possible.
A few days ago we were doing an electrical walkthrough, and everything was checking out great until we got to the garage. We told our electrician that we wanted a non-GFCI outlet in the garage for our upright freezer, but he told us he couldn’t install a non-GFCI outlet!
Why do we want a non-GFCI outlet?
Put simply, you can’t plug a refrigerator or a freezer into a GFCI outlet. GFCI outlets can’t handle the load, so the refrigerator will trip the outlet. You might not even know that your refrigerator isn’t getting power until all the food is warm and spoiled. Then, of course, you think your refrigerator is broken.
So why can’t we get a non-GFCI outlet in our garage?
Our electrician told us that since 2008 you cannot have a non-GFCI outlet in your garage. In an out-of-the-way place like a garage, it is less likely to notice when something is going wrong with an outlet until there’s a major problem, such as a house fire. As a result, GFCI outlets were made mandatory as a safety measure.
Non-GFCI outlets are a safety hazard when they are installed in garages, so it is definitely better for them not to allow them in garages, but it does cause quite a bit of inconvenience when it comes to plugging in a refrigerator!
If you have been having problems with your garage refrigerator, it might be because the refrigerator is tripping the GFCI breaker.
If your garage refrigerator is not working, the first thing you should check is the GFCI breaker. You might be able to save a lot of money and frustration on a service call for a refrigerator that doesn’t actually have anything wrong with it at all!