One of the major issues faced by everyone when they get a new fridge is that the refrigerator keeps tripping the breaker. It can have a number of reasons behind it, but whatever the reason may be, it can be incredibly annoying. So, let us discuss the question often asked, why does my refrigerator keep blowing the circuit breaker?
What is a Circuit Breaker
According to Wikipedia, “A circuit breaker is an automatically operated electrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by excess current from an overload or short circuit. Its basic function is to interrupt current flow after a fault is detected.”
Importance of a circuit breaker:
A circuit breaker is one of the most important electrical instruments in your house, and it probably saves the most amount of money. As it interrupts the current flow, it saves more expensive instruments for any damage. But as it cuts off all electrical supply, it means that all instruments, regardless of their role, are turned off.
Why refrigerator keeps tripping breaker:
A lot of people have this issue with new refrigerators, as their fridge keeps tripping the breaker. There could be a number of reasons why this issue might be persisting, let us discuss the three most common reasons that may cause a refrigerator to trip breaker,
- Overloaded Circuit: The most common and obvious reason a refrigerator trips breaker is a circuit overload. The first thing you should see is the number of appliances that are plugged into the power outlet at a time. As most power outlets can only supply a current of upto 20 amps, if the load on the circuit exceeds this threshold, the circuit breaker trips to prevent damage.
A refrigerator in itself is a very heavy duty piece of equipment when it comes to voltage requirements, if you plug some other equipment at the same time, then the circuit is guaranteed to overload. Thankfully, this issue is very easy to solve. You just need to unplug other electrical equipment from the outlet, so the voltage can be managed, and no longer will you face this issue.
- Short Circuit: A Short circuiting is when an electric current flows down the wrong or unintended path with little to no electrical resistance. In fact, a short circuit occurs when a ground wire and a live wire come in contact with each other.
A short circuit can cause serious electrical damage, fire, or even small scale explosions. There could be a number of reasons for a short circuit to occur as the problem might be with an appliance, the power outlet, or even the wiring.
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Before we come up with a solution for this problem, it is important that we do some investigation to pinpoint its root cause. If the breaker trips just as the refrigerator has been plugged in, then the most obvious recourse would be to unplug the refrigerator, and try plugging another instrument.
If the other instrument works fine, then the issue is with the refrigerator, and it is the refrigerator that keeps tripping the breaker. If the other instrument also does not work, then the issue might be with the power outlet itself, or the wiring.
If the issue is with the refrigerator, then simple insulation through electrical tape to cover up the wires should solve the issue at hand. If the issue is with the outlet, one can try to unscrew the power outlet and insulate it the same way, but it is serious work.
Therefore, we strongly recommend that in case you do not have prior experience of handling such tasks, then you call a professional to do the job for you.
- Worn out wirings and other electrical components: As with all things, the most dangerous and unavoidable enemy for electrical components in your home is good ol’ father time. If you are living in an old house, especially one that has stood for decades, there is a good chance that there might have developed a number of issues with its wiring and electrical components.
The issues can be caused by a wide range of factors. As wires grow old, their insulations crumble and rot away, which leaves them exposed to elements and other wires. In addition to that, wires can also accrue damage over time due to extensive bending, rust, or other damaging factors.
Furthermore, the breaker box’s metal and plastic components also have a half-life, and in time they may erode and leave the electrical components vulnerable to damage.
The refrigerator’s wiring also obeys the same laws mentioned above, damage to the refrigerator’s power cord, or any other component may be the reason your refrigerator keeps tripping circuit breaker.
The cause for this issue is a bit hard to pinpoint, as it is not something that happens acutely, but something that is caused by an underlying chronic issue. You can use the same investigation methods of unplugging your fridge and plugging in some other instrument in order to be able to identify whether the issue is with the refrigerator, or with the other components.
- If other instruments work fine, then you should clearly observe the visible portion of your refrigerator’s power chord, and see if you can spot any damage. If you are able to do so, you can try to fix it by means of electrical tape, or some other means, or simply have it replaced.
- If other instruments also do not work, then the problem most probably lies with the power outlet, circuit breaker, or other wiring. Again, observe for any visible damages, and see if the component is salvageable. If not, then you might have to simply replace it with a new one.
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What to do if refrigerator keeps tripping the breaker?
As discussed above, your refrigerator should not trip the breaker under normal circumstances, and it normally happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason might be irregular voltages from the back end, but they are an occasional occurrence.
If it happens frequently, then it is a cause for concern and you should react accordingly.
We hope this article helps you better understand the problem, and the solutions mentioned come in handy when dealing with your refrigerator circuit breaker issues.+
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