Does Garage Fridge Need Dedicated Circuit? Find Out Now!

Are you preparing to get your garage ready for some possible chill time? Most people keep extra freezers in their garages to keep food stocked. So, you would need to know the answer to the question: does garage fridge need dedicated circuit? A 6 cubic-foot freezer with a capacity of 35 lbs of food would be adequate for a typical family of four.

If you plan on storing extra food in a freezer, read this article and make sure your garage wiring is ready for this type of installation. I’d like to remind you to always consider your panel’s ability to support your appliances. Unless your house is relatively new, your panel or garage outlet may not be properly wired to support a new freezer or refrigerator.

Does Garage Fridge Need Dedicated Circuit?

Are you planning to get a garage fridge but wondering if you need to get a dedicated circuit for it?

Yes, you need a dedicated circuit for your garage fridge. Typically, you will fall into one of two categories: Most refrigerators use 3 to 6 amps, but a refrigerator can use up to 15 amps at peak usage. Considering the worst-case scenario is the best. Refrigerators and freezers should be installed on a dedicated 120 volt circuit of 15-20 amps. This will prevent an electrical overload caused by your current wiring’s inability to handle the additional power. 

Keep in mind that even if you do not store your freezer or refrigerator in your garage, freezers must be connected to a dedicated 120-volt circuit. Per the National Code requirements in section 210.8(B)8, GFCI outlets are required for garage receptacles. A dedicated receptacle for an electrical appliance such as a refrigerator, freezer, air conditioning unit, major appliances, and so on is an exception. This receptacle should be on its own circuit, not a GFCI.

So Why Can’t We Get a Non-GFCI Outlet in Our Garage?

Some years ago, there was a compulsory rule set in place to ensure that non-GFCI outlets aren’t used in the garage. Here are some reasons why this was set in place.

Since 2008, you cannot have a non-GFCI outlet in your garage, according to experts. It is less likely to notice when something is wrong with an outlet in an out-of-the-way location like a garage until there is a major problem, such as a house fire. As a result, as a safety measure, GFCI outlets were made mandatory.

Non-GFCI outlets are a safety hazard when installed in garages, so it is definitely preferable not to allow them in garages, but it does cause some inconvenience when plugging in a refrigerator!

If you’ve been having problems with your garage refrigerator, it’s possible that it’s tripping the GFCI breaker.

The first thing you should check if your garage refrigerator isn’t working is the GFCI breaker. You might be able to save a lot of money and frustration by avoiding a service call for a refrigerator that isn’t broken at all!

What Is A GFCI?

To fully understand the difference between GFCI and non-GFCI outlets, you need to understand what GFCI means.

GFCI means ground fault circuit interrupter. In the event of a short circuit, these are special circuit breakers or receptacle outlets that are designed to interrupt the flow of electricity. When this happens (due to a short circuit), the GFCI outlets must be reset per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Air conditioners, freezers, timers, and refrigerators should not be plugged into GFCI outlets or circuits. When these appliances cycle, the electrical surge will trip the GFCI circuit or outlets, breaking the circuit.

Do Fridge Work in the Garage?

To enable one to work in the garage do you really need to buy a special kind of refrigerator?

It depends.

The four major manufacturers (Samsung, LG, KitchenAid, and Whirlpool) recommend a normal operating temperature of 55F (13C) to 110F. (43C).

I didn’t check every major refrigerator brand, but every manual I read had the same specifications.

Why is this the case?

Inside your home, the outside air is usually around 70 degrees. Temperatures in a non-insulated garage, on the other hand, can vary greatly depending on the season. If you live in the north, it can easily get so cold that the compressor never turns on.

Between the two categories you will typically fall into one.

1. My garage gets really hot in the summer

II understand your anguish. That’s what sparked my interest in transforming my garage.

If your garage is consistently hot, your refrigerator will have to work much harder than usual. This means that parts will wear out faster and you will use a lot of electricity.

Before you add a garage ready refrigerator to your plans, consider how to keep your garage cool in the summer. Nothing beats warm beer…except perhaps hundreds of dollars in repair bills because your fridge died.

2. My garage gets really cold in the winter

A refrigerator typically has a single temperature sensor that controls both the freezer and the refrigerator sections. It detects the temperature inside the freezer and adjusts it if it exceeds a predetermined threshold. A small vent directs some of the freezer air to the fridge section, which keeps it cool.

So, what now? No problem if it’s cold, right?

No, not exactly.

If the outside temperature is cold enough that the fridge does not cool, but it is above freezing, anything in your freezer will spoil.

On the other hand, if the temperature falls below freezing and remains there for an extended period of time, the food in your refrigerator will eventually freeze.

You’re going to have spoiled food either way.

Can I Add GFCI to My Non-GFCI Garage Outlets?

Since the non-GFCI outlet isn’t advisable to use, is it possible to get a GFCI outlet added to your non-GFCI outlet?

Yes, you can add GFCI outlets. The difficult part is determining where the ceiling outlet is connected upstream so that a GFCI receptacle can be properly located for this outlet.

If only the electrical outlet is on a dedicated circuit, the 20-amp breaker in the service panel can be replaced with a GFCI 20-amp breaker. Otherwise, you must determine which receptacle is the first in the series and replace it with a GFCI.

This receptacle will protect all those downstream from feed through. Follow the instructions included with the receptacle to ensure proper wiring connections.

Remove the cover plate and unscrew the receptacle from the box to determine which receptacle is first in line. Take it out. Four wires should be present. If you have more than four wires, you should contact an electrician. For installation instructions, see the Leviton video link here and below.

What Is The Main Garage Fridge Issue You’ll Face During Winter?

There are certain issues you’ll be facing with a fridge in your garage and it’s the same during the winter.

The most common complaints during the winter are about a garage freezer’s lack of cold or rapid ice production. This is due to the possibility of the garage’s temperature dropping too low during the winter, causing the compressor to fail.

If the compressor fails, the freezer warms up. An expert in refrigerator repair services can assist you in resolving the problem and protecting your appliance from temperature fluctuations.

Always avoid attempting to repair the equipment because you risk making matters worse.

What Tips Can Keep Your Garage Fridge Working?

Aside from ensuring that it operates properly during the winter, there are additional steps you can take to protect your garage fridge.

To avoid overheating in the summer, direct a fan at the cooling coils. Install a dehumidifier in the garage to reduce humidity levels, which can lead to rust. Install a ceiling fan to keep the garage cool in the summer.

Purchase garage refrigerators rather than generic models. Remove any debris in your garage that could obstruct airflow. Make sure the fridge is fully stocked with food so that it is not cooling empty space.

Should You Put A Fridge In An Unheated Garage?

Have you been wondering if it is a good idea to put a fridge in a garage that’s not heated?

No, you shouldn’t put a fridge in an unheated garage. If the temperature drops to 50°F or lower, it may not be a good idea to leave your fridge in your garage. It won’t do much to keep your appliance warm in a colder garage.

Furthermore, many manufacturers advise against keeping a refrigerator anywhere that is colder than 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Best Garage Fridge

  1. Midea 3.1 Cu. Ft. Compact Refrigerator

A 3.1 cubic foot compact refrigerator that is ideal for the garage. The finish is glossy black. LED lighting that is energy star certified is both cost effective and energy efficient. Opening of the door can either be  left or right. Legs that are adjustable. Temperature controls are easily adjustable.

This attractive and compact refrigerator is ideal for garages. Its reversible doors and adjustable legs allow it to fit into any small space. It also operates quietly. Because of the adjustable temperature control, it can operate in extreme temperatures. It comes with a one-year warranty.

Pros:

  • Can comfortably fit into any space
  • It runs quietly.
  • The black finish complements any interior.
  • Can work in extreme temperatures
  • It comes with a one-year warranty.

Cons:

  • Door marks are easily visible.
  • Monthly defrosting is required.

Conclusion

Well that’s it for the article does garage fridge need dedicated circuit? At this point you should be aware that your garage fridge needs a dedicated circuit. Also, if you plan on putting a fridge in your garage, special precautions should be taken into consideration.

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