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Tyler Z.
Tyler Z., Appliance Doc
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 73466
Experience:  9+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.
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The ground fault interrupter on my freezer has been cutting

Customer Question

The ground fault interrupter on my freezer has been cutting in randomly for some months now and there was no indication as to why until now. I think the problem is the freezer itself. This last time the freezer warning lights came on and the indicator showed that the freezer had been off for 36 hours and that the interior temp had risen to 41 degrees. The circuit that it is on never cut off in the hours before the GFI finally kicked in.
The freezer is running now but the GFI shut it down again a few hours later. Could this be happening due to a starter capacitor or some other such problem that still allows the freezer to run in between power losses?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 6 months ago.
This happens because this freezer is not supposed to be on a GFI circuit. If you read in your manual, it must be on a dedicated 15 or 20 amp circuit breaker, not a GFI. The reason is because GFI circuits get weak over time and handle 15 amps. But the compressor draws 13 amps or so when starting up. As a compressor gets older it has a bit more friction and starts creeping up in amperes which will grip a GFI which is easy to trip. It can run for years on a GFI outlet and you may never have had a problem, but as the GFI outlet gets weaker over time and as the compressor pulls more power over time, it will start randomly tripping the GFI outlet. The options are to replace both the outlet (with a new GFI) and the freezer, or change the outlet to an non GFI outlet if you want to stop this issue from coming back.

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