GFCI on Freezer Circuit

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Mike Turner, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. Mike Turner

    Mike Turner New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Laurinburg NC
    I have our small freezer in my shop. It is on a circuit without a GFCI . I would like to put a GFCI in the circuit but worry but worry about it tripping and losing the contents of the freezer BUT I know I need one on that line. Anyone ever had this happen ?

    Would love to bring it in house but I don't see that happening but the GFCI is going in for my safety sake.
  2. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,246
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    A properly working GFCI will not trip unless something plugged into it has a ground fault. If you are worried about it, you could consider a power loss alarm on the circuit or a high temp alarm on the freezer.

    On the other hand, the majority of the appliances in homes are NOT protected by a GFCI, and I cannot recall the last time I heard of a homeowner being killed by an appliance with a ground fault. That's not to say it doesn't happen, but I think it is more common in portable devices than it is in major appliances.
  3. Mike Turner

    Mike Turner New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Laurinburg NC
    Well I should have mentioned this..It is in shop where I do use some tools...Thats what my safety concern was about ..Thanks
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    For the tools, why not get some extension cords with built in GFI?? Despite assurances that a GFI will not nuisance trip...do you want to lose you entire catch of venison from last season in case it DOES happen?
  5. SacCity

    SacCity In the Trades

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    GFIC is not required for dedicated circuits to appliances,
    I would recomend not placing a GFIC plug on the freezer,
    But on the subsiquent plugs a GFIC is recomended,(Required)
    Michael
  6. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,246
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    If it's a garage or similar outbuilding, it is supposed to be a GFCI.

    If it were my garage and I was worried about it, I would just install GFCI receptacles in those locations where I commonly plug in extension cords and power tools.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,006
    Location:
    New England
    A correctly operating appliance should only trip a GFCI if it is defective. Now, many older ones weren't built to today's standards, and can leak enough to do this. It's better to replace them if they are in an area that is dangerous (concrete slabs are considered dangerous if they are wet or damp) than take the chance of causing harm to someone. The decision is up to you, but it is code to install one.
  8. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,127
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I see no advantage to installing a GFCI on an appliance that is indoors and grounded properly.

    Tools that do not have a ground GFCI Yes, freezer or other properly grounded appliance Not so much.

    The unneeded protection would not be worth the problems that it may/could cause.


    Just my thought Mike.


    Be careful playing with that electricity.



    DonL
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,631
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; I know I need one on that line. Anyone ever had this happen ?

    How many examples do you want? My daughter's, a few of my customers, ALMOST my own (except for a battery powered power loss alarm and which is no longer plugged into a GFCI)? If it were I, a SINGLE event would be enough to NOT plug any food storage device into a GFCI, regardless of others suggestions or even the code.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2011
  10. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Forget the GFI. If you worry so much, go get a giant cow rubber pad at the feed store and put it under you and the freezer.

    If you use the GFI better buy a freezer alarm with a phone dialer.
  11. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,534
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I first read this thread five days ago. I have a chest type freezer in the basement that I unplugged the day I read this. This morning (five days later) I opened the freezer and the meat inside is still hard as a rock. Not one piece feels soft anywhere on the pack.

    What is all this worry about a GFCI tripping and all of a sudden the meat thaws? Has someone lost their mind or something?

    I believe I will leave it unplugged a couple of more days.

    Commercial kitchens have required GFCI on all equipment for years now so let’s not go out to eat as the meat might be thawed.

    I heard of this guy that lost everything he had cause his freezer was plugged into the GFCI on the front porch but I have never personally lost one slice of bacon when the power was out due to an ice storm. Yes we have been without power for several days at a time.

    I personally think that if someone is afraid to losing meat to a GFCI device that they shouldn’t have a freezer in the first place. What are they going to do during a power failure? The alarm won’t work and they will lose everything they own.
    God please don’t let the power go off.
  12. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    If you pack a CHEST freezer full and tight, the FDA says 3 days before you should start shopping for dry ice. Or a big party.

    All bets are off on a upright, or a half full chest unit.

    Your a well known stickler for details, so lets get a temperature reading on the outer -inner wall of the freezer. 32 degrees feels hard, but I won't be eating your steaks after 7 days without a Toto nearby.

    I disconnect the thermostat on my chest and upright units so they run full time and that keeps them at around -10 to -15' as is required of commercial units.

    Also it means your steak is pretty edible after 5 years in the chest. Thats why god gave us those $299 generators from China - to run for a few days until the power comes on and then you can toss them in the recycle bin.

    If you really want to be like a good Mormon ready for the end, keep a few hundred pounds of salt and nitrates in stock so you can make hard sausages if the genset dies and the PO CO built their plant on the beach.

    It astounds me that Americans dont think to salt their meat or dry it when the power stays off. My grandparents packed goose parts in fat, and it kept 6 months in the cellar... lot of ways to skin a cat.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  13. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,631
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; What is all this worry about a GFCI tripping and all of a sudden the meat thaws?

    My daughter's freezer GFCI tripped when they were on vacation for TWO weeks, not a few days, and when they opened the freezer it was full of decaying food. I was in a customer's garage and noticed they had an extension cord to the freezer even though there was an outlet next to it. When I asked why they had done that, they told me that the outlet had "broken" a long time before and allowed several hundred pounds of food to spoil. I told them that they must have a GFCI somewhere that tripped. After an extensive search, I found the GFCI in the bathroom underneath a decorative bench. When I reset it, the outlet worked, and they said they had never known that outlet was in the bathroom. In my own case, the lack of power alarm sounded, but it would have been completely worthless if we had not been there to attend to the problem. I stand by my original statement, that I would NEVER plug a device that NEEDS power 24/7 into a GFCI.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  14. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,792
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    the "art" of preserving food with salt is not even known by most people. Only time we hear about stuff like salt pork or fatback whatever is from the old cowboy movies. At least its that way in the metropolitan areas and suburbs I've been in. Of course in rural areas, the tradition may be passed on from generation to generation. I guess jerky is the only thing I can think of right now that is preserved by smoke and/or salt.
    Same thing goes to starting a fire without matches or a butane lighter.
    My grandparents came from Russia and Austria, and I have no idea of what they had other than dirt floors in the late 1800's as kids. But they survived and made the big trip over here in 1903 or so.
  15. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    I saw some reality show where they dropped about 6 20 ish kids in the north forest with some good tools, even guns.

    This pack of city idiots could'nt fight their way out of a paper bag, start a fire, or build a shelter that any self respecting snake would live in.

    Might as well have dropped them in a city sewer.

    I have a great aunt over a hundred that still has dirt floors and the geese and chickens and cows in the adjoining rooms for heat. Cleaner than 99% of American homes. Never saw a doctor in her life. Drinks slivovitz every morning to get the blood going. homemade, of course. If they dropped her with those texting moron, space taking teens in the forest, they would have been living like real humans in a weeek and had food ready for the winter.

    Nothing like a sturdy willow stick to teach some Gap fashion wearing female twit how to split wood fast.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
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