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Old 08-02-2021, 05:49 PM   #1
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Refrigerator issue

On our 2004 30SKW the refrigerator is on the gfci breaker circuit. I tried turning it on this afternoon and it would trip that breaker. It is a new breaker. I have it running on propane now. I am wondering if it is just too hot to start with and that is what is tripping the breaker? I was going to get it cool and see if it will run on electric then. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I replaced the circuit board in the fridge last year. Thanks Jimmy
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Old 08-02-2021, 06:14 PM   #2
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GFCI’s don’t trip on current in the same way a normal circuit breaker does. Nor does it trip on temperature.

They trip on a mismatched current flow between the neutral and ground.

Recently on our new to us ‘02 coach I was having the occasional trouble with the 20 amp GFCI from our residence occasionally tripping.
After replacing the cord cap to the tether and finding a burned neutral in the coach’s breaker panel (a neutral for the 120vac power feeding the refrigerator and the original microwave), I found that the original Samsung microwave not only was the problem, it had also been recalled by Samsung due to a defective membrane keypad.

I was able to confirm this by first accessing the 120v power for the refrigerator and plugging directly into our residence. The refer ran for 4 days, no issue. That ruled out the refer.

Went back and plugged the coach in, GFCI trip. Noted display on microwave messed up, unplugged microwave, reset GFCI, plugged coach in, no problem since.

Moral of the story - your issue may not be you refrigerator but something on that GFCI’s circuit.
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Old 08-02-2021, 06:39 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jdaniels View Post
....It is a new breaker. ......
The first thing I would do is run an extension cord directly from a GFCI outlet (house or campground pedestal) to your frig.

It it trips it is your frig.

Ever since my coach was new to me, had spurious trips of the GFCI but only when on the inverter. Last summer it got worse and replaced the GFCI and still had problems.

My inverter manual provided a list of 'compatible' GFCI. Order a new 'old' type GFCI from Amazon. Not had a problem since.
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Old 08-02-2021, 06:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MrMark52 View Post
GFCIís donít trip on current in the same way a normal circuit breaker does. Nor does it trip on temperature.

They trip on a mismatched current flow between the neutral and ground.
Actually, the current flow in the neutral should be enormously greater than the current flow in the ground, which should be very close to zero. Actually, they trip on a mismatched current flow between the neutral and hot.


Most often, that mismatched current is most often flowing in the ground wire, but could be flowing in some other path to ground. The whole purpose of the GFCI is to trip in cases where that other path to ground happens to be through a person.


Joel
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Old 08-02-2021, 07:29 PM   #5
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Fridge AC Element/Leads are causing the GFCI to trip

Imbalance in current flow from hot to neutral

Element or leads are 'leaking' -----some of the current is going to the element holder causing imbalance between hot in and neutral out

Not shorting or enough to cause element to not function just enough for GFCI to sense the imbalance
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Old 08-03-2021, 07:40 AM   #6
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Actually, the current flow in the neutral should be enormously greater than the current flow in the ground, which should be very close to zero. Actually, they trip on a mismatched current flow between the neutral and hot.


Most often, that mismatched current is most often flowing in the ground wire, but could be flowing in some other path to ground. The whole purpose of the GFCI is to trip in cases where that other path to ground happens to be through a person.


Joel
Oops! My bad - my fingers got ahead of my brain (or something like that) - I meant mismatched currents between hot and neutral.

Thanks for the catch! My apologies for those whom I may have lead astray.
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Old 08-04-2021, 12:35 PM   #7
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Once the fridge cooled down on propane it would stay running on electric without tripping the breaker.
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