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Old 10-20-2020, 04:10 PM   #1
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Residential Refrigerator power question

After issues with our Norcold refrigerator this summer we are replacing it with the Samsung RF-18. I have read a lot of forum posts and understand that this unit will operate on our Modified Sine inverter. I should add that we very rarely boon-dock, usually only one or two nights out of 5 months that we normally travel.
I have also read that the refrigerator should be on a dedicated 15 amp line, but the dedicated line does not work on the inverter, however there is a GFCI plug available that does operate on the inverter, but it also powers other outlets most of which we don't use in daily travels.
I am not an expert at reading wiring diagrams or fully understanding the RV systems, but wonder if there is a good way to change the dedicated line to be powered off the inverter or should I just plug into the existing GCFI plug that have power through the inverter.
Lowell
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Old 10-20-2020, 04:15 PM   #2
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The fridge only draw a few amps, you'll be fine.
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Old 10-20-2020, 04:36 PM   #3
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The fridge only draw a few amps, you'll be fine.
Yes. The initial start up of the compressor pulls a bunch but generally less than 2 amps when running...which is only about 20 minutes out of an hour.

Cheers.
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Old 10-20-2020, 06:31 PM   #4
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Maybe if we know which inverter you have, we could help getting the dedicated working.
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Old 10-20-2020, 10:48 PM   #5
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After issues with our Norcold refrigerator this summer we are replacing it with the Samsung RF-18. I have read a lot of forum posts and understand that this unit will operate on our Modified Sine inverter. <snip>
Lowell
I don't think you want to run a refrigerator on a modified sine-wave inverter. Usually refrigerator compressors require true sine-wave inverters. We call this an "opportunity to upgrade". :-) True sine-wave inverters have gotten very cheap as of late, no excuse not to have one IMO.
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Old 10-21-2020, 01:46 AM   #6
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If there was a norcold 1200 with icemaker there originally, typically should be two circuits fed to behind the refrigerator. One inverter powered for the ice maker, the other non inverted for the refrigerator.

That said the GFCI circuit you have located will likely be ok.

The RF18 should be ok on MSW inverter. Was stated in the documation at one time. Hence a popular replacement unit.
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Old 10-21-2020, 09:22 AM   #7
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Maybe if we know which inverter you have, we could help getting the dedicated working.
Sorry should have included the inverter model - it is the Xantrex Freedom 20
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Old 10-21-2020, 09:48 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Uniblab View Post
I don't think you want to run a refrigerator on a modified sine-wave inverter. Usually refrigerator compressors require true sine-wave inverters. We call this an "opportunity to upgrade". :-) True sine-wave inverters have gotten very cheap as of late, no excuse not to have one IMO.
I've been running a KitchenAid household refer on a dedicated modified sine wave inverter since the Bus was brand new in January, 2013, That's over 110,000 miles. I also run a 17 cu ft chest freezer and a 3.5 cu ft basement freezer on the same dedicated MSW inverter. Same situation on a 2008 Allegro Bus and again, no problems.
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Old 10-21-2020, 10:51 AM   #9
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Many people I know are running the Samsung on Modified Sine. The GFI did trip once and I switched it out for a normal outlet. The GFI only fed the fridge so there was no safety concern with eliminating it. No problems since.
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Old 10-21-2020, 10:51 AM   #10
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From what I have read over the last 10 years or so, those Samsung refers do just fine on MSW inverters. As I recall, they actually run on DC and have their own internal converter that is not sensitive to waveform. What I wouldn't want is for my refer to be on a GFI. That, IMO, is just asking for trouble.
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Old 10-21-2020, 11:38 AM   #11
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Lots of good advice posted above.

The owner's manual for the Xantrex Freedom 20 specifies 2000 watts with "considerable" motor starting capability. So it is basically one 15 amp circuit. It will run the refer. I didn't look up the refer specs (lazy me). You must observe power management. Don't run other high power devices on the inverter. A microwave may trip the inverter when the refer motor is running.

Generally speaking, most wiring codes require 1/4 horse and larger motors that start automatically to be on a dedicated circuit with no other devices. A refrigerator qualifies as a motor starting automatically.

Partly it is because, if the circuit breaker trips, no one will know the refrig is off and food spoilage can occur. This is important for refrigerators, furnaces, sump pumps, and safety equipment. All of these are required to be on separate circuit breakers.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 10-22-2020, 09:39 AM   #12
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Thanks to all that responded. I will try the GFCI plug for power to the fridge. It is stored next to the house so it will be easy to do some testing, since I did have some issues of that CGFI branch tripping the plug when switching from inverter to generator or AC power.
Lowell
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