Can you run a refrigerator and a freezer on the same circuit?

Can you run a refrigerator and a freezer on the same circuit?

A refrigerator and a freezer should not be connected to the same electrical circuit. These appliances consume a lot of power on an irregular basis, and putting too much load on one circuit can lead to frequent cooling troubles, food waste, and even surges in your home. However, if you have a dual-purpose appliance that is also used for refrigeration only occasionally, such as a window air conditioner, then it may be possible to connect it to the same circuit as your refrigerator.

Electrical circuits are designed to carry certain amounts of current at certain points in time. If you push your luck by connecting more than one appliance to one circuit, not only will they all work harder than necessary to keep everything cold or hot, but they may also shut off together when something causes them to open their doors or windows at the same time. This could cause a short that would start a fire or damage other items on the circuit.

If you want to know for sure whether your refrigerator/freezer can be wired to the same circuit as another appliance, call its manufacturer first because some allow it while others do not. Also, check with an electrician before you connect anything to your circuit board because some problems cannot be fixed without shutting down your system for some time.

Does a freezer need its own circuit?

Because a freezer is a permanent device, it should have its own "dedicated" electrical circuit. Dedicated circuits prevent the danger of current overload and shut-off issues caused by another appliance working on the same circuit at the same time. Freezers also require regular maintenance to remain effective, so having their own circuit will allow for easier access when needed.

Circuit protection components such as fuses or breakers must be rated for the power consumed by freezers. A freezer that uses less power than specified by its manufacturer may still be damaged by excessive current, so make sure you select components that are adequate for the load they will be required to carry.

Freezer circuits should never be connected to water pipes. This could cause flooding in your home if you had any sort of leak in the plumbing system.

If you have an older house with substandard wiring, our recommendation is to replace old wiring with new copper wiring instead of putting a freezer on a shared circuit. But if this isn't possible, at least connect the freezer circuit to a separate breaker that can handle its full load.

Should our freezer be put on a dedicated circuit?

In a property as modern as yours, there is likely plenty of electrical capacity available in the main service panel, so you could simply have a separate circuit built to serve the freezer alone. This would prevent any other appliances on the same circuit from being activated when you open the freezer door.

The reason this is important is because all household devices that use electricity are designed to be off when not in use. This is true of lights, heaters, air conditioners, and even refrigerators. If they were not taken off when not in use, these items would drain your energy bill every time you left a room or window open for some reason.

Freezers are different in that they must be kept at a constant temperature, so they should never be part of a heating or cooling system. However, most freezers work by using electric resistance wires called coils to absorb heat from or give out heat into the room. Because heat rises, placing the freezer on a lower floor is better for efficiency. Also, make sure that the unit is not positioned directly against a wall where it might be subject to heat from within the house.

If you have an older freezer that uses a gas compressor, it is not recommended to be placed on its own circuit. Older homes were not designed with compressors in mind, so they tend to be very noisy.

About Article Author

Catherine Clower

Catherine Clower is a lifestyle writer who loves to talk about dogs, moving, and lifestyle topics. She has lived in different cities across the country because of her husband's work commitments, which has given her a worldly perspective on life. When not working or spending time with her dogs, Catherine enjoys cooking new recipes, going on long walks on the beach, and reading books about self-development.

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