Not wanting to do any more thread jacking on the air conditioner thread...
The point is as far as the NEC is concerned it does not mater what your plugging into the circuit it only matters where there receptacle is located.
It's the very same in several European countries. For example in Austria every receptacle 32A and smaller HAS to be protected by an RCD with no more than 30mA trip current. And I never heard of any problems with that, not even running 1960s vintage refrigerators. Right now we're running 2 refrigerators and an upright freezer on one RCD and had ONE inexplicable trip in over 10 years!
It may be a matter of the setting -our GFI is set at 5mA, while the AFCI is set at 30mA- or a difference in the specific electronics of the RCD.
It's a good subject for discussion, though. At least one manufacturer of high-end built-in refrigerators for the residential market (Dacor) specifically states in its' instructions that the refrigerator needs to be on its' own NON-GFI protected circuit.
Where the problem might arise is when the refrigerator is plugged into one of the counter-top 'small appliance' circuits, which are GFI protected.
A few years back, our GFI's were re-designed; the changes are claimed to reduce nuisance tripping.
Personally, I have only encountered the problem with refrigerators that were at the end of their lives - in other words, the GFI's were working as they were supposed to!
Some of the opposition seems to be based upon a 'cost/benefit analysis." That is, the cost of losing a fridge full of food, as contrasted to the small chance of a fault.
Ragnar, With respect to 30mA RCD's. The fact of the matter is, that refrigeration equipment manufacturers, cannot reduce the leakage current from the compressor motor enough to satisfy anyone here that a fridge or other such appliance on an RCD supplied circuit. Why this is Ragnar, is because the actual motor and the compressor unit are in a hermetically sealed unit, as in together. Now, here is the sticking point, a Fuse or MCB will (or should) carry the in-rush current to start the system. Now, in a sealed system, that should run forever. But wait, what say that the system ices up because (in an A/C system) the person using it runs it too hard?. (Expecting 30C out of a split system on a -10C morning is a bit much). The more you work a refrigeration system the higher the leakage currents. Usually the currents are in the Nano-amps, but once you leave a fridge or a freezer during the middle of summer, then it will trip an RCD . Nothing annoys me more than hearing from a Home-owner, that the company that installed the fridge moved the wire over in the switchboard, "It took all our protection away!". Idiots.
The fact of the matter is, that refrigeration equipment manufacturers, cannot reduce the leakage current from the compressor motor enough to satisfy anyone here that a fridge or other such appliance on an RCD supplied circuit.
Mike I don't understand what your saying.
Are you suggesting manufacturers can not reduce the leakage current?
Here in the US countless refrigerators and freezers are on 5 ma GFCI protection and are working fine.
The NEC requires this 5ma protection in a fast growing list of locations.
Last edited by iwire; 06/02/0704:15 PM.
Bob Badger Construction & Maintenance Electrician Massachusetts
I worked with a company that sells vending machines, both refrigerated and non-refrigerated. The older machines had so much leakage current that GFI's wouldn't hold. Even when the chilling unit was replaced they'd still trip. (The chillers are usually a separate "skid-mounted" unit so it could be readily changed out in the field.) Most replacement units had new, modern compressors.
The problem seemed to lie more in the internal wiring of the machine breaking down than any problems with the chillers. Soda machines especially would have serious issues, that soda will eat up anything!
Some machines also had bad control transformers that would have a lot of leakage current.
The NEC requires 5ma this protection in a fast growing list of locations.
IIRC, aren't ALL vending machine installations one of those locations?