Can I Plug My Fridge Into A Regular Outlet?

Are you planning on buying a new refrigerator? Or are you planning kitchen remodeling? It turns out refrigerators and outlets are a topic many fridge brands don’t cover.

Appliance and refrigerator safety is a crucial safety topic. Now, ideally, you’d have a separate outlet for each appliance in your kitchen. But as always, the best plan is not always the respected plan.

Refrigerators can be plugged into a regular US outlet. These are standard 3-pronged outlets with a live wire, a neutral wire, and a ground wire.

Do Refrigerators run on 110 or 220?

Refrigerators need a regular 110V plug (sometimes referred to as a 120 outlet). This would ideally be on its own circuit even if this is not mandatory.

Refrigerators can be plugged both in 110V, 115V, and 120V outlets found in most homes. They can also run in 220V outlets which are meant for high energy consumption appliances such as ovens and dryers.

Do refrigerators need a dedicated electrical circuit?

Some refrigerator brands recommend plugging refrigerators in their own circuit. There are currently no standards recommending refrigerators to be plugged into a dedicated circuit, but this is considered a good practice.

So why should you plug your refrigerator in a regular outlet on a dedicated circuit? A standard refrigerator might only use 6AMP out of the 15 or 20AMP capacity of an outlet.

You can plug a refrigerator in any plugin in the kitchen. This plug should be free of other appliances and not share any power with other large appliances specifically.

A regular outlet on a dedicated circuit works best for refrigerators.

Problems may arise when using a refrigerator on a shared circuit, especially with other large appliances such as dryers.

Most dryers require anywhere between 6 and 30AMPs, which means they won’t work on the same circuit as a refrigerator.

What does a regular outlet for refrigerators look like?

A good outlet for refrigerators has a 3-prong (one hot wire) design. This outlet is recommended to be on its own circuit with a 15-20amp breaker. You should only temporarily plug a refrigerator in an extension cord and you should not use any other major or minor appliances or electricals on the same circuit with the refrigerator.


Can I plug my refrigerator in an extension cord?

It’s recommended to always plug a refrigerator directly in a wall plug. Temporary solutions such as using extension cords should only rely on heavy-duty 10-12 gauge extension cords, capable of handling the high energy requirements of large appliances.

Can I plug my fridge into a surge protector?

It’s not recommended to connect refrigerators to surge protectors. Refrigerator compressors tend to immediately shut off whenever they detect power variation. This process is not sustained by a surge protector.

Can I plug my fridge and microwave into the same outlet?

It’s not recommended to plug a refrigerator and a microwave in the same outlet. The National Fire Protection Association (NEC) has no specific recommendations in this case but many top refrigerator brands will void warranties when refrigerators aren’t used on dedicated circuits.

Can a refrigerator share a wall socket with another appliance?

A refrigerator should never be on a shared circuit with other appliances. While it doesn’t need high constant amperage to run continuously, refrigerators need high AMPs to start. This sometimes exceeds 15AMPs which may lead to a circuit overload.

Best practices for plugging in refrigerators

When it comes to plugging in an expensive refrigerator you need to know what to do. Given your home’s electrical circuits are actually good and verified by an electrician you can then follow these recommendations.

Always consult the owner’s manual

Each refrigerator comes with an owner’s manual. Without a doubt, manufacturers print out various information such as plugging in requires with recommended outlets. Most recommend 3-prong grounded outlets.

Plug into a grounded 3-plug outlet

Some manufacturers might not state any plugging in information. In this case, it might be OK to assume you can plug the refrigerator into a standard 3-plug outlet. However, make sure to contact the manufacturer if there’s no printed information on the ideal outlet as you want to ensure you’re adhering to proper power standards.

Skip adapters

Adapters aren’t recommended for refrigerators. Make sure you remove all adapters and actually install quality outlets with a breaker for your refrigerator.

Skip extension cords

Extension cords aren’t recommended by most refrigerator brands. Refrigerators made in the US are rarely recommended ton extension cords. Some companies prohibit customers from using extension cords even in an emergency case.

You might need to face defrost and foods that go off if your wall outlet becomes unusable anymore instead of temporarily using extension cords. Make sure to read the user’s manual before first starting and before plugging in the refrigerator for the first time.


Refrigerators – Electrical Requirements and Breaker Size: GE Appliances

Refrigerator – Surge Protectors: Ge Appliances