Fridge and GFCI

My fridge was installed at a different location than originally planned so I think the wiring was not done right. The fridge is on a
20A circuit with its outlet the first one on the circuit, then the GFCI outlet, then other small kitchen appliances such as toaster, coffeemachine, etc., next in the circuit.
The original plan was to have it as the last device on the circuit, I think. My old fridge broke down and the new GE fridge now seems to trip the circuit breaker (only partially) in the garage at least once every month and switches the GFCI off as well. I reset the breaker and GFCI and the fridge is on again. This is a big nuisance as the fridge with freezer could be off for a long time when we are not home or gone for a few days.
Any good advice for a non-electrician? Thanks, Iris
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Iris Mazeppa wrote:

If its tripping the breaker its a load problem. What else do you have on that circuit?
Simple solution: take everything else off the circuit.
Better solution (needs an electrician): Install a dedicated circuit for the refer.
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Paul Hovnanian mailto: snipped-for-privacy@Hovnanian.com
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If it's a relatively new fridge and a relatively new GFCI, I don't think you have much to worry about.
In my experience, the "problem" with fridges on a GFCI protected circuit is when the ice box goes into defrost mode. The heater kicks on and within a few minutes there is water in all kinds of place that usually don't get wet including, of course, the electric heater.
Of course, the other stuff on the string can also cause the GFCI to trip but such trips usually only happen when you are using small appliances and you can clear the fault yourself.
If your fridge is tripping the GRCI your best option is to replace the CB in the garage with a non-GFCI breaker. Use your GFCI outlets in "local" mode only (i.e.: don't "protect" downstream outlets). You might have to but an extra GFCI outlet but they are relatively cheap. Having "local only" GFCI protection means than the tripped GFCI is the one that the fault occurred.
If you have easy wiring access and CB panel capacity, you might want to run a 15 amp circuit just for your fridge. Given your experience, it would definitely NOT be GFCI protected.

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Iris Mazeppa wrote:

You can't use those other appliances on the same circuit with the refrigerator. You have an overloaded circuit. Install a dedicated circuit for the refrigerator.
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Benjamin D Miller, PE
www.bmillerengineering.com
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