Surge protectors are designed to prevent damage to electronic components of appliances during a voltage surge. They absorb some of the energy from the surge until these protectors are worn out. But are they worth it for a mini fridge or for any refrigerator?
Can you plug a mini fridge into a surge protector? While a lot of Reddit blogs fight over this issue, it’s not advisable to a surge protector that comes as a power strip for your mini fridge, but we recommend upgrading to a whole house surge protector stated by NEC if budget permits.
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Risks for Using Surge Protectors for a Mini Fridge
Purchase the jet that meets your requirement. A lot of surge protectors in the market are actually just power strips with built-in surge protection. The main goal of this portable cord is to protect multiple appliances that share an outlet against a voltage surge.
However, this scenario poses the same risks as if you plug a mini fridge into a power strip.
Power strips and other portable cords are temporary connections to an outlet and are not substitutes for fixed wiring.
- These may be a fire risk since their sheathing may wear out faster thanks to their exposure to the elements and rodents, even a heavy duty power strip for refrigerator. They are meant to connect portable equipment temporarily.
- Also, even manufacturers do not recommend plugging a refrigerator nor plug a freezer into a surge protector in general. GE Appliances, for instance, mentions that a surge protector overrides the device’s compressor’s ability to restart itself during a power surge.
- Lastly, appliances that normally draw high amounts of current are best plugged directly into the outlet instead of a surge protector. If you plug a fridge into a surge protector, the huge current uptake could easily wear down the surge protector.
Therefore, since you don’t expect to move your mini fridge around the house (it may be a permanent appliance in your room), it’s best to have a fixed outlet for it, just like how you plug a chest freezer or your regular refrigerator.
Why You Use Surge Protectors for a Mini Fridge?
However, we do not mean that surge protectors should not be used to protect your invested appliances. We just don’t recommend that a refrigerator be plugged into a surge protector, especially the ones that look like power strips.
Refrigerators are often the most assessed appliance for appliance insurance claims. The most common damage claimed are due to voltage surges.
Voltage surges cause an upsurge of current into the refrigerator and greatly heat up components. They commonly damage the control board (the most common), the compressor or the ice box. Damage to the motherboard or the ice box are easy fixes, but damage to the compressor almost equates to replacing the refrigerator.
Some Alternative Ways for Surge Protectors
Instead of a specific surge protector for refrigerators, you can have these alternatives for protection
- Wall splitters can be plugged directly into your wall outlets without the need for surge protection.
- Picking the different shapes of your outlets and power strips so they can be tucked neatly.
Furthermore, the US National Electric Code, or NEC, has started requiring surge protective devices for new, upgraded or replaced electrical installations since its 2020 revision. This way, you can plug a mini fridge into a regular outlet without worrying about voltage surges or cheap power strip issues.
NEC Section 230.67(A) requires services to install either a type 1 or a type 2 surge protective device in dwelling units. Type 1 is a meter base surge protector that is mounted into the electric meter while type 2 is a panel based surge protector that is installed in the main electrical panel.
Of course, the adoption of this code will depend on the local electric code of each state so it may vary. Some states quickly adopt new changes to the NEC, while other states do not. However, the benefit of having a type 1 or a type 2 surge protection device will surely defend your appliances against surges.
Frequently asked questions
Is it safe to plug small appliances into a surge protector?
Yes, it is safe to plug small appliances into a surge protector. Computers and other high end electronic equipment like home theaters can benefit from surge protectors.
What appliances should not be plugged into a surge protector?
We discourage home owners from plugging a fridge into a surge protector. Other appliances that draw a lot of current such as heaters or vacuum cleaners are also discouraged to be plugged.
Surge protectors are great for a lot of electronics, but can you plug a mini fridge into a surge protector? We discourage it for a whole host of reasons such as power strip issues, effects on the restarting the compressor and significantly shorter lifespan of the surge protector.
But, we do encourage that you install a type 1 or a type 2 surge protector for your whole house. This will allow you to plug the mini fridge directly to an outlet without worrying about voltage surges. This also protects your appliances from costly repairs or replacements.
- Is It Safe to Plug a Surge Protector Into an Extension Cord?
- Can a Refrigerator Be Plugged Into an Extension Cord?
I am Edwin Jones, in charge of designing content for Galvinpower. I aspire to use my experiences in marketing to create reliable and necessary information to help our readers. It has been fun to work with Andrew and apply his incredible knowledge to our content.