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Can You Plug a Refrigerator into an Extension Cord?

Written by Edwin Jones / Fact checked by Andrew Wright

can you plug a refrigerator into an extension cord

We sometimes place our refrigerator in an area with no nearby outlets. In this situation, the question that may come into mind is, “Can you plug a refrigerator into an extension cord?” 

Given certain conditions, it is possible to plug a refrigerator into an extension cord. However, due to various concerns, most electricians do not recommend it.

Discover things that need to be considered, including why electricians do not recommend this electrical setup below.

Can a Refrigerator Be Plugged Into an Extension Cord?


Some of us might experience placing a refrigerator in an area with no nearby outlets.

Our reason may be because our kitchen isn’t 100% constructed, or we simply want our fridge to be located in that particular area in our home. In this instance, we might find that plugging fridge into extension cord is the best answer.

But before doing such a thing, we must first understand that refrigerators are major household appliances. These appliances are typically large and require significant current ratings. As a result, they require a dedicated circuit to run effectively and efficiently.

On the other hand, an extension cord is often made for small devices that draw a limited amount of current. In some cases, extension cords can withstand a substantial amount of electricity, but these aren’t your typical extension cords. They are heavy-duty types with big wire diameters.

Now, when it comes to using extension cords with refrigerators, you must understand that they have some risks. The risk can be a tripping hazard, especially if your fridge is in a heavy-traffic area. The cord may also start a fire or electrocute people when it gets wet.

This is why many professionals do not recommend using extension cords for most high-power electronics. But if you really need to use them with your refrigerator, finding the best one might minimize the risk of the electrical hazards mentioned above.

How about a mini fridge? Can we use an extension with it?

A mini fridge uses less power than a larger refrigerator. As a result, a medium-duty extension cord for mini fridge may be sufficient to provide the necessary electricity.

However, you should check your fridge’s user manual to ensure that you use the best cable for your unit. Moreover, following the instructions below to select the ideal extension for a small or large fridge may be beneficial.

Best Extension Cord for a Fridge


If you use an extension cord for a refrigerator, here are some important characteristics of a cord that might help you minimize the risk of potential hazards.

  • If you want a fridge be plugged into an extension cord, then you should only use a cable that can handle its power rating.
  • To safely use an extension cord with a refrigerator, it would be best to consider the heavy-duty type, such as a 10-gauge cable.
  • A grounded heavy duty extension cord is also helpful to minimize the risk of electrocution.
  • Lastly, plug a freezer into an extension cord that is shorter as it provides a more stable power supply than longer cords.

Why Shouldn’t You Plug a Refrigerator Into an Extension Cord?


For several reasons, you should not plug a fridge into an extension cord. Some of them are the following:

1. Creates Electrical Hazards


Extension cord can easily get overloaded when high-powered electronics, such as refrigerators, are plugged in. As a result, the insulation may wear, resulting in a risk of electrocution or fire.

2. It Can Damage the Fridge


Utilizing an extension cord for refrigerator in garage or in any area of your house is not a good idea since it can cause damage to your unit. This is due to an unreliable power source that causes higher resistance, especially if the cord is very long.


Can you plug a refrigerator into an extension cord? Yes, but you should not. At the same time, if you must use an extension cord, make sure it is rated for the unit’s rating and is of the right size.

If you don’t have a nearby outlet, consider installing one soon. Moreover, you can seek guidance from a forum such as Reddit or contact a certified electrician for a more permanent and safe solution.

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