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How Many Amps Does a Refrigerator Use? – A Detailed Answer

Written by Edwin Jones / Fact checked by Andrew Wright

how many amps does a refrigerator use

In your home, the fridge is probably the only appliance that runs all day. In this case, you may want an accurate answer to the question, “How many amps does a refrigerator use?”

Well, the majority of average 120V refrigerators use 6 or 7 amps. If you plan to purchase a new fridge, there are many things you might need to consider to run it. Let us find out what these are below.

How Many Amps Does a Fridge Use?


As previously stated, a normal refrigerator uses 6 to 7 amps on average. This is for a 725-watt, 120V power supply. However, models with higher wattage (1300W or so) may consume around 10 amps.

In both cases, you may wonder why local electrical codes require a dedicated circuit for fridges when the amp for refrigerator is low.

This is because refrigerator amperage on startup might triple the usual running draw. To understand how we arrive at these figures, you must first grasp the amperage, wattage, and volts required in your computation.

Furthermore, let us look at different sorts of refrigerators, so you can decide which one is best for your home.

1. Amperage

Amperage is the strength of the current flow through the circuit, which can be measured as ampere or amp. Usually, higher amps mean higher risks of wires melting and arc faults, plus other electrical problems.

2. Wattage

Wattage refers to the amount of power a particular device or appliance uses. Fridges will use more watts when they’re starting than when they have been running steadily for a while.

3. Voltage Power Supply

Voltage power supply refers to the electrical output of a circuit. A typical household in the US utilizes 110V to power up general appliances like TVs, toasters, and more.

At the same time, we also need 240 volts for high-powered appliances that require dedicated circuits such as air conditioners, ranges, and more.

4. Types of Refrigerators

Many manufacturers strive to create a lower amp draw refrigerator or make their products more efficient. Refrigerators have evolved significantly in terms of power usage since their invention.

Whirlpool, Samsung, LG, and other popular refrigerator brands are available worldwide. Aside from these popular names, in South Africa, a local brand called KIC is also known for being energy-efficient.

  • Dual Refrigerator

A dual refrigerator is a two-door type unit with both features of a fridge and freezer. Based on energy star ratings, the top mount freezer was the most energy-efficient of all dual fridge styles.

  • French Door Refrigirator

The French door refrigerator has top dual side-by-side doors and a bottom drawer freezer. Its design substantially contributes to its efficiency because you can open one door at a time and have ample storage.

  • Mini Refrigerator

Unlike other types made particularly for the home kitchen, a mini fridge is a small unit that may be transported elsewhere. It takes up little space and is therefore suitable for workplaces, bars, and RVs.

The refrigerator amp usage of this unit is also lower than larger models. However, given its size, there are some restrictions regarding what you may put in it.

Read more in this guide to calculate a mini fridge’s amperage easier.

How to Calculate Amperage?


To get the average amp of any device, here are the three methods that you can use:

Method 1. Look for the Energy Star Rating

Most new appliances like the Samsung refrigerator have an energy star label. This label can be used as a reference guide for the energy consumption of your chosen model. It contains all of the unit’s information and a calculation of its power usage.

Method 2. Use Energy Meter

Most commercial-use refrigerators do not come with an energy star rating. To get the fridge amp of such models, you can plug them into an energy meter, which can also measure the voltage, wattage, and kWh of appliances.

Method 3. Calculate Using The Nameplate

Even if the two methods above are not applicable, there is still a way to find the amperage of your appliances. You can look for the product nameplate to see its amp rating.

However, if the nameplate does not identify the amp, you need to calculate it using this formula:

\frac{\text{Watts}}{\text{Volts}} = \text{Amperage (A)}

For example:

\frac{\text{725 watts}}{\text{120 volts}} = \text{6.04 amps}

How to Save Energy?

There are a lot of ways to save energy and lessen the cost of your electric bill. Some of them are:

  • When purchasing any appliances, especially a refrigerator, only select products with the features you need, sometimes, smaller units are best for small houses with fewer people.
  • Always choose efficient devices. Newer models with inverter compressors are known for being less energy-intensive.
  • Use the recommended setting of 40 degrees Fahrenheit for the fridge and 0 degrees Fahrenheit for the freezer. These temperatures are sufficient to preserve fresh and frozen food for as long as needed.
  • Unplug and switch off all unused devices.
  • Use natural lights when possible and take advantage of winter weather for storing food.
  • Convert all or a portion of your energy to solar energy. This way, you can avoid paying higher electricity rates set by power distributors.



Do I Need a Dedicated Circuit for a Refrigerator?

Yes, a dedicated circuit for any residential and commercial refrigerator is required. This setup lowers the risk of overloads and other electrical mishaps.

Can a Refrigerator Be on a 15 Amp Circuit?

Yes, most brands, whether Samsung or Frigidaire refrigerator, will suit 15 amp circuits. Generally, 20 amps would also be fine.

Does Refrigerator Need 20 Amp Outlet?

A small refrigerator unit may only require a 15-amp dedicated circuit.

However, some bigger units have wider dimensions, which will also result in higher amps used by refrigerator during startup. For this reason, a 15 amp circuit may not be sufficient, so it would be best to upgrade it to 20 amps.

Can I Put a Freezer and Refrigerator on the Same Circuit?

We often use two devices on the same circuit. However, this practice is not safe for a freezer and refrigerator. These two appliances could raise the wires’ heat level and result in electrical issues if they are used on the same circuit. Therefore, this article is made for you to know exactly the freezer’s amperage.

Additionally, if you separate the freezer and fridge, if a fault or power outage occurs, you’re less likely to end up with both gadgets out of commission.


Answering the question “How many amps does a refrigerator use?” will give you an idea of how much money it costs you per day or year in energy bills. Furthermore, it will also give you an idea of what circuit ratings you need for your new unit.

Installing a dedicated circuit with the right amps for refrigerator can be a complicated task. Hence, it may be wiser to call a professional electrician than to DIY your kitchen setup.

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