Fridge in the shop. Which electrical circuit?

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Forum topic by kocgolf posted 08-19-2017 04:14 PM 745 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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408 posts in 2955 days

08-19-2017 04:14 PM

I am adding a little mini fridge to my garage/shop and trying to determine which circuit to go with. I have 2 circuits of 15A 120v and 1 circuit of 20A 120v. One of the 120 lines services most of my machines, the other services the lighting. Right now, the ONLY thing on the 20A line is the shop vac which is part of the dust collection I use. Also have a dedicated DC circuit for a full dust collector.

Should I run the fridge (15A required) on a new installed outlet on the 20A circuit or off a new outlet on the lights circuit? Do you think I will have any issues with blowing fuses? I used to have a REALLY little fridge running on the main 15A line with my machines and I never blew a circuit there, but this one is a bit bigger fridge. Do I have anything to worry about here?

4 replies so far

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4007 days

#1 posted 08-19-2017 04:28 PM

I have one of those small fridges plugged into a 120v 15 amp circuit. It has been there for at least 15 years.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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William Shelley

609 posts in 2246 days

#2 posted 08-19-2017 04:44 PM

Mini-fridges typically draw between 30-70 watts, almost nothing compared to a power tool. I typically try and put less-durable devices (e.g. consumer electronics) on circuits that don’t see major surges or spikes. Turning a large motor on or off can generate surges/sags/spikes in the branch circuit that it’s being fed by. I would never put a computer on the same circuit as a table saw, for example.

So find the circuit that has the least number of large motors using it and put your fridge on that.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View MrRon's profile


5913 posts in 4020 days

#3 posted 08-19-2017 05:34 PM

I would put it on a separate breaker, or off the lighting circuit, but on the “hot” side of the light switch.

View kocgolf's profile


408 posts in 2955 days

#4 posted 08-19-2017 11:36 PM

The lightswitch for the shop lights is only about 8 feet from the fridge, just inside the mudroom door. As long as the wife doesn’t mind me making a hole and fishing the line through into the garage and under the steps and landing, it shouldn’t be too tough to use that circuit starting from before the switch. I think that is the plan. Good thinking to keep the fridge off the “bigger motors” circuit.

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