Can You Plug a Fridge into an Extension Cord? - Kitchens Bible
can you plug a fridge into an extension cord

Can You Plug a Fridge into an Extension Cord?

For safety measures, most refrigerator manufacturers will recommend that you plug your fridge directly into wall outlets. This is because fridges are heavy-duty appliances. And using the wrong energy requirement for them might be very dangerous.

However, some fridge cords are not long enough to get to some electrical outlet. So if you decide to use an extension cord to power your fridge, ensure you use a heavy-duty cord that can handle the fridge energy requirement with safety not compromised.

So, you may ask. Can you plug a fridge into an extension cord?

The answer is yes, but make sure you use an extension cord that can withstand the fridge’s load. Using a cord that isn’t capable of carrying the load of your fridge will cause your fridge to heat too much. 

Resulting in damaging your fridge or causing a fire hazard. So using the right extension cord doesn’t just guarantee safety but also allows your fridge to work seamlessly. 

Choosing Extension Cords

While you can use almost any extension cord to power light load appliances like a television, phone battery charger, small fan, lamp, slow cookers, etc. Using the wrong cord to power a major appliance like a fridge is disastrous. It may cost you more than you expect. 

Note that all extension cords are not built equally. So when choosing, there is a need to consider some factors. For example type of plug, the amperage rating, the wire gauge, and the cord size

  • The plug type will determine how much the cord can handle the risk of fire or shock. 
  • Amperage rating tells the current amps an extension cord can handle. 
  • Wire gauge tells of how much power the copper can deliver. 
  • Cord size determines the distance at which the power will have to run. Generally, a refrigerator cord too short might seem unreasonable to use but it’s better for appliances that require a lot of energy. 

Having these in mind will channel your thoughts to make the right decision.

So which power cord would be the best for your fridge? 

Best and Decent Extension Cords for Fridges

Different extension cords are built to match a certain amount of power. So first, check your owners’ manual to know the amount of amperage your fridge uses. You can also find this information at the back of your fridge.

Then choose an extension cord with an equal amount. There are 10, 12, and even 14 gauge extension cords. 

While the 10 and 12 gauge cords are cords with small gauge numbers they are regarded as heavy-duty cords because of their ability to transmit power. However, because the 10-gauge cord is an extra heavy-duty extension cord, it is a perfect option for huge power loads like fridges. 

Why Powering your Fridge with the Right Gauge Extension Cord is Important!

Some manufacturers give extension cords that are specially built for their appliances. This is to prevent people from using the wrong extension cord, knowing how dangerous it can be. The right extension cord prevents fridge damage, electric shock, and fire outbreak caused by the wrong cords. 

You May Also Ask, 

What Gauge Extension Cord Should I use for a Refrigerator? 

Electricity experiences opposition while traveling through electrical wires and sometimes voltage drops occur. With this in mind, only use the cord that you need. A lower or a higher cord is hazardous. 

However, the right cord to use depends on the amperage of your refrigerator. So it’s ideal to go through your owner’s manual to verify which cord best suits your fridge. But ideally, the 10-gauge cord is the best option for a major heavy load appliance like refrigerators. 

But, if your fridge is between 10 to 15 amps, a 14-gauge cord between 0 & 50 ft. long will sufficiently handle it. 

Subsequently, If your fridge is between 10 and 15 amps with the cord length between 50 – 100 feet, a 12-gauge cord will be ideal to safely power it. 

Can I plug a Fridge Into a Surge Protector? 

No, we recommend that you do not plug a fridge into a surge protector. This is because a fridge compressor is quite sensitive to overloads from temperature and current. Resulting in shutting itself down with a surge. 

And then restarting itself. A surge protector will surpass this system, which means that the presence of a surge protector will prevent your fridge from restarting. Resulting in food spoilage. 

However, most people use surge protectors because of power surges that occur sometimes. Causing damages to appliances in the home. So to avoid these, they often opt for it. 

Should you Plug a Refrigerator Into a Power Strip? 

No, you shouldn’t plug a refrigerator into a power strip. This is because a refrigerator pulls too much current that a power strip cannot withstand. As they do not have the wires needed to handle extended periods of use. 

So it is advisable to plug it directly into electrical outlets. For power strip safety, even a slow cooker that doesn’t consume much current won’t be ideal to be used with it. It might sound weird, but now it isn’t even about the amount of amperage. But the duration requires a continuous power supply. 

Can a Power Surge Damage a Refrigerator?  

Yes, it can. This is because an increase in voltage from a power surge causes the electrical current to flow too quickly into the refrigerator. The surge induces too much amount of heat causing damage to different parts of the fridge, like the internal circuit breaker. 

Can you Hook Up a Fridge to an Extension Cord?

Yes, you can. But ensure your fridge amperage is equivalent to the cord capacity. However, a three-prong grounded extension cord will be ideal for a major appliance like a refrigerator. 

Can a Refrigerator be Plugged into a Regular Outlet? 

Yes, you can plug a refrigerator into a standard 110-120 regular Outlet. It does not need a private outlet. However, it is good if your fridge has its special outlet. Even your area code might require it. 

This means that while you can plug other appliances into the same outlet, you shouldn’t do it. So that your fridge gets all the power it needs to function effectively. 

Is it Ok to Plug a Mini Fridge into Surge Protector? 

A surge protector with equal capacity can be used for mini-fridges. This is to prevent fridge damage in case of voltage drops or increased voltage resulting from a surge. However, a surge protector will not allow the fridge to restart itself as it would without a surge protector. Causing food spoilage. 

Final Thoughts 

Even if most fridge producers suggest that extension cords should not be used for fridges, people still consider them for different reasons.

So if you ask me if you can plug a fridge into an extension cord? My answer would be Yes, you can. Because most times fridge cords do not get to reach power outlets.

However, ensure you use the right gauge extension cords to avoid damaging your fridge, an electric shock, or a fire outbreak.

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