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How Many Amperes Does a Refrigerator Use

How Many Amperes Does a Refrigerator Use

What are the Amps( Amperes)? An amp measures the rate of electric flow, which is also the electrical current. As per the refrigerators, an amp is the amount of electricity a compressor uses to cool down a fridge.  Amp is necessary as it determines the amount of electricity consumed and therefore your monthly bill. That’s why it’s essential for you to know your appliance amperage requirement and even how to calculate it. This article helps you understand your fridge’s amperage requirement and the kind of circuit to run your appliance.

Following the United States Department of Energy, an average refrigerator draws 725 watts and six amps if you divide 725watts by 120volts. However, this energy may vary depending on factors such as the size and function of the device. The easier way to calculate how many amps your refrigerator uses is by dividing the power value by the voltage. However, this may not give you the accurate amperes your equipment operates. The more precise method of measuring fridge amperes is using a  clamp meter.

Can I Run a Refrigerator on a 15-amp Circuit?

A refrigerator can run on a 15-amp circuit if it’s small, more efficient, and consumes less power. But a modern fridge requires a dedicated 20-amp, 120/125-volt circuit. You may have a smaller refrigerator plugged into a general lighting circuit, but install a dedicated 120/125-volt circuit for the fridge during any significant remodeling. For this dedicated 20-amp circuit, you need 12/2 NM wire with a ground for the wiring. The 20-amp circuit is efficient and requires no GFCI protection.

A refrigerator requires around 6amps, which means the electrical energy needed to maintain a cold unit after startup. But on start, refrigerators draw around three times of the 6 amp to keep going. This figure amounts to 18 amp, which is way too high than the 15 amp- circuit. That’s why it’s impossible to use a 15 amp-circuit to run a refrigerator.

Check this too: How to Bypass the Start Relay on a Refrigerator

How Many Amps Does a Fridge Use in the UK?

A typical fridge requires 750 watts for it to run, but when starting, it needs 3-7 times the watts because it has an induction motor. The UK voltage is 240V. To get the amps used by a fridge in the UK, you need to convert the figures. The conversion formula is (Watts ÷ Volts = Amps). SO, in the UK, it’s 750 watts/240V=3.02 amps. For a fridge to run in the UK, it uses three amps or more depending on the fridge’s size, age, location, and more factors that affect power consumption.

Can 2 Refrigerators be Plugged into the Same Outlet?

You can plug two refrigerators into one outlet, but you have to ensure you’re not violating the state’s code regulations or creating a hazard. For your home safety, do some simple calculations to determine what energy each fridge consumes and if the circuit can handle it. Mainly many outlets measure 15, 20, or 30 amps, so the outlet should be safe to take both appliances depending on what you have.

Again, before plugging the two refrigerators, be sure to check your state’s codes, as some prohibit using two devices on one outlet. Therefore, using two refrigerators on one outlet depends on code regulations and circuit capacity.

In a situation where you have considered all factors and its safe to use one outlet, then implement the following;

Fix a split-wired receptacle that serves two circuits in your home. The method allows you to draw power from two separate circuits rather than one and meet code requirements. To install this receptacle, you need to remove the connecting tab, rewire the outlet and reconnect to the breaker.

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

Putting a freezer and a refrigerator on the same circuit may be effective but not the safest – especially if they are big and could theoretically overload the circuit if they all start at the same time. As a thumb rule, an appliance with a motor like a fridge or a freezer should be on a dedicated 20-amp line.

The best advice is to use the two appliances on separate circuits for the following reasons;

  • To have less food wastage since no circuit will blow
  • Fewer circuit breaker problems since there will be no straining on the circuits
  • For a longer life span for your appliances as they are not overworking
  • To avoid surges that cause damage to your appliances

Check this too: Can You Transport a Refrigerator on Its Side?


When dealing with heavy appliances like refrigerators, it’s wise to be safe and cautious. Always follow your local codes or manufacturers’ instructions on power requirements for your machine. Again, it’s best to consider having an efficient fridge for you to save on the bills.