Refrigerator tripping GFI outlet.

HarperPop

New Member
May 28, 2017
7
Mississippi
Forgive me if there is already a posted solution, but I did not see it upon searching.

I have a 2002 Coleman Niagara Elite. When plugged into Shore Power with the dometic refrigerator set correctly the GFCI outlets trip in the camper killing the power to the rest of the outlets which is what it is suppose to do.

I can plug the refrigerator directly into an extension cord and independently run power to it and it cools fine. I have also tried it on propane and it also seems to cool properly.

No fuses on the converter are bad. What should I check next or what am I missing?

Thanks.
 

Fless

Super Active Member
Aug 14, 2012
971
Colorado
Make sure that the fridge control switches are set to use only one source at a time. If it's a three-way fridge, turn off the gas completely, and the 12vDC switch to off before plugging in the Shore Power.

When you run the extension cord, is that plugged in to a GFCI circuit? If you're using that for Shore Power, too, it's probably not a good idea to have two GFIs in series, but I don't know if it would cause what you're experiencing.
 

Snow

Super Active Member
Jul 19, 2007
11,892
Ontario
Just an FYI.. the fuses in your power center are for your 12 volt DC items..The 120 volt AC plugs and things will use the circuit breakers..
 

Fless

Super Active Member
Aug 14, 2012
971
Colorado
Are you sure that the fridge is causing the GFCI to trip? I suggest to unplug the fridge and try Shore Power without having the fridge in the circuit.
 

tenttrailer

Art & Joyce - Columbus, O
Jul 18, 2013
3,758
Thornville, OH
I had the same issue with my 2002 StarCraft, same manufacture of fridge. Plug in the fridge and would trip the GFCI. PUGS it in via an extension cord to a non-GFCI outlet it ran fine and cooled very good. I found my issue was the 120V fridge heating element. Replaced it, all was god for 3+ years until I sold the camper.

To fid the issue, I unplugged the fridge and used an ohm meter to isolate the issue, looking for continuity between the black wire and ground. The heating element was not cheap. You could try un-plugging the element with the fridge un-plugged and then plug in the fridge and see if it still trips the GFCI.
 

HarperPop

New Member
May 28, 2017
7
Mississippi
Are you sure that the fridge is causing the GFCI to trip? I suggest to unplug the fridge and try Shore Power without having the fridge in the circuit.

We recently camped for two nights with the fridge unplugged while connected to Shore Power with no problem.
 

HarperPop

New Member
May 28, 2017
7
Mississippi
Just an FYI.. the fuses in your power center are for your 12 volt DC items..The 120 volt AC plugs and things will use the circuit breakers..
Thanks for the info. I guess that makes sense. We did flip the breakers and that did not seem to help the issue.
 

HarperPop

New Member
May 28, 2017
7
Mississippi
Just because it works doesn't mean it doesn't have a ground fault. If you have a GF protected outlet nearby from your house plug in to that and see what happens.
I had the same issue with my 2002 StarCraft, same manufacture of fridge. Plug in the fridge and would trip the GFCI. PUGS it in via an extension cord to a non-GFCI outlet it ran fine and cooled very good. I found my issue was the 120V fridge heating element. Replaced it, all was god for 3+ years until I sold the camper.

To fid the issue, I unplugged the fridge and used an ohm meter to isolate the issue, looking for continuity between the black wire and ground. The heating element was not cheap. You could try un-plugging the element with the fridge un-plugged and then plug in the fridge and see if it still trips the GFCI.
Ok I will have to get my owners manual out or youtube it to see how to do that. Thanks for the information.
 

Fless

Super Active Member
Aug 14, 2012
971
Colorado
... I unplugged the fridge and used an ohm meter to isolate the issue, looking for continuity between the black wire and ground. The heating element was not cheap. You could try un-plugging the element with the fridge un-plugged and then plug in the fridge and see if it still trips the GFCI.

This ^^^^^ is certainly worth a try. Hopefully you know how to do that or can find an experienced friend with an ohm meter. Perhaps someone can chime in with what would be an acceptable ohm value between the two wires.
 

tenttrailer

Art & Joyce - Columbus, O
Jul 18, 2013
3,758
Thornville, OH
With the power plug unplug; Test between the black wire and ground you should read the max ohms. If you get a reading of ohms other than something in the mega ohms is that not good. But this test will only find some of the shorts, Impedance shorts will not be detected with an ohm meter.

Again with the power plug unplug. The simplest way to test it is remove the two leads going to the 120v heating element. If you connect power to the fridge and it does not trip its the heating element.
 

generok

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Feb 7, 2013
3,391
Anchorage, AK
Mine does the same thing... decided LP was the best source and never looked back. The plug is coiled up behind the unit.
 




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