Installation Guide: how many amps does a refrigerator use?

We know that running a refrigerator can take up quite a bit of energy in your home. Understanding how many amps does a refrigerator use is important for saving money on utility bills, as well as for the safe operation of your appliance. In this blog post, we’ll explain exactly how to measure and calculate the exact number of amps you’ll need for your refrigerator so you can make sure it’s running smoothly and efficiently all year long.

What are refrigerator amps?

Refrigerator amps refer to the amount of electrical current that a refrigerator’s compressor utilizes to cool its compartment. For most household refrigerators operating at 120 volts, the amperage typically ranges from 3 to 5. Due to the higher in-rush amperage, a dedicated circuit of 15 to 20 amps is required.

What are refrigerator amps?

How many amps does a refrigerator use?

Most refrigerators typically use between 3 and 6 amps.

Small refrigerator

A small refrigerator, such as a mini fridge or bar fridge, will typically use around 3 amps. The exact amount may vary depending on the size and model of the appliance.

Medium-sized refrigerator

A medium-sized refrigerator, commonly found in most households, will usually use between 4 and 5 amps. Again, this can vary slightly based on the specific model.

Large refrigerator

Larger refrigerators, such as those with double doors or additional features like ice makers and water dispensers, can use up to 6 amps. It’s important to note that the more features a refrigerator has, the higher its amp usage will be.

Factors affecting how many amps does a refrigerator use

So how does it all add up? Let’s explore some of the key factors that can affect how much power your refrigerator is using.

  • Size: As discussed earlier, larger fridges use more electricity than smaller ones.
  • Age: Older refrigerators tend to be less efficient and therefore, consume more amps than newer models.
  • Location: Placing your fridge in a cooler part of the house, such as a basement or garage, can help reduce how many amps it uses.
  • Setting: If you have an adjustable thermostat on your refrigerator, setting it higher will use less power.
  • Climate: High humidity levels and warmer temperatures can cause your fridge to use more power.

How to calculate the amount of amps your fridge uses?

Look at the manufacturer details

The easiest way to find out how many amps your fridge uses is by checking the manufacturer’s label or manual. This information can typically be found on the back of the fridge, near the power cord, or in the product specifications section of the manual. The label will usually list the voltage and amperage required for the appliance.

Determine the amps from the wattage

If the manufacturer’s label does not directly list the amperage, you can calculate it by using the wattage of your fridge. To find the wattage, simply multiply the voltage by the amperes listed on the label. For example, if your fridge uses 120 volts and requires 8 amps, then its wattage would be 120 x 8 = 960 watts. Once you have the wattage, you can then divide it by the voltage to get the amperage required for your fridge. Using the previous example, 960 watts divided by 120 volts would give us an amperage of 8 amps.

Use a power meter

If you don’t have access to the manufacturer’s label or manual, or if your fridge does not list the amperage, you can use a power meter to measure the amount of amps being drawn by your fridge. Simply plug the power meter into an outlet and then plug your refrigerator’s cord into the power meter. The device will display the number of amps being used by your fridge.

The benefits of calculating amps for refrigerator

  • Helps monitor energy usage and potentially save money on utility bills
  • Ensures the safe operation of your appliance by not overloading circuits or causing damage to electrical systems
  • Allows for proper planning when using multiple appliances or adding new ones with specific amp requirements

How to installation amps for refrigerator rightly?

Installing the right amperage for your refrigerator can be tricky, as this appliance demands more than a standard 15-amp circuit. Depending on how large it is, it may require up to a 20-amp dedicated circuit. To ensure you’re not overloading your electrical system, be sure to check with an electrician before plugging in your fridge.

Best tips for reducing refrigerator amps usage

In addition to understanding how many amps does a refrigerator use, there are other simple ways to reduce its power consumption.

  • Clean the condenser coils on your fridge regularly. This will keep it running more efficiently and lower how many amps it’s using.
  • Keep your fridge away from heat sources like radiators or ovens, as these can cause the compressor to work harder and consume more electricity.
  • Make sure your fridge is adequately ventilated. This will help it run more efficiently and reduce how many amps does a refrigerator use.
  • Adjust the temperature setting on your fridge – higher settings will require less power.
  • Check for any worn or frayed wires and repair them immediately – this could be causing your fridge to consume more electricity.

Following these tips will ensure you’re getting the most out of your refrigerator, while staying safe and saving energy in the process.

FAQs: refrigerator using amp

Can I run a refrigerator on a 15-amp circuit?

Yes, you can run a refrigerator on a 15-amp circuit. Most refrigerators typically run between 3 to 6 amps, with peak usage spiking up to 15 amps. It’s recommended to have refrigerators and freezers installed on a dedicated 15-20 amp, 120-volt circuit, taking worst-case scenarios into consideration.

Can a refrigerator be on a 20 amp circuit?

Most refrigerators typically run between 3 to 6 amps, but they can spike at peak usage up to 15 amps. While it’s best to consider worst-case scenarios, it is generally recommended to have refrigerators and freezers installed on a dedicated 15-20 amp, 120-volt circuit.

Can I run two refrigerators on the same circuit?

Yes, it is possible to run two refrigerators on the same circuit in North America on a 120V circuit, as long as the peak current draw of the two fridges combined is not too large for the circuit. Typically, on a 20A circuit, this should not be a problem. However, it is recommended to solely use the circuit for the fridges and avoid using it for any other appliances or devices.

12 thoughts on “Installation Guide: how many amps does a refrigerator use?”

    • I ran a power monitor on my Samsung 31 cu ft fridge for a couple of weeks. The energy worked out to just a hair over 2 kWh per day. which means the long term average is about 83 watts and current at 120 VAC averages .7 Amps. Peak usage was recorded at 550 Watts (4.6 A), probably the compressor starting. Low power was 2 W (0.016 A), probably keeping the panel lights illuminated.

    • Generally a small fridge is about 240 W and if the supply voltage is 240 then current will be 1 Amp. But during starting approx. 5 to 6 times current flow for few seconds. The duty cycle roughly you can consider 25%. That means you can consider working time per day 24* 240 * 0.25 watt hour. = 1440 watt hour =1.44KW Hour= 1.44 unit consumption. with the help of this you can calculate the total monthly bill. However this calculation is a rough estimate, because where the out side temperature is more duty factor may go up to 40%.


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